These days, athletes and bodybuilders aren't the only ones gulping down a protein shake after a training session. Regular gym goers looking to lose weight and gain muscle don't consider their workout over until they have their post-workout protein drink.
Protein is what’s needed to aid muscle growth and repair, and other bodily functions. By replacing protein after a workout, the muscles in your body can rebuild and recover at an optimal level.
That said, how many protein shakes per day should you consume?
What are Your Daily Protein Needs?
But before asking how many shakes are recommended each day, it's more vital to ask how much protein your body needs first. Age, calorie needs, training schedule & type, and personal fitness goals need to be taken into account to determine daily protein needs.
The recommended protein intake is roughly 0.8g for each kilogram of body weight, per day. To translate, for an average 75kg man who doesn't work out, 60g of protein would meet the recommendation. If the aim is to build muscle and maintain lean mass, daily protein intake would need to increase to 1.4g to 2g per kilogram of body weight.
However, athletes and bodybuilders performing intense training or resistance exercise need much higher levels of protein. For high intensity regimes or specialised workouts, the suggested intake is 25g to 30g of high-quality protein at each meal in a day, with the same amount spread across snacks.
What Happens to Excess Protein?
Protein shakes are healthy and do so much more than just facilitate rapid muscle growth and recovery. They can also aid in weight loss by encouraging a feeling of fullness for longer and regulating blood sugar levels.
But all of this does not necessarily mean that drinking more protein shakes will equal better or faster results.
When you ingest more protein than your body needs, the excess protein will be stored as fat, while the extra amino acids will be excreted. Overdosing can also introduce more severe side effects, such as increased risks of osteoporosis and kidney disease.
How Many Protein Shakes Per Day Should You Have?
With your individual protein needs sorted out, you should now understand that the recommended number of protein shakes matters less, as long as you know how much protein you should take in each day. Depending on an individual’s fitness goals, body type, workout type, and the protein powder, the answer to "how many protein shakes per day?" will vary from person to person.
Generally, people who look to build muscles take around 2 to 5 protein shakes a day, based on the 1.4g to 2g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day guideline, which includes the protein consumed from real food.
Protein Powder is Supplementary
No matter what your aim is, whether you're an athlete, a bodybuilder, or a casual gym goer, it's important to remember that protein shakes are formulated to supplement a healthy, balanced diet– not replace it.
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