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It’s a fairly common question, yet no one seems to know the answer – How Many Protein Shakes A Day Should You Drink?
I was in the locker room after a hard workout and I overheard an interesting conversation between two newbie weight lifters.
Guy A: “If you want to build muscle you’ve got to drink at least 2-3 protein shakes a day”
Guy B (Who was kind of chubby): “I’m not interested in building muscle right now. I just want to get ripped first”
Guy A: “Okay, well if you are trying to get ripped you can save your money, you don’t need any supplements”.
Overhearing that conversion inspired me to write this post. So in the next few paragraphs below, I’m going to address just exactly how many protein shakes you should be drinking per day.
First of all, we need to calculate our protein requirements. As always, these things are going to vary from person to person. Everyone has different protein requirements, but a general rule of thumb is to consume 1-1.5g of protein for every lb of lean body mass you have. So for example, a 200lb male who is 10% body fat would need to consume about 180g of protein.
Second, we need to make sure we are getting MOST of our protein from REAL food. Protein shakes are a muscle building supplement. They should be taken in addition to a clean nutrition program. Most of your protein intake should be coming from whole foods like chicken, fish, steak and other lean meats.
Third, we need to fill in the gaps. Hopefully you’ve been taking my advice and keeping a food log as well as a workout journal. You should be tracking all of the food you are consuming. Add up all meals you consume throughout the day including your total calories, carbs, fat and PROTEIN.
Lastly, supplement as needed. Let’s use the 200lb male with 10% body fat as an example again. We already know he needs about 180g of protein every day. Let’s say that throughout the day he consumed 130g of protein via whole food sources like chicken, fish and steak. He’s going to need to consume about 50g worth of protein shakes. That’s about 2 shakes/day. One of these shakes should definitely be taken immediately after a workout. The other could be taken between meals sometime throughout the day.
Important Note: If you find that it’s taking more than 3-4 protein shakes to fill in your gaps of the amount of protein you have eat via whole food and the amount of protein you still need to consume, then you are not eating enough whole food. I feel that anything more than 2-3 protein shakes/day is excessive. Too many people approach supplements BACKWARDS. It’s almost like they are taking more supplements than actual food. They try to get most of their nutrition from supplements and then fill in the gaps with a little bit of real food. The majority of your nutrients should always come from whole food. Always!
There you have it, the answer to the age old question – How Many Protein Shakes A Day.
P.S. If you enjoyed this article and want to know more about which supplements can help you reach your goals. Make sure you download a copy of my Muscle Building Blueprint.