Protein shakes are a quick and easy way to meet your macros. With some brands, for under 100 calories you could get over 20g of protein. Great news.
Having enough protein is a key component when trying to build muscle. Does this mean you can smash a protein shake every hour to get your gains faster? How many protein shakes per day is okay?
How many protein shakes per day?
Each brand will have its own recommendation of how many protein shakes you might want in a day. A scoop is usually 30g and protein levels, calories and carbs vary from brand to brand.
You can have more than one or two shakes each day. However, if you already have a protein-rich diet (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes) and don’t do much exercise then chances are you won’t need more than one.
As a guide, those looking to gain muscle need around 1.6-2g of protein per KG of bodyweight. A good way to track your protein intake is using an app such as My Fitness Pal where you scan your food and log portion sizes.
To start, it could be an idea to track your food for a week and see how much protein you are getting. If you are not reaching your macros, then you could work out from there how many protein shakes per day would be suitable.
You should find that you get 80% of your protein goal from whole foods, such as chicken, fish, eggs and red meat. It might be that breakfast or snacks you fall down on reaching your protein target. Or maybe post workout you don’t have time to cook a high protein meal because you have to get to work.
These are the ideal times when you might have a protein shake rather than a carby snack or breakfast.
Will protein powders make me gain muscle?
Protein is one of the most important macros when it comes to building muscle. However, it isn’t magic. Having a high protein diet and drinking lots of shakes with zero activity, isn’t going to get you muscles.
You need to exercise, follow a progressive weight training programme and eat well. Sorry, protein powder isn’t magic!
Why drink a protein shake per day
- A good alternative to a sugary snack and it will keep you fuller longer
- Boost protein intake and meet your macros
- To help meet your calorie needs if trying to gain weight
- They’re delicious
- Quick and easy – no cooking required
- Cheaper than eating lots of meat!
You will choose different types of protein powder, depending on your goal. If you want to lose or maintain weight then you’d choose a different shake to if you wanted to gain weight.
Interested in which protein shake is for you?
- Read our best protein powders to lose or maintain weight
- Read our best protein powders to gain weight
How many protein shakes per day if I am trying to make gains?
If you are trying to gain weight you may still just go for 1 or 2 shakes. However, the shake may be one with more calories, such as Gold Standard Gainer which has 55g of protein and 763 calories.
As you are trying to gain weight, you might have the shakes as an additional snack or meal, rather than as a replacement. However, this will depend on how much weight you are looking to gain.
Having a high calorie shake is another quick way to meet your calorie and protein goals. You can even add things such as ice cream, full-fat milk or full-fat yogurt.
How many protein shakes per day if I am trying to lose weight?
Again, aim for 1 or 2 shakes per day. However, opt for a low-calorie shake such as PHD Diet Whey which is just 90 calories and 19g of protein. Mix it with water and have it in place of a snack or breakfast, rather than adding it to your current calories.
How many protein shakes per day will depend on your goal. Find out about the best protein shakes for weight gain and loss on our blog.