Protein, as read, is fundamental. Our body needs it to build muscle and repair from injuries. If you are working out, you can consider supplementing your daily diet with protein shakes. But is it possible to overdo it? How many protein shakes a day is too much?
Is it safe to have more than one protein shake a day?
Yes. It’s safe to consume multiple protein shakes a day, but the experts we spoke to recommended limiting your intake to three.
What if I drink protein shakes all day?
“Drinks a lot a day [four-plus] Protein shakes probably won’t cause harm but can be physically quite uncomfortable,” says Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, a registered dietitian in Miami. She says consuming too much protein can cause GI symptoms that can include :
- upset stomach
Another potential pitfall: drinking too many protein shakes in a day can detract from the intake of other essential macros.
“If someone eats four to five protein shakes a day, that really limits their intake of vegetables and fiber, as well as other nutrients that are typically found in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, fruits, and vegetables,” says Brittany Modell, MS, RD, CDN. A registered New York City dietitian.
Can you overdose on protein?
No, but overdosing on regular protein can cause some unpleasant side effects.
“Protein is not a drug—you can’t ‘overdose’ on it—but [chronically] Consuming too much of it can… cause excess fat storage (as any nutrient excess can) and cause gastrointestinal discomfort,” says Auslander Moreno.
Getting too much protein is a waste of money and can even sabotage your weight-loss or fitness goals.
“When someone consumes excess protein, there’s a certain point where your body can no longer absorb it,” Modell says. “Your body doesn’t store excess protein like it does carbohydrates; That excess protein will either be converted to fat or excreted.”
Calculate your protein intake
So, how much protein does an average person need per day?
For most people, .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight should be enough, but if you exercise regularly, shoot for 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. If your workouts are intense (think HIIT or heavy strength training), you should aim for more – up to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
Here’s a handy chart that shows how much protein you need per day by body weight.
The best course is moderation: one or two shakes a day.
“When discussing protein shakes with my patients, I always bring it back that they’re a supplement,” says Michelle Greider, RDN, a registered dietitian at Bethany Medical Clinic in New York City. “They are there for convenience, when needed, to supplement a healthy, balanced diet — not to replace any real food.”
Start incorporating shakes into your diet the right way with Shakeology, which contains 16 to 17 grams of pea protein, 6 grams of fiber and over 60 ingredients to help you eat better, feel better and live better. For protein powders specifically targeted for performance and recovery, reach for Beachbody Performance Recovery whey and plant-based varieties, which provide high-quality protein with amino acids to support muscle growth and repair.