Can I Drink Two Protein Shakes a Day? The Definitive Answer

As a nutritionist and personal trainer I get asked this question a lot: can I drink two protein shakes a day? Is it safe or are there some health risks I am exposing myself to?

Yes, you can drink two protein shakes a day, ideally as part of a balanced diet. Whether you want to build muscle or lose weight, drinking two protein shakes a day won't negatively affect your diet or health, and can even help with your goals.

This is the answer in a nutshell. However, there is a better question.

Should you be drinking two protein shakes a day? This is what we will be exploring below.

Can you drink two protein shakes a day?

Picture of athletes drinking two protein shakes

The short answer is that you can safely drink two protein shakes a day.

However, we would only advise you to do so when it is part of a balanced diet. In other words, you should not use protein powder as crutches to make-up for a poor diet. In our opinion, most of your protein intake should come from whole foods.

Who may need to drink two protein shakes?

There are certain people who don't need protein powder at all, while there are others who may need to consume it twice or more times a day.

  • Pregnant women. Not only is protein powder safe for pregnancy but it can also help expectant mothers get their necessary protein intake. During pregnancy, a lot of women can develop food aversions, and that's when one or several protein shakes a day can come in handy.
  • Bodybuilders. If you are a bodybuilder who has a hard time reaching their protein intake for the day, drinking more than one protein shake a day can be helpful. Especially if you drink one of these shakes right after an intense workout, because it kickstarts your muscles' repair process.
  • Busy individuals. Sometimes we are so busy we don't even have time for a meal. If it's one of those days, then you should consider drinking more than one protein shake. Ideally, have one of the shakes in the morning to start your day with protein and increase your chances of reaching your necessary intake.

Ideally, if you are in any of the above categories, you would still strive to get your protein from food.

However, if that is not an option, you can safely drink two or more protein shakes without having to worry about any negative effects.

Should you drink more than one protein shake a day?

If you can get your necessary protein from food or food with a single protein shake, then you shouldn't drink a second shake. Or, better said, we see no point in doing it.

But the question is, how do you know your recommended protein intake?

Studies have been conducted to determine how much protein different individuals need. You can read the studies by pressing the numbers in the brackets but here is the gist of it:

  • Average individual. The average individual should consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (1)
  • Athlete. If you are an athlete or your goal is to build muscle, you will need more protein than the average individual. To be more specific, you need anywhere between 0.73-1.1 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 1.6-2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (2)(3)
  • Weight loss. For those trying to lose weight, the recommended protein intake is between 0.36-0.73 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 0.8-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. However, the most important thing is to be in a caloric deficit, where you eat less calories than you burn.

Knowing these, you can determine if you personally need to drink two protein shakes a day.

For most people, it's going to be one shake or even none at all.

What can happen if you eat too much protein?

Two scoops of protein powder - one vanilla, one chocolate

It's pretty easy to go over your recommended daily intake of protein if you drink two shakes and eat a couple of whole food based meals.

But is there any harm associated with protein over consumption?

Well, the answer is yes and no.

There are no registered side effects to eating too much protein per se.

However, the side effects which have been registered have to do with the replacement of other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats) with protein, or focusing too much on protein and disregarding the calorie intake.

  • Weight gain. When you eat too much protein and do not care about your calorie intake, the surplus calories will be stored in your body as fat.
  • Bad breath. Replacing carbohydrates with protein can put you in a state of ketosis. This metabolic state leads to the production of certain chemicals which can give an unpleasant smell.
  • Constipation. Again, this issue arises when you replace carbohydrates with more protein. Some carbohydrates - especially vegetables - are high in fiber, which benefits digestion.

Having all these in mind, you can safely drink more than one protein shake per day as long as you consume carbohydrates and fats throughout the day and track your calories.


With that out of the way, let's see some of the most common questions in regards to this topic.

Can I lose weight drinking two protein shakes a day?

If all you consume in a day is two protein shakes, then yes, you will lose weight.

And get ill in the process, because that is far from enough calories and nutrients to function properly.

If you couple those two protein shakes with other foods, then it depends. As long as you eat at a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. If you eat in a surplus, you will gain weight.

Regardless of how much protein you eat.

Can I have two protein shakes a day and one meal?

Yes, you can.

Should you? Most likely not. Protein powder should be used to supplement a balanced diet, not as a crutch to make up for a lack. And one meal a day is not a balanced diet.

We recommend you to eat at least three meals a day and then supplement with one or two protein shakes, depending on your needs.

Can I replace two meals a day with protein shakes?

It depends on how many "real food" meals you have left after the replacement.

If you only have three meals a day and plan on replacing them with protein shakes, then that may not be the greatest idea. However, if you have five or seven meals a day, then you surely can replace them with protein shakes.


So, can you have two protein shakes a day?

Yes, there are no side effects associated with consuming more than one protein shake per day. However, you may find yourself having certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies if you use protein powder to make up for a lack of balance in your diet.

A better idea would be to find your necessary protein intake, using the numbers presented above in the article. Afterwards, determine if you need the second protein shake.

If not, you're better off replacing it with a nutritious snack.

Over to you.