Well, for starters, at least one! Of course though the deeper answer will have a lot more factors to it than that! It all depends on your lifestyle, your diet, your body type and workout routine. Personally, I have one protein shake with double the serving size, while getting the rest of my protein through chicken, beans, nuts and dairy. To get an answer that’ll apply to you more though, we need to skim over the following factors:
Especially if you have dietary restrictions or allergies, it is really important to look into your sources of protein and how much you get per day.
For gaining muscle, it’s recommended to get at least 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of body weight.
So, if you’re 150lbs, you want 150 grams of protein daily. If you get 50 grams of protein daily from meats, 20 grams from dairy and rarely ever eat nuts, beans, or other protein-rich sources, then you’re not even getting half of the protein you need every day!
At that point, you want to get 75 grams of protein from other sources. Depending on the protein powder or mass gainer you have, you’ll need anywhere between two and four scoops of protein to get to that 1g/1lb body mass threshold. You can separate this into one, two or four shakes if you like, just as long as you’re getting over the 1g/1lb protein rule!
Body Type & Workout Routine
Now, if you’re skinny or if you’re bulky, you still should adhere to the above 1g/1lb rule, and if you work out occasionally anywhere from 3-5 time a week, the rule still applies. If you’re a high-endurance athlete or engage in incredibly demanding activities, this number will change drastically. Oftentimes you may need to even double your protein intake just to support and sustain your muscles, especially if you do these high-intensity activities often.
Getting up to 300+ grams of protein can in fact become challenging and even if you eat two whole large chicken breasts per day at 60 grams total and eat tons of nuts and peanuts, chances are you will still be off the goal number by quite a bit.
At that point, going for a highly concentrated protein shake is definitely at the forefront of your goals list. Getting over 300 grams of protein for weight gain is a serious task, but only really applicable to a smaller crowd of people. Chances are, if you’re a casual gym rat or beginner bulker, you won’t need beyond 200 grams of protein per day.
So, to answer the original question, you should have at least one protein shake per day for weight gain, definitely. Beyond the awesome source of protein, the majority of quality powders have additional BCAAs, creatine, glutamine and more great supplements packed in – great for those looking to add more mass quickly. If you aren’t able to meet your goals of 1g/1lb protein per day or more, you should take as many protein shakes as necessary to reach or exceed that goal.
There’s no harm in having a bit too much protein (aside from maybe some more gas!) but having too little protein can certainly harm your progress going forward!