There is no known safety limit for protein powder. Most research shows that healthy people can tolerate up to 1.5 grams of protein per pound (3.3 grams per kg) of body weight per day, from both food and protein supplements, with no side effects. Now that you have a better understanding of how much protein a person needs to consume over an entire day, you'll be able to determine how much protein powder is healthy to consume. Theoretically, you could get all your daily protein from protein powder, but you shouldn't try to do so because there are so many other vital nutrients you get from real foods.
A scoop of protein powder usually contains about 25 grams of protein. Most active people drink one protein shake a day, which contains just one scoop of protein, which means you're getting almost half of the recommended daily protein intake from this shake. It's recommended that you try to consume only 25 to 50 grams of protein powder per day. In the past, it was claimed that protein-rich diets could have dangerous health effects, such as kidney damage, but research has refuted this.
Protein is a necessary part of your diet, and without it, your body wouldn't be able to perform the necessary tasks. A study found that anyone with a pre-existing kidney condition should be more careful about their protein intake and might need to reduce their intake to avoid complications. For the sake of this discussion, let's use the dictionary definition. A protein shake is simply a scoop of protein powder, which normally contains 20 to 30 grams of protein, mixed with water.
As we age, we tend to lose lean muscle mass, so adequate protein intake is also important in the elderly population.4 However, larger doses of 30 to 45 grams were shown to have the greatest impact on lean mass and strength. 5 When considering preventing muscle loss due to aging, another study showed that 25 to 30 grams was optimal, 6 In general, recommendations range from 20 to 45 grams per dose. Healthy people should aim for a minimum of 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. Athletes should aim for 1.4-2.0 g per kilogram of body weight.
It's common to divide your protein intake into 3 or 4 similar-sized doses taken throughout the day. Powders digest faster than whole food proteins, so if you swallow too much, some of the protein molecules can reach the large intestine only if partially digested, leading to gastrointestinal problems. Protein shakes can be helpful for all of these reasons, depending on what you include and how often you drink them. Well, according to some people, if you drink too many protein shakes, you're having all kinds of problems, ranging from an upset stomach to serious digestive disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and even kidney damage.
Well, according to research conducted by scientists at McMaster University, a protein intake of 1.3 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day (0.6 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight per day) is adequate to maximize the increase in muscle mass and strength. That's why several studies have shown that increasing your intake of protein powders can improve blood sugar, body composition, bone density, and other health markers. Get creative and try new protein shake recipes or use your protein powder to prepare foods other than shakes. Before you can understand how much protein powder you should be eating every day, you must have an idea of how much protein your body needs to function properly.
If you eat just three meals a day, that would require each meal to contain approximately 29 grams of protein (approximately a 125-g piece of chicken). That said, there have been scandals that have caused potential consumers of protein powder to stop, such as the Consumer Reports revelation that several protein powder brands, including BSN, Muscle Milk, MuscleTech, and GNC, contained high levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Sure, some people can make protein shakes by blending protein powder with liquids, fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients in a blender, but in reality, that's a shake. Now you know why protein powders are a multi-billion dollar market and why many of the supposed health risks are overstated.
Along with your protein shakes, you should consume foods with carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins and minerals. Foods that require chewing and are more filling than powders, making it more difficult to consume them in excess, while a protein-packed protein shake equivalent to a couple of chicken breasts can be reduced in a matter of seconds, requiring the digestive system to process everything immediately and intensively. Protein powder is a beneficial supplement to your daily diet because it can increase your protein intake without adding too many extra calories. The ideal amount of protein intake per day varies from person to person, but the basic rule is that you should eat 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight you have.
This is good news for your macros, but not so good for the nutritional quality of your diet, since many whole-food protein sources are also excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. .