How Many Protein Shakes A Day Is Healthy
Protein shakes can be an excellent part of an eating plan for people with all types of fitness goals. Athletes rely on protein intake to increase performance and build muscle, while those looking to drop body weight and increase lean body mass will want to keep their daily protein intake elevated to maximize fat loss.
Protein powder shakes may be a convenient way to consume protein, but at some point you may wonder if there is a limit to how many shakes you should be drinking each day. Like any good thing, there comes a point when you can consume too many protein shakes.
To be clear, there is no hard-and-fast rule about drinking protein shakes, and having too many of them in one day likely wont have any long-term detrimental effects. For most people, anywhere from one to three protein shakes per day should be plenty to help them meet their nutritional needs. Drinking more than three shakes per day probably won’t be detrimental, but youd likely be better off replacing protein supplements with whole foods that are more satiating and provide a more diverse array of micronutrients.
Ingesting Heavy Metals And Toxins
Like all dietary supplements, protein powders aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means you have to rely on the goodwill of manufacturers to ensure that they are safe to consume.
In 2018, a study sponsored by the Clean Label Project, a national nonprofit focused on transparency in labeling, released a study showing that many of the top-selling protein powder supplements contain heavy metals and BPA , an industrial chemical used in plastics and a known endocrine disruptor. The worst offenders were plant-based protein powders, which were found to contain lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. The study also found that 28 out of 134 of the protein powders contained twice the regulatory limit of BPA while other protein powders tested free of BPA.
Is It A Good Idea To Drink A Protein Shake For Breakfast
Yes, taking a protein shake for breakfast can be a good idea. It will provide you with the amino acids to switch your body into an anabolic, muscle-building state, while also spiking your insulin levels so that you have more energy throughout the morning. It is also an easy meal to digest.
Many people find it hard to digest food first thing in the morning. A protein shake is also a good choice as a pre-workout drink if you are heading to the gym first thing in the morning when you dont have time for breakfast foods.
Read Also: Do Protein Shakes Help Build Muscle
Homemade Protein Shake Ingredients
Alright, so lets talk ingredients. To make a healthy homemade protein shake, you will need:
The ingredients Ive linked to above can be ordered from Thrive Market, which is an impressive online store that sells healthy, organic food and natural products at 25-50% below retail prices. I like to think of it like Amazon meets Costco meets Whole Foods .
If you want to purchase anything from them, you will need to sign up for a Thrive Market membership. However, if youre a reader of my website, you will get an exclusive bonus when you join:
Should You Have A Protein Shake Before Or After Your Workout
Protein is necessary for muscle repair and growth.
For this reason, many people consume protein supplements in the form of shakes along with their workouts.
However, the optimal time to have a protein shake is a hotly debated topic.
Some believe its best to drink a protein shake before a workout, whereas others argue that after a workout is ideal.
This article explains whether its best to have a protein shake before or after your workout.
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Does The Anabolic Window Matter
Many people believe drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes of exercise will maximize their results in the gym.
This 30-minute window, commonly known as the anabolic window, is a short period of time during which your muscles are like a sponge for protein.
The thought is that if you consume protein outside of the anabolic window, your body wont effectively utilize it or build muscle .
Research now suggests that this anabolic window of opportunity is much longer than 30 minutes and may not be limited to solely after exercise .
In fact, it may not matter whether you drink a protein shake before or after your workout in terms of optimizing muscle repair and growth.
It was previously believed that protein had to be consumed within 30 minutes of a workout for your body to use it. Recent research suggests that this may not be the case.
Taking The Guesswork Out Of Protein Powder And Protein Intake
If youre worried about messing up when it comes to protein shakes, dont worry. Gainful is here to help you find a custom-made protein powder so you can get exactly what your body needs. Head here to take our quiz. Together, well figure out what type of protein best suits your body type and fitness goals, the amount of protein you need, and add customizations based on your preferences. Well take your lifestyle into account, whether youre someone whos plant-based and looking for a pea protein, someone who is dairy-free, or just someone who prefers certain types of protein over others. Then well send you everything you need in the perfect amounts, making sure youre getting enough protein to achieve your goals.
And if youre still unsure about the best time to drink your protein shake, dont forget you have a dedicated Registered Dietitian on-hand as part of your Gainful subscription. Your R.D. is here to answer any questions about your daily nutrition, protein consumption and overall fitness goals whenever it is most convenient for you. In this case, any time is a great time to contact our in-house nutritionist with any questions about your protein shakes.
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How Much Protein Can Our Bodies Absorb Per Dose
Due to the nature of the constant breakdown and synthesis of muscle tissue, its a common rule to break your protein intake into 3-4 similar sized doses per day whether these are meals or shakes.2
However, too many calories from any source will lead to weight gain, so theres an upper limit of how much protein is beneficial. Based on what else is in your meal or protein shake , and what kind of protein you choose , you may digest and absorb the protein at a different rate.
Protein Shake Mistake #: Youve Gone Two Scoops Too Far
You really can have too much of a good thing. If youre filling your shopping basket to the brim with chicken and powder tubs then weve got some bad news: youre just going to the additional calories could just be increasing your waistline. In fact, trying to copy the diet of professional athletes will only set you up for a career in one sport: sumo wrestling.
Calculators at the ready: you need 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight per day if you want to bulk up. This means if youre the UK average of 83kg, you need at least 133 grams of protein each day. Dont be put off if this sounds like a lot, as one chicken breast contains around 30g of protein. “This means you can easily consume enough without resorting to supps, says PT Peter Parasiliti. If youve already chowed down a protein-packed chicken salad for lunch and a bulk-up burger for dinner, chances are you’ve already met your protein requirements.
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What Food Should I Be Eating
It’s vital that you realise protein shakes should never replace real foods. Ever. Protein shakes are supplements, and they are there to do just that to supplement your diet. They are add-ons. Additional extras to help you reach your daily protein fix. Yes, we know, consuming a shed load of protein every day isn’t easy. But it’s important you don’t cut corners.
Protein shakes will never hold the same nutritional benefits as real food, which will generally contain more protein per serving than a shake.
Great-tasting breakfasts, lunches and dinners consisting of a healthy balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats are full of vital minerals and vitamins that will strengthen the body and help it grow. They needn’t be complicated either. Here’s a list of a few of our favourites. If you’re struggling with food ideas, check out our protein sources food guides below:
What Are Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are a popular way to get extra protein into your diet. They come in powder form and can be mixed with water or milk to create a delicious shake. Protein shakes can be enjoyed before or after workouts, as a quick snack, or even as a meal replacement.
Why drink protein shakes?
When you work out hard, some of the protein fibers in your muscles break down. These tears are actually a good thing as they heal, your muscles grow stronger and bigger. In other words, lifting weights helps build muscle mass.
The one issue is that the body’s natural healing processes slow down significantly as we age. Protein tissue fibers in adults are particularly sluggish to recover and restore. And that’s where protein shakes come in.
Dietary supplements provide the body with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for health. Protein shakes are one type of dietary supplement that contains amino acids the building blocks of proteins. Once ingested, these amino acids help the body to build and repair muscles , leading to stronger muscles, reduced injury risk, and overall improved health.
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The Best Protein Shakes
You can find plenty of shake recipes online, but the five varieties here are full of nutritious protein and taste amazing. The recipes make one shake each, but you can make them in advance because they will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to three days.
These protein shakes not only offer a quick boost of necessary protein, but they have additional benefits as well. Strawberries have lots of vitamin C, B9 and potassium. Pineapple is a great source of riboflavin, magnesium and folate. Bananas are packed with potassium, fibre and B6. And peanut butter has the healthy fats that are essential for heart health.
Should I Drink Protein Shakes On Rest Days
Reading Time: 5 minutes 20 seconds
Itâs important to train hard and recover well. A big part of recovery is nutrition. Protein, in particular, is a big player when it comes to seeing results in body composition, muscle growth, and weight loss. And protein shakes have become a convenient option for increasing daily protein consumption. But should you drink protein shakes on rest days?
In this article, we will review the importance of protein not only on workout days but also on rest days. Weâll also cover the benefits of including a protein shake on rest days and options to maximize protein consumption for muscle growth and muscle recovery.
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Protein Shake Mistake #: Your Timing Is All Wrong
Before? During? A lot of men are wrongly led to believe by the Bro Science community that, as long as the protein is in your system, then you’re sorted. However, when it comes to supps working out when to take them can be just as important as what you’re taking.
When is the best time for a shake? Within an hour after your workout, says Parasiliti. Because theyre more receptive, this is the time to feed your muscles the fuel they need to repair and recover, leading to faster growth. If youre looking to prime yourself before a workout then doesnt rely on powder, according to Baptie. This rustic spinach and pepper omelette, for instance, will give you the fuel for a full muscle-building session.
You Can Get A Sufficient Amount Of Protein For The Day
While protein is found in a variety of foods, for anyone with a dietary restriction , getting the proper amount of protein for your body can be difficult. A protein shake can be an easy way to get those amino acids.
According to Rachel Paul, PhD, RD from CollegeNutritionist.com, our bodies produce amino acids, but others are consumed through our diet, which are called “essential amino acids.” Animal protein sources provide essential amino acids, known as “complete” protein sources. However, plant-based foods don’t provide some of the amino acids, known as “incomplete” protein sources.
“Adding in a protein supplement like a high quality collagen, protein powder or bar is an amazing way to get all 20 of your amino acids,” says Tori Simeone, a trainer for Tone It Up. “It can be hard to get all of your essential amino acids in every day especially if you are plant-based, so adding in a high-quality protein supplement can be vital.”
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When To Drink Protein Shakes For Muscle Gain
Even if your main goal is dropping pounds, its important to stack on muscle along the way because
More muscle mass = more calories burned.
It used to be believed that you had to have protein within the first hour after working out, but recent research has shown that consuming your protein powder anywhere within two hours before or after your workout will give your body the same benefits . Or, if youre above the age of 65 it may be worth consuming protein at bedtime to preserve muscle mass and fight atrophy .
In addition, if your protein powder has tons of carbs then you may want to follow a similar protocol to replenish insulin storages, allow nutrients to be easily absorbed and promote glycogen re-synthesis .
No matter the timing, protein has countless benefits so be sure to get it in when you can.
Choosing A Protein Powder
There are many factors to consider when choosing a protein powder. One factor is protein type. There are many different types of protein powder. Some of the most commonly used protein powders include:
Whey protein powder
It is also important to find a protein powder that matches your individual needs. Below are some guidelines for choosing a protein powder based on your goals.
Building muscle – Itâs essential to choose a protein powder with a high biological value to support muscle growth if building muscle is the goal. The biological value is how well the body can absorb and utilize a protein. Whey protein and whey protein isolates are complete proteins and are the best options for muscle growth.
Losing weight – If weight loss is the primary goal, choosing a protein shake with no added sugars, dextrins, or maltodextrins is important. Individuals chasing weight loss may want to avoid protein powders with added branched-chain amino acids as these help promote muscle growth and may result in weight gain.
Vegetarian or vegan – For individuals choosing to adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is best to avoid milk-based protein shakes. Instead, choose 100% plant-based proteins like soy, pea, and hemp.
While protein shakes can assist recovery and enhance overall results, it is truly up to individual preference whether or not they are a part of rest day nutrition. The most important thing is to consume adequate protein to meet your nutritional goals.
Also Check: Which Protein Powder Is Best For Muscle Gain
The Nerd Fitness Protein Calculator
On the Metric System? .
Lets explain some of this a little.
As Examine.com points out in their heavily researched summary on protein:
- If youâre overweight or obese, aim for 1.2â1.5 g/kg . You do not need to try to figure out your ideal body weight or your lean mass . Most studies on people with obesity report their findings based on total body weight.
- If youâre of healthy weight, active, and wish to lose fat, aim for 1.8â2.7 g/kg , skewing toward the higher end of this range as you become leaner or if you increase your caloric deficit .
- If youâre of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 1.4â2.4 g/kg .
- If youâre an experienced lifter on a bulk, intakes up to 3.3 g/kg may help you minimize fat gain.
These are starter numbers that you can start to experiment around as you see your body transforms.
As Examine points out in its research on protein:
âHigher protein intakes seem to have no negative effects in healthy people.â
So feel free to aim for the higher end of the spectrum, depending on your goals, and adjust from there.
Long story short: Consuming protein is an important part of life for everybody, both the sedentary and the athlete:
- By consuming enough protein while bulking up, you can ensure muscle growth during a bulk with minimal fat gain.
- By consuming enough protein while eating a caloric deficit and strength training, you can maintain the muscle mass you have while losing body fat .
However, you still need to have:
What Do Protein Shakes Do
Protein shakes are designed to be taken as a workout supplement to supply your muscles with the essential amino acids which form the building block of protein. These are needed to build lean muscle tissue. When you work out with resistance-type exercise, you cause stress to the muscles. This causes micro-tears within the muscle fiber. Protein synthesis is the process by which the muscle is repaired so that it can build back better.
People who work out with weights need to have a greater protein intake than those who do not. A typical protein powder will provide between 25 and 30 grams of protein per serve and a couple of hundred extra calories. Most people take their protein shakes after their workout routine in order to switch the body from a catabolic to an anabolic state to promote muscle gain.