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Are You Misusing Your Protein Shake?

The Role of Whey Protein In Your Diet

Posted by AnabolicAliens - June 5th, 2015

We have heard all of the myths and fabrications surrounding protein, such as the “anabolic window”, or consuming whey (way) too much protein for your own good.

Let’s get something straight right off the bat. Protein powders are a SUPPLEMENT. A supplement is something you take IN ADDITION to make up for something you don’t normally get enough of.

The way that you figure out if you are getting enough protein is to keep a log of your diet on a daily basis. For a natural athlete, you should be eating around 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight when you are eating for weight maintenance or trying to gain weight. If you are trying to lose weight then you should be eating at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. So you actually eat LESS protein when you are trying to bulk (A topic for a future article).

Think about your diet. Are you eating a variety of protein sources? Are you a vegetarian or vegan? Your style of eating will affect your decision on whether or not to take a protein shake.

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Eat REAL, WHOLE foods. Whole foods will keep you satiated, or “fuller” longer. They are full of vitamins that work together as a unit to fuel the body. As a society, we have become more reliant on things in pill and powder form. We should be focusing on the synergistic effects of food, and thinking about nutrients as whole foods- instead of focusing on one macronutrient or vitamin at a time.

If your style of eating promotes high protein, and you can reach your protein goals without supplemental protein, then you do not need a protein shake. If your style of eating does not promote high protein (vegetarianism, veganism, etc.), then you may want to invest in a protein supplement in order to reach your goals.

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A lot of us take a protein shake immediately following a workout either for ritual sake or because we still believe in the “anabolic window”. However, this is hardly necessary if you are eating a normal, balanced, protein-full diet. At this point, you are just adding extra calories, and this can actually be detrimental if you trying to be in a calorie deficit (trying to lose weight). If you are in a calorie surplus (trying to gain weight) this is not as detrimental, but it can be wasteful. Just eat more nutritious food!

Foods high in protein: Eggs, white meats, red meats, dairy, beans, nuts, etc.

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A protein shake can be useful because of its convenience. If you have a busy schedule and do not have enough time to have a meal, a shake can be a great tool.

If you like drinking protein shakes because they are delicious, who am I to stop you?

The bottom line is that we should be focusing on eating healthy, whole foods, while on our quest to hit our protein goals. We should not become reliant on supplements in order to reach our protein goals, but instead make every effort to obtain adequate levels of protein by eating normal foods throughout the day.

- Eric Cue

Anabolic Aliens "Stay Anabolic."

If this article helped you and you'd like to learn more ways to maximize your results, SIGN-UP for the Platinum Membership today!  

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Took your advice and stopped drinking whey since I'm on a cut. I'm definitely not as hungry since I'm eating protein instead of drinking my calories. Great article Eric :)

Scott_Herman Edit Delete

exactly... its like having an ice cube vs water... takes more energy to break the ice down because it is solid.. so chicken will stay in the stomach longer because it takes longer to digest vs a liquid

Abaas Edit Delete

But i think a protein shake from time to time also has its place especialy if u follow IF as me😊😊


Maybe this is a little off topic but I see the connection. Are there any easily accessible sources to help dispel the "Too much protein wrecks your kidneys" myth? I'm married to a nurse and she gets nervous if i get close to 100 grams per day.

JoeHurricane Edit Delete

I don't have any specific research to back it up right here...but I can tell you that unless you have some kind of intolerance or allergy to protein (and even then I'm not sure it would effect your kidneys), there is nothing to be worried about when taking lots of protein. You ould need to be eating a HUGE amount of protein - we are talking, like, over 500g.

I'm going to guess you don't weigh less than 100lbs, and there are tons of studies which suggest taking AT LEAST 1g protein per lb of body weight is a good idea, especially if you are working out and looking to build muscle.

I mean, it's not like protein is digested or absorbed in the kidneys anyway. Saying 'too much protein is bad for your kidneys'...well, what about smoking? What about alcohol and your liver? Those are things you should be worried about. Protein is a macronutrient - it's something you need - don't be afraid of it :)

Scott_Herman Edit Delete

right on @joehurricane, unless you have a specific issue with digesting protein, its VERY hard to OD on protein.  I eat 250 - 280 a day myself

AnabolicAliens Edit Delete

It is more of a standpoint of not eating enough carbs, rather than a protein toxicity. That's truly the main concern. You don't want your body to go into a ketogenic state for too long. Eat a balanced diet! That is all :)


I'm quitting my Protein shake for a few months to see if I can compensate through regular food.
I swear i go LOL whenever I see people rushing around to finish their protein shake to take advantage of the "Anabolic window" :D

energon19 Edit Delete

@anabolicaliens Yeah! Mindless drones be doin whatever the big man says. Always! :D


I just have a shake post workout and get the rest of my proteins from food!

AnabolicAliens Edit Delete

@nilsfearons Nothing wrong with taking a protein shake! Just wanted people to realize that they also need to get their proteins from real foods as well!

crood Edit Delete

@anabolicaliens ... whatcha mean .. real food? what is this thing you are speaking of? D: lol


i only get protein shake after workout. and sometimes if i have time for 6th meal , before go to sleep i got gainer. it is nice article because it is hard to tell ppl how is important to get protein from protein powder. they thinks it is chemical and kills ! they dont think what they are eat all chemical sutffs like fast food and sweetie chochlates and etc.

Scott_Herman Edit Delete

Exactly @ycaner!  It's a great article to open people's eyes for sure!

AnabolicAliens Edit Delete

@ycaner It is a healthy lifestyle that we preach :)


I usually take 1-2 scoops a day and feel completely fine. However there are days where I do up to 4 scoops, but that is only when I know that I need those proteins since I have not eaten enough in that day. Then there are days where I do not have any scoops because I eat way to much so there is far from any need to use it. Oh and by the way, good article ;)

AnabolicAliens Edit Delete

You are using it as a SUPPLEMENT then! ;)


Eric's a mowdel


I usually am able to get my daily intake from food since I eat alot of meat but I do still take a shake in the mornings after my workout since I train fasted. I sometimes take one at night if my stomach is telling me to before bed but not often. Great article, protein is always something people need to hear about even though there's so much differences in opinons out there.

AnabolicAliens Edit Delete

I just base each meal around the protein and everything else seems to fall into place!

Adawg38 Edit Delete

Mine loves carbs but I am starting to get her to ask if something has protein and if it does then she wants to eat it so she'll grow big and strong.

crood Edit Delete

kids deal so much better with carbs, they use up so much energy over the day. This is why people usually start getting bellies and fat layers once they start sitting in an office all day long, not going out with friends every evening, have no schoolsport anymore etc. I think kids need to get their carbs in the amount they require it. I think there is no need to make them feel guilty at such a young age (also to prevent self esteem issues or eating disorders) but it's a good thing to make them aware of what "healthy" food means, and not to raise them to become candy eaters :)


very true ive been off protein shakes for months now and havent noticed any negative effects. Same goes with pre workouts i stopped taking those too.

matt42van Edit Delete

I hear ya with the Pre-workouts...I think they are absolutely terrible for you.  My opinion though.  I also cycle my protein(not that I ahve to, but more that I just go through stages where I buy a couple tubs when its on sale and when I run out its a few months before I buy more)  lol

AnabolicAliens Edit Delete

@matt42van Yea I agree! I just don't like to spend money if I don't have to. I get fired up enough as it is on my own :)

FaithBramlett Edit Delete

Awesome article, very informative! =D


Amen brother......