How Many Protein Shakes Per Day Is TOO MUCH?

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Protein shakes are the most convenient way to increase your protein intake, but is drinking multiple shakes daily overkill?  

Key Takeaways

  • Most people should not consume more than 1-2 protein shakes per day and aim to get the rest of their protein through whole foods. Protein shakes should not exceed 33% of daily protein intake.
  • Protein powders are processed foods and are stripped of many essential nutrients.  As such, protein shakes complement a diet already rich in varied protein sources, such as lean cuts of meat, eggs, and low-fat cottage cheese.
  • If you consume more than one protein shake daily, select high-quality, third-party-tested protein powders to guarantee purity and avoid consuming unwanted additives or fillers.

Check Out Our Whey Protein Intake Calculator to determine how much protein is suitable for you.

How Much Protein Should You Consume From Protein Shakes? 

While drinking protein shakes can greatly increase your protein intake, the bulk of your dietary protein should come from something other than this source.

I recommend getting no more than one-third (33%) of your daily protein from protein shakes to avoid nutrient deficiencies and other adverse side effects, such as digestive issues.

This means that the maximum number of protein shakes you consume daily will depend on your protein requirements.

For example, an individual who weighs 150 pounds and aims to eat 1 gram per pound of body weight could consume roughly 50 grams of protein in the form of protein shakes or approximately two protein shakes.

Avi Silverberg, Founder of, explains how drinking multiple protein shakes can help him meet his daily targets:

“My protein goal is around 200 grams per day.  I will drink two protein shakes daily to achieve this target, but only on days when I’m working out.  One scoop of protein post-workout and one mixed with milk before bed.  I’ve been doing this every day for the past 10+ years.  However, remember that only 50 grams total, or 25% of my overall daily protein intake, comes from supplements – a relatively low portion.  The majority of my protein is still consumed through whole foods, primarily animal-based sources”

– Avi Silverberg, MSc. Exercise Science

But can you have more than two scoops of protein per day? 


A person with a higher protein requirement (such as bodybuilders and athletes with high-calorie targets) could get away with consuming more than two protein shakes daily.

For example, three protein shakes per day (75 grams) could be consumed by someone with a daily protein requirement of 225 grams without exceeding 33% of their daily protein intake.

Reasons To Drink Multiple Protein Shakes A Day 

reasons to drink multiple protein shakes a day 

1. You Have Dietary Restrictions

Those with dietary restrictions and/or food intolerances that make it challenging to eat whole-food sources of protein such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy may benefit from multiple protein shakes a day.

For example, a lactose-free protein powder is a great choice for someone with lactose intolerance, while a plant-based protein powder is good for those on vegan/ vegetarian diets.

2. You’re Always On The Go

A protein shake requires no refrigeration, making it very easy to transport the dry powder and mix it in a shaker bottle with water. 

This makes it a convenient source of readily available protein when pressed for time or on the road.  

3. You Have A High Calorie And Protein Requirement

Multiple protein shakes a day may be necessary if you have a higher calorie/protein intake (seen in athletes and bodybuilders), and it’s challenging to meet these goals with whole foods.

Liquid calories are easier to digest than solid foods and are less filling, so it’s great to include these if you need a lot of calories to maintain your weight or have a tough time gaining weight. 

4. A Liquid Diet Is Medically Necessary

There are certain situations where a liquid diet may be required, such as after a medical incident or procedure. 

In this case, drinking multiple protein shakes per day would help you meet your protein goal and ultimately aid in the healing process.

Consuming full meal replacement protein shakes or protein shakes combined with whole foods will also ensure that you are getting enough carbs and fat for optimal healing.

5. Gram For Gram, Protein Shakes Cost Less

Protein shakes, gram for gram, can be noticeably cheaper than animal-based protein like beef, chicken, and fish, depending on the brand and quality of the protein powder you purchase. 

A serving of whey protein retails for between $0.60-$0.90 per serving, whereas a 4oz serving of animal protein costs between $1.20-$1.60, meaning that a protein powder can be as much as 50% cheaper per serving.

Is It Bad To Have Multiple Protein Shakes A Day?

Having multiple protein shakes a day isn’t bad for you; however, that doesn’t mean you should do it all the time.  

Here are the main things to consider when consuming a high amount of protein using supplements: 

1. Whey Protein Alone Has Fewer Nutrients Compared With Whole Foods

One of the drawbacks of having multiple protein shakes per day is that you’re missing out on nutrients you would get from whole foods by having a supplement form of protein.

“While protein shakes can help you achieve your daily protein intake, they lack essential nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. If you manage to get all your essential nutrients in your other meal times, then there are no health concerns. However, if you are replacing your primary meals with protein shakes, you run the risk of developing nutritional deficiency in the long-term.”

Brenda Peralta

To ensure you get enough nutrients, aim to consume the majority of protein from various whole food sources (e.g., chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, dairy products, etc) and the rest from protein shakes.

2. There Is An Increased Risk of Unwanted Additives When Using Whey Protein

When you’re having multiple protein shakes a day, you’re increasing your chances of consuming unwanted additives.

Since some protein powder companies aren’t forthright about the ingredients in their supplements, I recommend buying protein powders online that are third-party tested for their label accuracy and ingredient quality.

3. Whey Protein Can Cause Digestive Issues

If your protein powder has ingredients you’re sensitive to, like artificial sweeteners or lactose, then having multiple protein shakes a day could severely impair your digestion.

Also, when consumed alone, a lack of fiber in protein shakes can result in constipation

Will Drinking Multiple Protein Shakes A Day Help Me Build MORE Muscle?

Drinking multiple protein shakes daily can help you build muscle, but only if you struggle to hit your daily caloric and protein targets.

That said, adding protein shakes into your diet alone will not be enough to gain muscle mass.

Maintaining a consistent calorie surplus while regularly engaging in resistance exercise is the most important element in building muscle mass.

You could be drinking multiple protein shakes daily, but if you are consistently undereating in overall calories, you won’t be able to build muscle.

Adequate protein intake is also a very important factor if your goal is to build muscle. 

While the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for protein is set at 0.36g/lb of bodyweight, much research suggests that it is closer to 0.7-1g/lb of bodyweight if you are an athlete and your goal is to build muscle.

For this reason, adding protein shakes into your diet to complement the protein you are getting from whole food sources could help you reach your protein targets and, in turn, contribute to muscle gain.

Will Drinking Multiple Protein Shakes A Day Help Me Lose MORE Weight?

Drinking multiple protein shakes a day could aid in weight loss. Research suggests that consuming more of your calories from protein is beneficial when trying to lose body fat. 

A higher protein intake will help you to retain more muscle mass while you are in a calorie deficit, which will help to keep your metabolism high since muscle burns more calories at rest.

However, drinking multiple protein shakes a day will only aid in weight loss if you are also in a calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than you’re burning) because your body has to be in a consistent calorie deficit to lose weight.

To maximize weight loss efforts, aim for 25-35% of your calories to come from daily protein.

If you struggle to get enough protein from whole foods, protein shakes can be a great tool for hitting your protein targets on your weight loss journey.

If You Plan On Drinking Multiple Protein Shakes A Day, Follow These Tips

if you plan on drinking multiple protein shakes a day, follow these tips

1. Don’t Neglect Whole Foods

It is important to prioritize whole foods outside of your protein shake intake to ensure you are getting enough micronutrients for optimal body function.

Be sure to eat plenty of whole-food protein sources (beans, chicken, salmon, Greek yogurt), and try adding foods like nuts, seeds, greens, and fruit to your blended protein shake for a balanced meal. 

2. Pick The Right Brand Of Protein Powder

Make sure to choose a protein powder that is third-party tested for additives and banned substances, as well as one with a flavor and texture that you enjoy. 

If you’re having a hard time with the taste of your current protein powder, check out the following article:

3. Change Up How You Consume Protein Powder

Mixing your protein powder into foods like oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or a smoothie will make it more enjoyable while also increasing the variety of nutrients you are consuming. 

You can also mix your protein powder into various liquids other than water, such as cow’s milk, almond or coconut milk, and even orange juice.

4. Consume Each Protein Shake in Separate Meals

While you could combine multiple scoops of protein into one shake and consume them as one meal, you are likely better off consuming them at separate meals.

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. 

For example, if you weigh 160 lbs, your optimal protein consumption per serving is around 29 grams.

160kg X 0.18 grams of protein = 28.8 grams of protein per 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.  


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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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