Whether you’re a gym rat or someone who’s simply looking to bridge nutritional gaps, getting enough protein is essential for reaching your fitness goals.
However, many people are unsure about how much protein they should consume. And when it comes to protein powders, it gets even more confusing, especially when converting measurements.
As a long-time health enthusiast, I’ve seen every kind of protein supplement there is, so I know exactly how they work and the proper way to use them for maximum benefits.
In this article, I’ve laid out everything you need to know to measure out your protein powders.
- A scoop of protein powder varies depending on the brand but the US Department of Agriculture is estimated to weigh roughly 29 grams.
- Protein powder helps build new muscles, and repair damaged cells, especially for people who are physically active.
- The amount of protein powder an individual requires depends on an individual's sex, age, body weight, and a person's level of physical activity.
Protein Powder Scoop Size vs. Serving Size
The standard way of measuring protein and calculating its nutritional value is by looking at the contents of one scoop.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a scoop of whey protein powder isolate weighs about 29 grams.
However, powders have different textures and densities, so the amount that fits into one brand’s scoop may weigh more or less.
All protein powder supplements have a nutrition facts label that indicates the serving size and how many scoops are in each serving.
To calculate the scoop size, you need to divide the serving size by the number of scoops per serving.
So if each serving is 44 grams and there are two scoops per serving, each scoop of protein powder is 22 grams.
Determining the scoop size tells you exactly how much is in one scoop of protein powder. This information will come in handy, especially if you lose the scoop that came with your supplement.
As for the recommended servings, the typical serving size for whey powder is one scoop—but it can vary widely among brands. However, most require one or two scoops per serving for either whey protein powder or plant-based protein powder.
How Much Protein Do I Need In A Day?
The amount of protein you need in a day varies depending on several factors, including your sex, age, level of physical activity, body weight, and the type of supplements you’re consuming.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for most people is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight . So if you weigh 150 pounds, this translates to about 55 grams of protein a day.
Some protein powders are made for individuals who want to consume healthy amounts of protein daily while helping them increase their overall mass.
These products will usually contain higher amounts of carbohydrates and calories.
Research suggests that older adults or people who want to build muscle mass may benefit from consuming one-and-a-half to two times as much protein as the RDA .
On the other hand, some protein powder supplements are designed for those trying to lose weight to achieve a leaner physique. If this is your goal, having only one to two scoops of protein powder is sufficient.
The exact number of scoops of protein powder that you will need in a day will still vary depending on other factors, so it may be best to seek advice from a nutritional or medical professional before adding this supplement to your regimen.
You can also check our article about the calorie count in protein powder.
4 Tips On Using Protein Powders
Protein powders are popular for a reason—they’re highly versatile. You can use them in recipes of all kinds, from smoothies through pasta to snacks.
Protein powder supplements also come in different forms—there’s the traditional whey protein powder, and there are plant-based protein sources, such as pea or soy.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind when choosing and using your protein powder:
1. Look for simple natural ingredients
Whether it’s whey powder or a plant-based one, always look for protein supplements made of simple, natural ingredients. Check what the label says, and try to find one that contains no artificial fillers or thickeners.
2. Check with your doctor first
If you have impaired kidney function, high-protein drinks might not be for you.
“Check with your doctor if you have kidney disease to ensure added protein is safe for your kidneys and what your limits should be. Protein metabolism can be taxing on the kidneys, according to a 2020 study .”
- Leann Poston, Physician & Medical Writer, EatThis.com
3. Plan recipes you will love
Although you can add scoops of protein powder to plain water or milk, there’s really no fun in that.
To increase your protein intake with minimum effort, you should be able to enjoy its taste. Luckily, you can find many recipes online that contain ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and even chocolate, so you can up your protein consumption without sacrificing taste.
4. Establish a routine
Whether you’re taking protein products to lose weight or bulk up, it can be much easier to meet your goals if you schedule your protein shake intake.
For example, you can take one shake in the morning and one shake after your strength training session.
Best protein powders on the market:
How Many Scoops of Whey Protein a Day Is Safe?
Generally, it’s safe to take one to two scoops (or 25 to 50 grams) of whey protein a day.
But when it comes to serving sizes, it’s still best to follow the serving instructions on the label or the advice of your nutritionist.
Is It Okay to Drink Two Protein Shakes a Day?
Yes, it’s okay to drink two protein shakes a day.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about the amount of protein shakes you can drink daily. It’s also very unlikely for you to experience long-term detrimental effects from having too much of them in one day.
For most people, one to three shakes is enough to meet their nutritional requirements.
What Happens if You Drink Protein Shakes Without Working Out?
If you take protein shakes without working out, you might exceed your daily calorie needs and gain weight.
Keep in mind that a protein shake can contain hundreds of calories, sugar, or cream to improve its flavor. That’s why some of them are really just milkshakes in disguise.
If you like drinking shakes but hate working out, go for the ones that contain veggies and protein from nuts or seeds and use natural sweetness from fresh fruits.
How Many Scoops Of Protein Powder Do You Need?
The amount of protein in a scoop of protein powder varies per brand, so make sure you check the label to know how much you’re really getting.
The recommended serving size will also differ per individual, so before starting on any protein supplement, make sure that you know how much protein you really need.
And the best way you can do that is by consulting your nutritionist or healthcare provider.
Here are our protein powder supplement recommendations that are best for you:
Protein powders can be a helpful addition to your diet, just as long as you monitor your intake and use these supplements right.
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