It’s a common question, but no one seems to know answer – How Many Protein Shakes A Day Should You Drink?
I was in the gym locker room and overheard an interesting conversation between two young guys.
Guy A: “If you want to build muscle you’ve got to drink at least 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: “Well if you are trying to get ripped you can save your money, you don’t need any supplements”.
That conversation inspired me to write this post. So I’m going to address just exactly how many protein shakes you should be drinking per day.
Side note: Not all protein supplements are the same. Many labels claim that there is much more protein than there actually is.
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First - 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 - Make sure we’re 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 - 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.
If you really want a body that turns head you need to track your protein, carbs and fat. Check out my post on how to calculate your macros
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.
I use and recommend Optimum Nutrition whey protein – I’ve tried just about every protein brand out there and this has worked the best, taste the best and it’s the best value.
Note: If it takes more than 3 protein shakes to reach your daily protein goal, then you’re simply not eating enough real food. Anything more than 2-3 protein shakes/day is excessive. Most of your daily protein should come from whole food.
There you have it, mystery solved to the age old question – How Many Protein Shakes A Day.