The amount of whey protein you should take each day depends on your own needs and goals. After reading this article you’ll know exactly how much you need to drink every day. Whether your goal is to build more muscle, lose fat, or improve your overall health.
TLDR; How Much Whey Protein Do You Need?
- Whether you want to lose fat, build muscle, or boost your health, aim for 1 gram of protein per day equal to your goal body weight.
- Use whey protein to get any additional protein you’re not getting from protein which foods.
- Research finds 50 grams of whey protein a day works best for muscle gains, fat loss, and overall health.
- This is equal to about 2 scoops per serving of a high quality protein like all natural Better Whey.
- It’s okay to drink more if necessary, but try to eat high protein foods too like meat, dairy, and seafood as each has their own benefits.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to use whey protein shakes to help your body meet its daily protein requirements.
The first thing to figure out is how much total protein do you need to eat every day.
A general rule of thumb is if you are working out to get or stay lean and strong, your body will require about 1 gram per pound of your ideal body weight.
So, if your goal body weight is 175 pounds, you want to make sure you take in 175 grams of protein per day. For many of us, eating this much protein every day can be difficult to do since protein is very filling. It’s also not always convenient.
This is where whey protein becomes so useful. Since you can get between 25 – 75 grams (1-3 scoops) of the highest quality protein in a single shake, it makes meeting your daily needs easy. All you have to do is mix up a shake in a little water and you’ve met your needs with cooking and stuffing down more meat.
That’s why I consider whey protein shakes to be the ultimate insurance policy for not just meeting this requirement but building the strongest, leanest, healthiest body possible.
So, to answer the question asked at the beginning of this article, as long as you’re getting protein from other foods, you will need to drink 1-2 shakes with 2 scoops of protein powder per serving (total protein of 50-100 grams).
Since we all have different goals, this recommendation can vary. Below I break down into more detail how much whey you should take whether you want to lose fat, build muscle, or improve your overall health.
How Much Whey To Take For Fat Loss
Studies show that whey protein can help you lose excess body fat faster. This is because it keeps you full so you eat less, is an easy way to track calories and macros, and contains large amounts of specific amino acids called BCAAs which help you lose stubborn belly fat.
The latest research and my own experience finds 2-3 scoops (50-75 grams) a day does the trick. If you’re eating less protein you may need to drink a second shake.
I often do this when I’m really cutting carbs and calories since a shake only has about 200 calories per serving and about 6 grams of carbs.
How Much Whey Do You Need To Build Muscle?
The amount of whey you drink for building muscle doesn’t likely need to be more than if you’re dieting to lose fat.
Remember it’s also possible to do both at the same time, if that’s your goal.
Back to building muscle. Make sure you drink 1-2 shakes a day (50 – 100 grams of protein) to meet your needs. Just like fat loss, building muscle require you to eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of your goal body weight.
This may be a greater total amount of protein than when you’re cutting weight since your caloric requirements are greater but the amount of protein per pound of body weight is the same.
You can actually go higher than this if you want to try, studies find it safe. Some people find going up to 2 grams of protein a day may help you build more muscle faster.
This is where protein shakes help. It’s way easier to get down 50-75 grams of extra protein in a second or third shake than it is to eat that much meat and eggs.
Studies show that when you combine whey shakes with an intense strength program it’s possible to gain 6 pounds of additional muscle – and sometimes more – just by adding whey protein shakes to your nutrition plan.
My favorite thing to do is combine whey shakes with creatine for even more muscle and strength building power.
How Much Whey To Drink For Optimal Health
Whey shakes aren’t just for building muscle and getting rid of belly fat. It has plenty of health benefits too.
Drinking a shake with 2 scoops (about 50 grams) a day is shown to boost several measures of your health. It’s also typically enough to help you meet your daily protein requirements.
Some of whey’s health related benefits are:
- Stabilizing your blood sugar levels. This keeps your energy consistent throughout the day and keeps cravings for unhealthy foods in check.
- Reducing inflammation throughout your body. Studies find that whey protein reduces something called C reactive protein in your body, a chemical that can help show how much inflammation we have going on inside our body. While not all inflammation is bad, excessive amounts of extended times can lead to many different diseases and health conditions we want to avoid (obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart problems, etc.).
- Whey Helps Your Body’s Natural Antioxidant Army. Whey is high in a nutrient called cysteine. It’s one of the few foods that contains it in large amounts. Cysteine is important because it helps your body make a super powerful antioxidant called glutathione. Unlike antioxidant supplements, which don’t seem to be very helpful, enabling your body to make more glutathione does an awesome job at mopping up free radicals and protecting our health.
- Wheys May Lower Your Cholesterol. While the data is a little limited, it appears that drinking whey protein shakes can lower LDL and total cholesterol levels. Both can be unhealthy for our heart when they’re too high.
When Should You Drink Whey Protein?
For the most part, the best time to drink whey protein is whenever it works for you. More than anything, getting enough protein to meet your daily needs and achieve your goals matters most.
Whether it’s first thing in the morning, pre or post-workout, as a snack, or with a meal, what matters most is that you use whey protein shakes as a convenient source of the highest quality protein every day.
What About Drinking Whey Post-Workout?
That being said, there is scientific evidence that finds drinking within an hour post-workout can help your muscles repair and recover faster.
Results from a study that fed men about 50 grams of whey, chicken, or beef post-workout finds that it helps to both build more muscle and lose fat faster than drinking or eating no protein at this time.
In just 8 weeks of lifting weights and taking in post-workout protein, these guys gained around 5 pounds of muscle and lost 2-3 pounds of fat. How awesome!
The control group, who drank down a carbohydrate only drink similar to Gatorade did not gain or lose a significant amount of muscle.
All of the subjects increased their max strength in the benchpress and deadlift.
Which Whey Protein Is The Best?
When you’re choosing a whey protein shake make sure of a few key things. You can get all of this information by reading the Supplement Facts and Ingredients section of its label.
- That it’s all natural. This means no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. Look for it to use stevia as a sweetener and nothing else. Cocoa powder is all natural so don’t worry about that.
- No filler ingredients are used. This includes: branched chain amino acids, Creatine, maltodextrin, and… Some companies add these and other ingredients to ‘spike’ the product’s protein content and add more volume to the canister. This helps them make more profit. What you get is less whey protein, the most important ingredient of all.
- Every serving (1 scoop) has at least 23 grams of protein. This makes it easy to get close to 50 (or more) grams of protein in just 2-3 scoops per shake. It’s also a good indicator that you’re not getting any of the filler ingredients I mention above.
- It’s low in carbohydrates, and fats. You’re paying for muscle-building, fat burning protein, not carbs and fats which you can get easily from food. Plus, you may be limiting carbs and even fat to a degree for your health and weight loss. Look for 2-3 grams at most of each.
- Digestive enzymes are added to the formula. Quality protein powders like Better Whey use specific enzymes so you better digest and assimilate the protein you’re drinking. This means less chance of an upset stomach after drinking a shake. It also helps your body utilize more of the protein for growth, repair, and fat loss.
- Whey protein isolate is one of its proteins. This form of whey protein is filtered to remove as much lactose and other unnecessary ingredients. So you get as much protein per serving possible.
Which Whey Protein Powder Meets These Requirements?
Better Whey is an all-natural protein powder that contains whey isolate, digestive enzymes, and no added sugars or fillers. Plus it mixes easy and tastes awesome!
Here’s what you get in every scoop.
- 24 grams of protein
- 3 grams of carbohydrates
- Digestive enzymes
- Nothing artificial (sweeteners, colors, or flavors)
You now have all the info you need to drink the right amount of whey protein daily. Whatever your health and fitness goals may be. Remember to be patient, it may take a few weeks to see results, but with consistency they’ll happen.
Sharp MH, Lowery RP, Shields KA, Lane JR, Gray JL, Partl JM, Hayes DW, Wilson GJ, Hollmer CA, Minivich JR, Wilson JM. The Effects of Beef, Chicken, or Whey Protein After Workout on Body Composition and Muscle Performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Aug;32(8):2233-2242.