Anyone who has ever tried gaining muscle, losing weight, or some combination of the two knows that it’s not always easy. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are biceps, glutes, or quads. It takes hard work, patience and perseverance. Whilst, no, there isn’t necessarily shortcuts on the road to health and well-being, it is well known amongst the fitness community that protein supplements, specifically protein shakes/powder, make a big difference in supporting and propelling gains.
While making and drinking protein shakes is just as much a part of getting ready for the gym as putting on your shoes, some people still wonder if there is such a thing as ‘too much’ protein. Short answer: Nope! Even if you’re not worried about a protein overdose, you might be curious as to how many protein shakes you should be drinking a day and when. We’re here to help!
To answer the larger question, we have to answer a few scientific questions first. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple.
How Much Protein Do I Need Per Day?
According to The National Institute of Health, the average person needs .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. But, there are several other factors involved in determining how much protein is right for you. When you figure in your age, height, goals and lifestyle, this number can grow to up to 2.2-4.4 grams per kilogram of body weight. Of course, that’s only the case if the individual is training for a bodybuilding competition.
So that you don’t have to pull out your calculator, we’ll run some numbers for you. A sedentary man who weighs 200 pounds should be consuming around 70 grams of protein per day. On the other hand, a body builder in training who weighs 175 pounds (all muscle!) would need 175 grams of protein a day. An active, lean woman who weighs 160 pounds should be consuming around 85 grams per day. There is no exact science but (understandably) active people need more protein to support their muscles. Which brings us to our next point...
Why is Protein Good for Me?
Protein is so important when it comes to muscle recovery and growth. After all, these amino acids are quite literally the building blocks of muscle tissue. It also helps with endurance, focusing and in getting a better night’s sleep. We could go on and on about how vital protein is, but let’s stick the original question. For more information on protein and its benefits, check out this blog which details all the different sources of protein and their benefits.
Why Protein Shakes?
You can find protein in an abundance of different foods, most notably meat, seafood, eggs, grains, nuts and vegetables. So why are protein shakes the go-to for so many athletes and gym goers? It’s simple: they’re convenient, affordable and fast-acting. If - like we said - a body builder in training needs 175 grams of protein a day, he’d spend more time in the kitchen than he would at the gym!
One chicken breast, 195-200 grams of cooked brown rice, 150-160 grams of steamed vegetables equates to 60 grams of protein. Not bad, right? But the gentleman from our example would have to whip up that meal four times a day in order to get what his body needs.
If he added protein shakes to his diet, he’d save time and money.
How Much Protein is in Each Shake?
Protein shakes can contain anywhere from 20-50 grams of protein. At SCI-MX we have a wide range of products perfect for any and every lifestyle. Our 100 percent plant-based powder Superfood Protein Smoothie contains 46g per 100g serving while our WHEY PLUS HARDCORE™ contains 76g in the same serving. We have dozens of other protein powders that are specifically designed to help you meet your fitness goals and we’re conscious that protein powders aren’t one size (or flavor!) fits all.
Bear in mind, you can add protein to your shake by including oats, fruits and vegetables. Check out this list of recipes for delicious protein shakes that use our wide range of protein powders.
So, How Many Can I Have Per Day?
Naturally, this depends on how many grams of protein you’re packing into each shake. It’s common, though, for very active people to consume 1-2 shakes per day. But, it’s important that you don’t introduce too much protein into your body at the expense of other macronutrients. Protein shakes should be used to supplement an otherwise healthy diet.
If you are packing your protein into a few shakes per day, here’s a possible timeline. Bear in mind, everyone is different!
Protein Shake #1 - First thing in the morning. After eight hours of sleep, your body (muscles in particular) will be craving protein. We choose to go for overnight oats or add ice cubes to our shakes from the freezer. Extra cool for hot summer mornings.
Protein Shake #2/#3 - Between meals as a snack, not a meal replacement (unless you have chosen our DIET PRO MEAL. 11 O'clock and 3pm seem to be the cupboard rummaging hours at SCI-MX HQ.
Protein Shake #4 - After a workout - we've all experienced the scramble to eat ANYTHING after you've been beasted at circuits but instead of having a high sugar snack to hand, satisfy your hunger with a shake. Mix with cold water & get it down within an hour of finishing.