Owing to the increasing number of people trying to lose weight or work on their muscles, protein shakes consumption is on the rise. These products act as supplements to regular meals for those who are fasting and as a means of cutting down fat consumption for those who are on a weight loss routine.
With this increase in protein shakes consumption arises a critical question- how many proteins shakes is it safe to drink a day? This article will, therefore, tackle this problem furnishing you with all the necessary information that you need to know regarding your protein shakes intake.
How many protein shakes is it safe to drink a day?
One of the reasons why protein shakes are a darling to many is because of their ease of preparation. You can, therefore, carry your shake to work or the gym freely since all you need is some water and a spoon to stir the shake. Because of this reason, it is quite tempting to consume a lot of protein shakes in a day, especially if you are trying to lose weight rapidly. Even though this seems like a good idea because you get to tone down your fat intake, it is not recommended.
Overconsuming protein shakes predisposes you to the risk of missing out on essential nutrients which the body needs if it is to function optimally. The body needs nutrients such as carbohydrates for energy production, which is quite low on these shakes. The number of proteins shakes you can consume in a day is therefore tied to the net quantity of proteins that your body needs. This number does not only depend on how much you exercise but also your weight.
Here is a breakdown that will give you a clear illustration of the net quantity of proteins your body requires:
- For little to no exercises, the body requires 0.5 to 1 gram of protein per kilo of your body weight in a day.
- For light exercises, such as walking, the body needs 1.5 grams of proteins per kilo of your body weight
- For moderate activities, you need 2 grams of proteins.
- For intensive exercises, such as heavy weight lifting, you need 2.5 grams of proteins per kilo of your body weight.
How do I tell the amount of protein available in my shake? Simple. The quantity of proteins is usually indicated in the packaging of the container, which makes it easy to calculate the amount of powder that is safe for you in a day. From this breakdown, it is evident that you should not exceed three protein shakes in a day, regardless of whether you take them all at once or at intervals all through the day.
There are also a few considerations that might help as you consume your protein shakes. These are:
- Do not drink your shake before going to bed, either as a meal or a drink. Such practices are linked to obesity.
- It is highly recommended that you drink your shake with a meal and not as a meal substitute.
What happens if you drink several proteins shakes in a day?
It is common knowledge that everything needs to be done in moderation, be it good or bad. Drinking too much protein shakes, therefore, massively increases your protein intake, which is not necessarily healthy. Here are some of the repercussions:
- Digestive problems- Excess protein might cause digestive issues, especially in people who are intolerant to lactose.
- Weight issues- Protein shakes are highly recommended for weight loss. However, when you consume too much of it, the excess is usually stored as glycogen and fat, which might lead to weight gain.
Consuming too much protein shakes may be catastrophic to those with chronic kidney diseases. It does not, however, lead to kidney diseases. It might also worsen existing liver conditions such as cirrhosis due to excessive protein intake. This consumption does not, however, predispose you to such diseases.
Can you overdose on proteins?
Yes. Even though it is quite challenging to estimate overdose levels, it is possible for one to overdose on proteins. This occurs when the level of intake is higher than the body’s utility. The level of overdose also varies in different people because the net intake depends on factors such as sex, weight and physical activity.
Drinking too much protein shakes, therefore, predisposes you to protein overdose. You will consequently experience too much gas in your stomach, bloating and issues with digestion. You should, thus, tone down on protein intake after this. Overdosing on proteins might also lead to weight gain, just like we mentioned. There are also other serious side effects such as exposure to osteoporosis, heart diseases, kidney stones, and even kidney disease.
What is the best way to calculate your protein intake?
There are several ways of calculating your protein intake. The most accurate means of calculation will, however, take into account your weight. You can, therefore, calculate your protein intake in the following ways:
- As a percentage of daily calories
- Protein grams per day
i) As a percentage of daily calories
To determine your protein intake as a percentage of daily calories, you first have to determine the number of calories your body consumes or has consumed on the given day. According to USDA dietary guidelines, it is estimated that between 10-35 per cent of adults’ calorie intake consists of proteins.
Once you have known the number of calories you consume or have consumed in the particular day, multiply the number by 10 and 35 per cent respectively to work on the range. For example, for 3000 calories, the range id between 300- 1050 protein calories.
ii)Protein Grams per day
This is another good alternative to the first method, which gives you a specific grams figure. For this method, you will need to translate the percentage range into a particular protein gram range, which should not be difficult. Keep in mind that a gram of protein contains four calories. You should, therefore, divide the number of calorie range you got from the first method by four.
Going by our example, a person who consumes 3000 calories in a day has a range of between 300- 1050 calories. When you divide this by four, you will get a range of 75 to 262.5 g of proteins. Other methods require taking into account lean muscle mass and physical activity level, which is quite complicated.
Protein shakes are quite common, and therefore it is reasonable to be curious regarding their consumption. I hope that this article has answered the question, ”how many proteins shakes it safe to drink a day?”