Protein shakes are popular pre or post-workout supplements to repair and build muscles. Exercise, protein shake and muscles always go together, but what happens if you drink protein shakes without working out? Here, we’ll explore the effects of drinking protein shakes without exercise and see if it’ll still help grow your muscles or make you fat, and when should you drink it – before or after a workout!
Generally speaking, protein shakes are useful when consumed on a regular basis with an active lifestyle. Without physical activity, it may not be as effective or beneficial to your body. They are packed with essential amino acids and calories, and drinking them without exercise can lead to potential benefits or some health issues that we’ll discuss further in the article.
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Table of Content
- When Should You Drink Protein Shake?
- How Much Protein You Should Drink Per Day?
- What Happens If You Drink Protein Shakes Without Working Out?
- Should You Drink Protein Shakes On Non Workout Days?
- Is It Bad To Drink Protein Shake At Night?
- Can Whey Protein Make You Fat?
When Should You Drink Protein Shake?
Protein shakes are a popular choice for many people who are looking to improve their health, build muscle or lose weight, however, the more repeated question is when should you drink protein before or after a workout?
Well, it will depend on your individual goals, if you are looking to lose weight then drinking protein shakes before a workout will enhance your performance and can help reduce the amount of muscle loss that usually happens during weight loss exercise, including cardio and HIIT.
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On the other hand, if your goal is to build and grow muscle mass, it is advised to drink protein shakes post-workout within 45 minutes window. These shakes contain essential amino acids that are necessary to recover, rebuild and repair muscles for growth.
However, keep in mind that whey protein shakes will not grow your muscles without working out. Thus, it is compulsory to have a consistent workout routine if you want to show your muscles.
How Much Protein You Should Drink Per Day?
Generally speaking, the amount of protein shake you should drink per day will depend on a few factors like your age, activity level, and goals.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, if you are an adult aged 19-70 then 0.8 grams/kg of body weight is the recommended daily intake of protein. That is about 56 grams for an average male and 46 grams for an average female.
However, if your goal is to build muscle mass, then you should increase your daily intake. The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends that athletes should have 1.4-2 grams of protein per kg of body weight if their aim is to build muscle.
What Happens If You Drink Protein Shakes Without Working Out?
Before we jump into what will happen to your body, let’s understand what a protein shake does and if can you drink it without working out!
A protein shake is a supplement to complete the deficiency of a protein that you are unable to get from your regular diet. Because protein is an essential macronutrient needed to build and repair tissues, it will help your muscles stay healthy.
When taken without exercising, protein shakes can cause weight gain because they contain calories, which can promote fat storage if not burned off through regular physical activity.
Moreover, it may also lead to digestive issues and dehydration due to the high intake of protein.
Let’s take a deeper look at the effects of drinking protein shakes without working out:
1. Unwanted Weight Gain
Protein shakes are often packed with high-calorie ingredients such as peanut butter, cocoa powder or chocolate powder, sugar or sweetener, and milk. Typically, a serving of protein shake alone has calories between 250 to 350 calories, and if you add nut butter or banana in it, calories will rise like a rocket. These may cause you to gain weight, especially if you are not active physically and don’t burn off the calories taken in from the shakes.
If you have a more sedentary lifestyle and haven’t developed a habit of regular exercise, we advise getting the required protein from solid foods such as lean poultry, eggs, fish, and nuts.
2. It Promotes Satiety
This may sound paradoxical, but drinking protein shakes without exercising actually makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time. This satiety can make it harder to remain active and motivated to exercise, since you feel full after just one or two scoops of the shake. It can curb your hunger, boost your metabolism and burn calories, resulting in muscle loss instead of gain.
3. It May Cause Digestive Problems
Although protein helps in muscle growth and repair, consuming too much protein without working out can cause digestive issues. When protein powder is consumed without following a balanced diet and exercise, it may lead to indigestion, gas, bloating and other gastrointestinal problems.
4. It May Affect Your Kidney Function
High levels of protein can put a strain on the kidneys and cause damage to tend to be high in calories and if they are taken without exercise, the body will store this extra energy as fat. High-calorie whey protein shake consumption can also lead to a sudden spike in blood sugar levels which can further promote weight gain over time.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, high-protein diets can impair kidney function and lead to reduced bone mass.
5. It Can Boost Your Energy
Protein shakes can give you an energy boost as they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Consuming these shakes can help you stay active and energized throughout the day and even help you perform better during workouts. But if you drink them without working out then the extra energy will be stored as fat and can cause weight gain.
6. Could Be Beneficial For The Elderly
In some cases, protein shakes can be beneficial for elderly people. As people age, their body becomes weak and fragile and needs extra nutrition to repair and build muscles.
Protein shakes can provide them with the necessary nutrients to support their health and body functions. However, make sure that you consult a doctor before giving protein shakes to elderly people.
7. Can Speed Up The Aging Process
High amounts of protein can increase the oxidation process in the body, which can speed up the aging process. This means that consuming too much protein without exercise could lead to premature wrinkles and signs of aging.
This is because the body is not able to use the extra protein in a constructive way, and free radicals created due to oxidation can damage cells and tissues.
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8. It May Lead To Nutrient Deficiency
Protein shakes are packed with protein but lack important vitamins and minerals. Consuming too much of these shakes without working out can result in nutrient deficiency.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, protein shakes can reduce the absorption of important nutrients like vitamin A, B12, and folate.
If you are planning to consume protein shakes, make sure that your diet is balanced and also includes fruits and vegetables which provide essential nutrients to the body.
Should You Drink Protein Shakes On Non Workout Days?
Yes, drinking protein shakes on non-workout days can be beneficial, but you should consume them in moderation and not exceed the recommended daily intake.
It is best to drink 1 to 2 scoops (30–60 grams of powder) per day and ensure that your diet is balanced and contains enough fruits and vegetables.
You can also include other healthy foods such as lean meat, eggs, nuts, and dairy products in your diet to meet your protein needs.
But, this is the only case when you are working out regularly, 4-5 days a week.
Is It Bad To Drink Protein Shake At Night?
Drinking a protein shake at night is beneficial for muscle building and tissue repair as long as you are working out regularly.
Protein shakes have a slow digestion rate and make you feel full for longer hours. This can be especially helpful if you are looking to lose weight.
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However, it is important to note that drinking high-calorie protein shakes will cause weight gain if not combined with exercise. Thus, make sure to consume protein shakes in moderation and balance them with a nutritious diet.
Can Whey Protein Make You Fat?
Whey protein alone is not a fat-gaining food. In fact, whey protein can help you lose weight if you are eating in a calorie deficit and exercising regularly.
The key to losing weight successfully is to combine healthy eating habits with daily exercise. Consuming adequate amounts of protein will help your body build muscle mass and burn unwanted fat.
But, if you consume too much whey protein without exercise, it can result in weight gain.
Protein shakes can help you build muscle, but without working out they may lead to weight gain and cause health problems. It is important to make sure that your diet is balanced and contains enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Consume protein shake in moderation to reap their benefits and get the best results.
Excessive protein consumption without working out can lead to digestive problems, bloating, kidney issues, and weight gain.
If you are not working out regularly, it is best to avoid protein shakes. Speak to your nutritionist or doctor for guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
What happens if I drink protein powder without working out?
If you drink protein powder without working out, the body will store this extra energy as fat which can lead to weight gain. It can also impair kidney functions, reduce bone mass, and lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Is it OK to drink whey protein without working out?
Yes, you can drink whey protein without working out but it should be consumed in moderation. If you are consuming too many of these shakes without working out, it can lead to weight gain and nutrient deficiency.
Is it okay to drink whey protein shake at night?
Yes, you can drink a whey protein shake at night, it will help to repair muscle tissues and provide the body with amino acids which are essential for muscle growth.