Can You Drink Whey Protein Every Day? Drawbacks Explained

Whey protein is the most convenient way to add more protein to your diet, but overconsuming it has potential consequences.

Key Takeaways

  • You can drink whey protein daily if it’s the difference between consuming enough protein to hit your daily target or not. This is especially the case if you’re an active individual with higher protein requirements.
  • Some people may experience digestive issues when consuming a lot of whey protein. As such, you should prioritize whole food sources of protein when possible.
  • Although whey protein is a great option when you’re not getting enough protein from whole foods, there is such a thing as overdoing it. Don’t exceed 1/3 of your daily protein intake from whey protein powder.

3 Benefits of Drinking Whey Protein Every Day

Pros vs Cons of drinking whey protein every day

1. Increased Potential for Muscle Retention/Gain

One of the main benefits of drinking whey protein every day is that it increases your potential for muscle retention and muscle gain.

When you’re bulking, an adequate protein intake is the difference between maintaining muscle or gaining muscle.

Similarly, when you’re cutting calories, an adequate protein intake is the difference between losing muscle or maintaining muscle.

2. Increased Satiety

Another benefit of consuming whey protein every day is that it helps keep you more satiated, which is extremely important when you’re dieting.

An adequate protein intake helps to regulate your hunger hormones by helping to turn off your hunger hormone “ghrelin” and increasing your satiety hormone “leptin.”

The more satisfied you feel, the easier it will be to stick to your diet, and the better your fat loss results will be.

3. Conveniently Increased Protein Intake

Drinking whey protein is also much more convenient than sitting down and eating food.

When you run out of whole food protein sources or there’s nothing cooked (chicken, beef, eggs), it’s easier to reach for a whey protein shake that takes less than a minute to throw together.

If you’re too lazy to cook or you’re on the go, the convenience factor of drinking whey protein every day is just what you need to help you reach your protein goals.

Are There Drawbacks of Drinking Whey Protein Every Day? 

1. Nutrient Deficiencies

When consuming whey protein every day, there is an increased potential for nutrient deficiencies, especially if you’re overconsuming protein powder and under-consuming whole foods sources of protein.

Whole food protein sources like chicken, Greek yogurt, fish, and eggs all have essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs in addition to protein.

Protein supplements like whey protein don’t contain these essential nutrients.

2. Unknown Substances

When consuming whey protein powder, there is always a chance that you’re consuming substances you don’t intend to consume because supplements aren’t monitored as closely by the FDA.

It’s not uncommon for supplement companies to use cheap fillers in their products that don’t contribute to the protein content of the product to cut costs.

3. Digestive Issues

The last potential side effect is an increase in nausea and digestive issues because whey protein powder has ingredients that many people are sensitive to, like dairy, lactose, and artificial sweeteners.

If you’re sensitive to one or more of these ingredients but only have whey protein every once in a while, it may not be a big deal.

However, if you’re dealing with these issues and drinking whey protein every day, it could be more serious.

Deciding Whether To Chug Your Daily Protein Shake or Not

You should consider drinking protein every day if you’re:

Always On the Go

If you’re always on the go, drinking whey protein every day is a good idea.

Otherwise, you may not consume enough calories or protein to keep your body functioning optimally.

Instead of skipping meals and snacks or reaching for a lower quality option that isn’t high enough in protein, you should consider having a protein shake instead.

Not Meeting Your Protein Goals

If you’re struggling to meet your protein goals, having daily protein shakes is recommended because it will increase your protein intake by at least 25 grams.

Consuming an adequate amount of protein is important regardless of your goals (lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight) to preserve muscle mass or gain more.

Although most of your protein should come from whole food sources, having a protein shake can help to get you closer to your protein goals.

Struggling To Eat Enough Calories

If you have a higher caloric intake that makes it challenging to consume enough calories to support your goals, it’s worth having whey protein every day in a shake combined with sources of carbs and fats to increase your caloric intake.

Liquid calories are easier to digest, so drinking more of your calories in a shake can help you to increase your intake without feeling overly full. 

Additionally, when your caloric intake is higher, your protein intake is generally higher as well, so having a liquid meal that has a protein source like whey protein is also very helpful.

Who Should NOT Be Drinking Whey Protein Every Day? 

  • Those who have no trouble getting enough protein from whole foods: If you’re meeting your protein needs with whole foods most days, there’s no need for you to include protein powder every day because you’re already consuming enough protein.

3 Mistakes To Avoid When Drinking Whey Protein Every Day

3 mistakes to avoid when drinking whey protein every day

The mistakes to avoid when drinking whey protein every day are:

1. Having More Protein Sources From Whey Protein Than Whole Food

If you’re consuming more protein from whey protein than whole food sources of protein, your likelihood of becoming deficient in key nutrients will increase.

Even though whey protein can be extremely helpful, it cannot compete with whole food sources of protein, which have vitamins and minerals that are essential for your health. 

Whey protein is good in a pinch and meant to be used when whole food sources aren’t available or convenient, but you should still aim to consume more of your protein from whole food protein sources.

2. Using Protein by Itself as a Meal Replacement

Oftentimes when people get busy, they’ll reach for a protein shake (protein + water/milk) as a meal replacement, but this is a mistake because a basic protein shake doesn’t have all of the nutrients that are required for a balanced meal.

A balanced meal should have a source of protein, carbs, fats, and color (fruits and vegetables). A balanced meal is ideal because meals that have all of these nutrients will prevent nutrient deficiencies, provide you with energy, and keep you satisfied longer.

If you were to only have protein powder mixed with water or milk, you’d be missing out on almost all of the other nutrients besides protein. A basic whey protein shake should only be used as a snack to help hold you over to your next meal and shouldn’t replace a meal.

However, if you were to add more nutrients to your whey protein shake, it could be a meal replacement. 

You would need to add:

  • Carbs (oats, fruit juice)
  • Fat (flaxseeds, nut butter)
  • Color (fruit, greens)

3. Buying Protein Powders That Aren’t Third-Party Tested

Another mistake people make when drinking whey protein every day is using a protein powder that isn’t third-party tested because they may not even be getting a quality source of protein in sufficient quantities.

Supplements that aren’t third-party tested have not been tested to see if their label is accurate, if they actually contain the ingredients that it claims to contain, or if the quality is as good as they say.

If it’s not being tested by a third party, then you’re really just crossing your fingers and hoping that the company is being truthful, which is why I only buy protein powders online that are third-party tested.

I prefer brands that are being held accountable to tell the truth about what’s in their product, the true quality of their ingredients, and how much protein their protein powder provides.

What To Read Next


Wendy AM Blom and others, Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 83, Issue 2, February 2006, Pages 211–220,

Gupta, U. C., & Gupta, S. C. (2014). Sources and Deficiency Diseases of Mineral Nutrients in Human Health and Nutrition: A Review. Pedosphere, 24(1), 13-38.

Guo, E. L., & Katta, R. (2017). Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatology practical & conceptual, 7(1), 1–10.

About The Author

Amanda Parker

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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