It’s a common question, but no one seems to know answer – How Many Protein Shakes A Day Should You Drink?
Recently I was in the gym locker room and overheard an interesting conversation between two young guys.
- Guy 1: “If you want to build muscle you’ve got to drink at least 3 protein shakes a day”
- Guy 2: “I’m not interested in building muscle right now. I just want to get ripped first”
- Guy 1: “Well if you are trying to get ripped you can save your money, you don’t need any supplements”.
That conversation is what inspired me to write this post. So I’m going to answer once and for all exactly how many protein shakes you should be drinking per day.
First – Calculate your 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 .8-1.5g of protein for every lb of lean body weight you have. For example, a 200lb male who is 10% body fat would need to consume about 180g of protein.
Second – Get most of your protein from real food:
Protein shakes are a muscle building supplement and should be taken in addition to a sound meal plan. 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. I personally use an app called MyFitnessPal to track all of my calories, protein, carbs and fats.
If you have no idea how many calories and grams of protein, carbs and fat you should be eating. Check out my post on how to calculate your macros.
Finally – 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.
If throughout the day he consumed 130g of protein from whole food sources like chicken, fish and steak he’s still going to need to consume about 50g worth of protein from supplements like protein shakes. That’s about 2 protein shakes each day.
One of these shakes should definitely be taken immediately after a workout. The other could be taken between meals sometime throughout the day.
It’s as simple as that. However, you find that it takes more than 2 protein shakes to hit your daily protein requirements then you’re not eating enough real food. Anything more than 2 protein shakes per day is excessive.