Protein shakes have become one of the more popular dietary supplements, especially among workout enthusiasts and athletes. One reason why so many people love protein shakes is the convenience they bring. Making them can be as easy as shaking powder and water together. Not to mention, you can consume them wherever you are and even when you’re on the go.
There are different reasons why people might consume protein shakes. They could either want to build muscle and increase performance or to lose some weight and increase lean body mass. Regardless of the reason, there still remains the question: how many protein shakes should you drink in a day?
Why should you drink protein shakes?
Before proceeding, let’s talk about why people drink protein shakes in the first place. Although this is more targeted towards athletes and bodybuilders, this can apply to anyone too. Vigorous physical activities often end up with some of your muscles’ protein tissues getting damaged. As they heal, the tiny tears found in your muscles are what help them grow bigger and stronger. This is how exercises to build muscles mass work.
However, as we age, our body’s natural healing process significantly slows down, particularly in restoring and regenerating protein tissue fibers. This is where protein shakes can be helpful.
Protein shakes have amino acids that can become the raw material that the body needs in order to repair and build muscles, accelerating the natural regeneration of the body. Ultimately, protein shakes with faster muscle growth, lowering risks and injuries and a body that is healthier and more muscular.
Although those same amino acids can be taken from food rich in proteins such as legumes, meats, and dairy products, consuming them through protein shakes saves the time and effort it normally takes for our body to digest and absorb raw protein.
It’s simply about the convenience of ingesting protein without having to eat multiple meat dishes per day. In other words, the question of how many protein shakes we should drink per day is more of a question of how much protein we should consume every day.
Potential drawbacks of too much protein shake consumption
For most healthy people, consuming too many protein shakes have no specific risk to health or long-term dangers. However, you might experience short-term digestive side effects such as bloating, cramping, and excessive gas, depending on the ingredients present in your protein shake.
But it’s also worth noting that eating an extremely high protein diet does have its risk factors. Even healthy individuals can suffer from side effects such as a higher risk of coronary heart disease and decreased liver function.
Research has shown that our body can only tolerate up to 3.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The problem lies with consuming too many protein shakes in one day means that you are probably not having enough whole food in your diet.
What makes whole food consumption generally better than getting your protein from protein shakes is that whole food sources offer a more diverse array of micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins that your body will always need, regardless of your fitness goals.
A diverse diet also promotes weight loss better. Not to mention, whole food sources are more satisfying than protein shakes. Compare a post-workout meal that contains 20 grams of protein and a protein shake with 20 grams of protein. You are more likely to become hungrier after drinking the shake than eating the meal.
Calculating your protein intake
As mentioned before, the amount of protein you should consume per day depends on your weight. However, your workout regime also plays a factor in it too. An average person can be satisfied with a daily intake of 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight.
However, if you have regular workout sessions, a daily intake of 1.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight is the recommended amount. For those who have intense workout sessions such as endurance drills and heavy strength training, you should increase your daily protein intake to at least 2 grams per kilo of body weight.
Keep in mind that men generally have leaner and denser muscles than women which is why they need about 10% percent more protein consumption. Bodybuilders who indulge in heavy workouts and weigh about 90 kilograms need to consume 180 grams of protein every day if they want to maintain their muscle mass.
Protein-rich meals that include brown rice, some vegetables and a chicken breast can only offer up to 60 grams of protein. This is why athletes and bodybuilders drink protein shakes before or after working out, so they can supplement the lack of protein in meals.
How much protein does one shake have?
To determine how many protein shakes you should drink in a day, it’s important to figure out how much protein exactly one shake contains. You can then match the amount with the amount of daily protein intake recommended to you. The amount of protein in one shake varies, depending on the concentrate or isolate in question.
There are some protein shakes that have 22 grams of protein for every 60-serving while there are others that have 26 grams of protein in every 33 grams of powder. On average, you can expect a 500ml protein shake to have around 20 to 30 grams of protein.
Regardless if your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle or improve performance, it is essential to consume protein daily and shakes are definitely an easy way of reaching your daily protein goals. However, just like with anything else, moderation is important.
Although the number of protein shakes you drink per day can vary on a case- to-case basis, generally, two protein shakes per day are recommended for those who have an average build and do not participate in intense workouts. But, for those who do, three to four protein shakes per day should be sufficient. At the end of the day, you can’t deny the convenience of protein shakes.
If you’re constantly on the go but still want to maintain your daily protein intake and need a reliable bottle for your protein shake, then check out Jeela sport shaker bottles. We have shaker bottles and shaker cups that fit your your daily protein shake needs. Buy them for yourself or as gift to your gym buddy -- you decide!