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Protein shakes are the most convenient way to increase your protein intake, but two protein shakes a day may not be worth doing every day.
- If it’s the difference between whether you’re consuming enough protein, you should consider having two protein shakes daily. Everyone has different daily protein requirements, and those with a higher intake may struggle to consume enough protein with whole foods alone.
- Those in a bulking phase, that have higher caloric requirements, may prefer getting more protein in liquid form so that they’re not feeling uncomfortably full all day.
- However, if you can consume enough protein from whole food sources instead, you shouldn’t have two protein shakes daily. This is because whole foods will have a better nutrient profile than whey protein.
Is It Bad To Have 2 Protein Shakes A Day?
Having 2 protein shakes a day isn’t bad for you; however, that doesn’t mean that you should do it all the time.
The main thing to consider if you’re having whey protein powder more often is if you’re lacking proper nutrition from food because you’re having a supplement instead.
Having 2 protein shakes a day is only a health concern if the protein powder that you’re using isn’t good quality.
This is why I always recommend buying protein powders online that are third-party tested for their label accuracy and ingredient quality.
That way you know exactly what you’re putting into your body, especially if you choose to consume protein powder more often.
If a supplement has been Third-Party tested then the company will be advertising it, if you don’t see them mention it then it’s probably not Third-Party Tested.
You can also look for a certification stamp on the product because the company that has verified this product will feature their stamp of approval on the product’s packaging.
Reasons Why You Should Drink 2 Protein Shakes A Day
The main reason why you would want to consume 2 protein shakes a day is that you’re not consuming enough protein. There are multiple reasons why you might not be getting enough protein from whole foods.
You may need 2 protein shakes per day to consume adequate protein if:
- You have dietary restrictions
- You’re always on the go
- You prefer liquids to get more calories in
You Have Dietary Restrictions
If you have dietary restrictions because you have a food intolerance or food preferences that prevent you from getting enough protein throughout the day, then it could be beneficial for you to have 2 protein shakes a day.
The highest food sources are animal products like poultry, fish, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and eggs but if you have dietary restrictions you might be extremely limited when it comes to whole food protein sources.
If you’re lactose intolerant and can’t consume dairy, or you’re vegan/vegetarian, then it could be difficult to get enough protein throughout the day.
For this reason, it would be worth investing in a protein powder that is lactose-free and/or dairy-free and consider 2 servings a day so that you can increase your daily protein intake.
The best protein powder for those with dietary restrictions is Naked Nutrition’s Pea Protein because it’s vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and free of artificial sweeteners.
You’re Always On The Go
Another reason why it may be a struggle to get enough protein throughout the day is if you’re always on the go because it can be challenging to take the time to sit down and eat a chicken breast or a bowl of greek yogurt.
For example, when I was in university and going from class to class it was so much easier to drink 2 protein shakes a day to get my protein in rather than sitting in a lecture eating a chicken breast or greek greek yogurt.
You Prefer Liquids To Get More Calories In
The final reason why it may be easier to have 2 protein shakes a day to get your protein in is if you have a higher calorie intake and therefore protein intake, and it’s difficult to meet these goals with whole foods.
If you’re someone who has a hard time gaining weight, or someone who needs a lot of calories to maintain weight because you have lots of muscle mass, then it may be a struggle for you to eat enough for your goals.
Liquid calories are easier to digest than solid foods so it’s best to prioritize them so that you’re not feeling physically ill when trying to eat enough calories for your goals.
Having 2 protein shakes a day is likely the best course of action for you to meet your calorie/protein goals when you require a higher intake.
Related Article: 1 or 2 Scoops of Protein Powder: How Much Is Right For You?
Pros of Drinking 2 Protein Shakes Daily
It’s important to note that the following benefits could all be accomplished by eating enough whole foods and reaching your protein goals that way; however, protein powder is a more convenient option, therefore it’s easier to achieve these benefits with protein powder.
Higher Protein Intake
The main benefit of consuming 2 protein shakes a day is that you’re increasing your protein intake by around 40-70 grams depending on the brand of protein that you choose.
If you didn’t have 2 protein shakes a day, then perhaps you wouldn’t achieve the same amount of protein per day, which could hold you back from reaching your health and fitness goals.
Encourages Muscle Gain
Another benefit of having 2 protein shakes per day is that it will help encourage muscle gain because to gain muscle you need an adequate protein intake.
I recommend that you consume 1 gram of protein per pound of your bodyweight to ensure that you’re consuming enough protein to encourage muscle protein synthesis, which is a precursor for muscle growth.
This could be challenging if you’re only using food sources, but having 2 protein shakes a day would certainly help you get closer to that goal.
Prevents Muscle Loss
Having 2 protein shakes a day would also help you to prevent any muscle loss that could occur if you’re dieting because when you’re dieting you’re much more likely to lose muscle mass.
If you’re having 2 protein shakes a day while dieting then you’ll have a portion of the protein you need to maintain muscle.
Helps With Recovery
Consuming 2 protein shakes per day is also helpful for encouraging recovery from training because your muscles are broken down while strength training and need protein to be able to repair and build back stronger.
If you’re training hard in the gym but not consuming enough protein, then you may notice that your ability to recover is diminished.
Having 2 protein shakes a day could be the difference between feeling recovered enough to train optimally or having to take more days off from the gym.
Keeps Hunger At Bay
The last benefit of having 2 protein shakes a day is that protein helps to keep hunger at bay because it suppresses your hunger hormones so that you feel satisfied for longer periods.
If you’re dieting and are consuming fewer calories, then having 2 protein shakes a day can help you to feel more satisfied throughout the day rather than hungry.
If you’re less hungry while dieting, then you’re more likely to adhere to your diet and see better results.
Cons of Drinking 2 Protein Shakes Daily
One of the drawbacks of having 2 protein shakes per day is that by having a supplement form of protein, you’re missing out on nutrients that you would get from whole foods.
Whole foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function optimally, so by replacing whole foods with a supplement, you’re missing out on some nutrients.
Increased Risk Of Unwanted Additives
When you’re having 2 protein shakes a day, you’re increasing your chances of consuming unwanted additives, like cheap fillers, that you could avoid if you were eating whole foods instead.
Protein powder is manufactured by companies and some companies aren’t forthright about what they’re actually putting into their supplements because they want to save costs.
Some common fillers are coconut flour or milk powder, which are cheaper ingredients but take away from the total protein of the product. This is why I only purchase supplements that are third-party tested, and you should too.
Although liquids are easier to digest than solid foods, if your protein powder has ingredients that you’re sensitive to like artificial sweeteners or lactose, then having 2 protein shakes a day is going to severely impair your digestion.
If your protein powder is impacting your digestion, then it’s not worth having 2 protein shakes per day.
That said, you could try a different protein powder like Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Which is free of dairy, gluten, soy, and artificial sweeteners to see if your symptoms improve.
Will Drinking 2 Protein Shakes A Day Help Me Build Muscle?
Drinking 2 protein shakes a day can help you to build more muscle because consuming enough protein is a necessity for building muscle.
This could be a gamechanger for those who really struggle to eat enough protein. Without 2 protein shakes a day some people could be severely limiting their muscle-building potential.
Along with consuming enough protein though, you would still need to put in the work in the gym to stimulate your muscles to adapt.
Will Drinking 2 Protein Shakes A Day Help Me Lose Weight?
Drinking 2 protein shakes a day won’t necessarily help you to lose weight because calories are the most important factor when weight loss is the goal.
If you’re eating too many calories, then you won’t lose weight by having 2 protein shakes a day.
However, if you’re eating in a calorie deficit (fewer calories than your body needs to maintain weight), then you could lose weight by having 2 protein shakes per day.
Having 2 protein shakes a day could be really helpful while in a calorie deficit because eating enough protein is crucial for maintaining muscle mass as you diet.
7 Considerations When Drinking 2 Protein Shakes A Day
1. Don’t Neglect Whole Foods
If you decide to have 2 protein shakes a day then you should prioritize whole foods in your other meals and snacks of the day so that you’re getting enough of the micronutrients that your body needs to function optimally.
You can add fruit into your protein shake by making it a smoothie to add whole foods into your protein shake or make sure that your other meals of the day have a protein, carb, fat, and fruit or veggie so that the other meals are loaded with nutrients.
2. Pick The Right Brand Of Protein Powder
The brand of protein powder that you use is important so that you’re not using a protein that contains unwanted additives.
Additionally, if you’re noticing that your protein shake is leaving you with gas, bloating, or other digestive issues then you should pick a different brand.
3. Change Up How You Consume Protein Powder
To add extra variety when having 2 protein shakes a day, you can try mixing it with different liquids or even stirring it into oatmeal or yogurt.
Changing up the way you consume your protein powder will make it more enjoyable and it will also increase the variety of nutrients that you’re consuming, which is great for your overall health.
My favorite ways to mix protein powder are:
- Mixed into oatmeal and topped with berries
- In a smoothie with peanut butter and banana
- Combined with greek yogurt and topped with granola
- Blended with frozen bananas and water (or milk) to make “ice cream”
4. Prioritize Whole Food Proteins At Other Meals/Snacks
It’s best to consume whole food sources of protein at the meals and snacks that you’re not having a protein shake so that you’re meeting your daily protein goals and increasing your nutrient variety.
The more variety you have with your protein sources (beans, chicken, salmon, greek yogurt), the more nutrients that you’ll absorb because each food has different health benefits.
5. Number Of Scoops Per Shake
Another consideration is how many scoops of protein you’re putting into each protein shake, which should be based on your daily protein goal.
You may not need more than one scoop of protein per meal depending on what you weigh, because research suggests that consuming 0.18 grams of protein per pound of body weight per meal (0.18 g/lb/meal) will maximize your muscle building potential at each meal.
Consuming more than this may not be worth it because your body may not properly absorb the protein you ingest if it’s beyond the recommended amount per meal.
Based on this research, I would suggest that you spread out your protein shakes and whole food sources of protein throughout the day so that you’re ingesting around 0.18 g/lb/meal but absorbing it more efficiently.
You could spread out your shakes like this:
- Breakfast: Protein Shake + Banana + Peanut Butter
- Lunch: Whole Food Protein Source + Fruit or Veg + Carb + Fat
- Pre-Workout: Greek Yogurt + Berries + Granola
- Post-Workout: Protein Shake (powder mixed with chocolate milk)
- Supper: Whole Food Protein Source + Veg + Carb + Fat
Having 2 protein shakes per day helps you consume enough protein when you’re in a pinch, but you shouldn’t plan to do this every day, especially long term; it’s best to consume whole food protein sources instead.
It’s best to keep the frequency of having 2 shakes per day low to get more nutrients from whole food sources.
7. Post-Workout Window
You can consume one of your protein shakes after a workout because it helps with muscle repair but it doesn’t have to be immediately after your workout like was once thought.
It was suggested in the past that if you didn’t consume a source of protein within 30 minutes of working out that you would miss the “anabolic window” and decrease your potential for muscle gain. However, research has proven this to be false.
The research shows that you should consume protein post-workout and that the post-exercise window could actually be closer to 1 ½ to 2 hours following a workout.
- Related Article: Protein Shakes After Cardio: Pros, Cons, & Should You Do It?
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is 2 Protein Shakes A Day Too Much?
Having 2 protein shakes isn’t too much as long as you’re not doing it every day, but if you are doing it every day, then you should really try to increase your consumption of whole food protein sources so that you’re not missing out on important nutrients.
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Chrysi Koliaki, Alexander Kokkinos, Nicholas Tentolouris, Nicholas Katsilambros, “The Effect of Ingested Macronutrients on Postprandial Ghrelin Response: A Critical Review of Existing Literature Data”, International Journal of Peptides, vol. 2010, Article ID 710852, 9 pages, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1155/2010/710852
Shenkin A. (2006). Micronutrients in health and disease. Postgraduate medical journal, 82(971), 559–567. https://doi.org/10.1136/pgmj.2006.047670
Brad Jon Schoenfeld & Alan Albert Aragon (2018) How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15:1, DOI: 10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1
Alan Albert Aragon & Brad Jon Schoenfeld (2013) Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window?, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10:1, DOI: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-5
About The Author
Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath. She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.
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