How Many Protein Shakes a Day: Best Practice for Beginners

this i a drawing of a man holding a protein shake

How many protein shakes a day?

Exercise advice

If you are looking for how many protein shakes a day can be had when you are starting your fitness journey, then the best answer is one to three shakes a day. By putting one to two scoops of protein in each shake is healthy. I suggest you base your protein shake consumption on how active you are daily.

Here is How Many Protein Shakes a Day: Best Practice for Beginners.

In this article I am going to help you better understand how many protein shakes you can be drinking in a day if you are new to exercising and working out.

One of the things that I like most about dietary changes is that they are so much simpler than exercise changes. Workouts require a fair amount of planning, time and energy to understand How Many Exercises Per Workout, are needed and usually involve strenuous effort but you can quickly shake up and down an incredible, protein-dense, smoothie in your house coat and slippers! There’s also the need to take a shower after a workout but hopefully not after a protein shake. I could go on and on with examples of the ease that dietary change can happen regardless of budget, time, or circumstance. It’s also worth noting that adding protein shakes to your day offer a quick fix to feel better mentally, as you’ll soon discover.

Read: Protein Shake Before Or After Workout? Best Practice

Protein is one of the three macronutrients that we require daily for energy and to feel on top of our game every day (the other two are carbohydrates and fats). But how many protein shakes a day can you have, and is there such a thing as too much? This article clarifies how to streamline your efforts to optimize your protein intake to help you make your next move with confidence.

With all of that in mind, I want to get something important across early in this article:

Protein is a macro nutrient that serves as a building block for much of what makes us up physically. That means that protein shakes are a healthy supplement to support any diet and lifestyle.

I know it sounds like hyperbole but I don’t believe it’s overstating to say that a protein shake could change everything. Your next meal can literally be a new beginning and your first or next step toward becoming the best version of yourself. I’ve seen it happen with my clients and I hope that by reading on you’ll understand why and give them a try.

There are many reasons why you might choose to drink protein shakes — building muscle, losing weight, gaining weight, recovering from an injury or illness, or or a mental boost. Protein shakes can be helpful for all of these reasons, based on what you include in them and how often you have them. 

Before you take a scoop and start shaking, you’ll want to know how many protein shakes are best for you, you need to think about your goals and repair and how they fit into your daily schedule. Protein shakes do not need to be reserved for the cliche post workout “feeding window”. Instead, a protein shake is a simple and very effective way to give your body what it needs to make the building blocks of muscles, brain tissue, neurotransmitters, cell walls, connective tissues, and many many more bits of your organism.

Before we dive in, these articles will help your fitness journey:

How many protein shakes a day

When thinking about how many shakes per day it’s best to think about your total protein need for the day. To calculate my total protein need for the day, I like to use the simple math of:

body weight multiplied by 0.8

So for me, that would be 210 lbs x 0.8 = 168grams of protein per day.

This number is higher than the daily recommended intake (DRI) because the daily recommend intake is a bare minimum (which is totally fine) but you’re going to end up in this range sooner or later anyway so you might as well know.

You may be able to get all of your daily protein need from your diet, however, protein shakes provide a convenient way to ensure you are getting the high levels of the various amino acids required for muscle growth and recovery.

The math I am providing is simple and suits any goal and should be consumed every day for best results. It doesn’t matter how many days you workout or whether you’re just trying to feel better mentally you’ll benefit from this amount of protein per day.

Getting your protein up is a sure way to feel better mentally because you’re brain’s neurotransmitters are made out of proteins. Protein packed meals and snacks also help you avoid sugary, processed foods, which can trigger anxiety and depression. Most protein shakes are very low in sugar which will support healthy blood sugar levels and keep you off of the emotional roller coaster of spiking and crashing blood sugar caused by high sugar foods.

What time of day should you drink your protein shakes?

There’s no pressure on when to have your shake. The old wisdom of a “post workout window” no longer holds because what really matters is total protein consumed. Your protein shake timing is completely personal. I recommend aiming to have half of your daily intake before noon because it helps a lot to reach the goal each day. I like to have a mid morning shake to give me a boost during the work day.

If your working out consistently

For those who workout a lot the same recommendation as above. Just get your total protein up and don’t sweat when or how much in each shake (more on that later). I will say that the post workout protein shake can be a game changer for accelerating your goals because it is a great way to remind yourself to get in other micronutrient supplements that support a fat loss or muscle building goal. For example, I like to take my vitamin C post workout to support my body in combating the inflammation caused by weigh lifting.

If your not exercising often

Even if you aren’t breaking down and building new muscle you will still benefit from a protein shake or two as meal replacements. I recommend one shake in the morning because the brain is greedy for protein early in the morning anyways. A breakfast shake or a scoop in your coffee (if you’re weird like me and my work buddies) will support you mentally as well as physically because if the brain doesn’t get the protein from the diet it takes it from the body anyways. Those neurotransmitters are important!

If your using it as a food source

I would still recommend an early shake (before noon) primarily because of the amino acids present in the shake, which are the building blocks of protein, play an important role in the production of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals which allow brain cells to communicate with each other. A morning shake could be the boost you need to cope a bit better today. If you can’t bring yourself to have food or a shake before noon the afternoon/evening shake is still amazing especially if you add some fruit(s) to increase the micronutrient profile and increase dopamine for an added brain boost.

How many scoops of protein should you use?

In short, there isn’t a clear answer on the maximum amount that’s helpful per serving. Common practice is to consume 20-45grams per dose. That’s usually 1-2 scoops.

How much protein is in a scoop?

Scoops of protein range anywhere between 20 and 35grams of protein per serving depending on the brand and scoop size. That’s how much of the macronutrient not the weight of the serving which is a common mix up when people first start tracking. This is a little off topic but the weight of your food in grams does not equal how many grams of the macronutrient (protein) is in the food. To find out how much protein is in a food you need to weigh it and read the label, or weigh it and use an app to tell you how many grams of protein are in that many grams of the food. I hope that makes sense.

Is 2 scoops of protein a day too much?

No, two scoops of protein is not too much for you to take. You can split those two scoops into two separate shakes in the day, or have them both at once.

Is 2 scoops of protein in one shake too much?

No. In fact, If you are having a hard time hitting your protein goals, you can use two scoops of protein in your morning shakes.

Is it bad to drink 2 protein shakes a day?

No. A morning and evening shake is perfectly safe and will most likely help you feel better overall, especially if you aren’t eating enough protein in general.

Can too many protein shakes be harmful?

No. While you might read about negative side effects from high-protein diets, there have been no studies proving any harm in healthy individuals from protein. That’s mostly because we need a lot of it and most people don’t get enough to begin with.

What happens when you have too much protein?

In the context of protein shakes, you will excrete the excess amino acids, assuming you are able to drink that many shakes! If you are eating whole food protein sources the excess calories will be stored as fat.

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