If you’re looking to cut down recovery time, build lean muscle, or amp up your macros, it’s definitely normal to find yourself asking “Can I drink two protein shakes in a day?”.
Because there is undeniable evidence that, well, a good protein shake can do you good - whether it’s to help with resistance training, bulk up, or maintain your lean physique. That said, it may seem like a no-brainer to drink two protein shakes a day. However, if you want your intake to work for you and not against you, there are factors to keep in mind.
So, the short answer to your question is: yes, you can drink two (or more) protein shakes a day, but you might not need to.
How much protein you have and the type of protein you take ultimately depends on your goals, which is what we’re here to help you with.
How much protein does your body really need?
While it’s true that more activity may require more protein, you can reach a point of diminishing returns. As mentioned, your protein intake is dependent on certain factors. These include your activity level, age, muscle mass, overall health, and fitness goals.
So deciding whether two protein shakes a day is too much for you becomes a very personal question - and answer.
You can either choose to compute for your needs based on your weight and activity level or through your macros.
How to calculate your protein needs: weight and activity level
STEP 1: Weigh yourself in kilograms (kg). If you know your weight in pounds, just divide it by 2.2.
STEP 2: Once you have your weight in kilograms, it’s time to compute how much protein you need based on your weight and fitness goals. This number will depend on your activity level. As an athlete, you will surely fall under a different category compared to someone less active.
Here are the averages:
- For endurance athletes: 1.2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight
(This could also be for healthy people with moderate activity levels.)
- For strength training athletes: 2.0 g of protein per kilogram of body weight
(This could also be for healthy people with consistent, intense/endurance activity.)
- For weight loss with endurance or strength training: more than 2.0 g of protein per kilogram of body weight
STEP 3: Now that you’ve gotten your grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, you can use this formula:
Weight in kilograms x grams of protein per kilogram = grams of protein per day
If that final number is quite high, you may find that drinking two protein shakes a day helps you reach your goal protein intake. Or, it may simply be convenient for you.
If that number is lower, or you already have a protein-rich diet, two protein shakes a day is likely too much.
Know that these numbers are not one-size-fits-all, but they can initially give a good range of how many grams of protein per kilogram of body weight you might need. It’s still best to consult a nutritionist to help you get the exact amount of protein you need based on your goals.
How to calculate your protein intake based on macros
Tracking macronutrients is a common practice by athletes and fitness enthusiasts, allowing them to focus on food categories based on their body composition instead of a number of calories based on your body weight.
STEP 1: To get your macros, start by getting your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) first. Your BMR refers to how many calories you burn while at rest.
To calculate your BMR, you can use the Harris-Benedict equation:
BMR = 655 + (4.35 x your weight in pounds) + (4.7 x your height in inches) – (4.7 x age)
If you want to skip this equation, you may use this online BMR calculator.
STEP 2: Once you have your BMR, you can get your TDEE or the number of calories you burn per day. In some cases, you can skip computing for your BMR and go directly to finding your TDEE as they may be combined in the same calculation.
For instance, this TDEE calculator can get both your BMR and TDEE simultaneously.
When adding your information, make sure to include any muscle-building activities you do during a workout.
STEP 3: Once you have your TDEE, you can convert that to macros to get your protein intake. The great thing about this calculator is that it also displays your recommended macros in the end.
If you want to skip the previous computations, you can opt to use this macro calculator instead.
Your macros breakdown will look something like this but it may differ in percentages depending on your goal and energy expenditure. For example, the average macros for people with goals of fat loss and muscle gain are:
- 40% protein
- 30% fat
- 30% carbs
STEP 4: Now that you know your macros for protein, multiply that percentage with the total number of calories your body needs per day. Finally, divide that amount by 4.
There you have it.
Again, this number may already answer the question “Can I drink two protein shakes in a day” - this time, from a macro perspective.
Remember that you may need to adjust these numbers as your body and fitness goals change too.
In short, the maximum absorption rate is 30 g in one sitting. Knowing this not only helps you strategically ration your protein intake throughout your day but it also helps you consume it with optimal absorption in mind.
Another factor to consider is the type of protein you’re consuming. This brings us to another that impacts whether or not you decide to drink two protein shakes a day…
Is it better to get protein from food or supplements?
Food is an excellent source of protein and should never be replaced as your main way to reach your macros.
But don’t put your protein shake away just yet.
If you’re an athlete, chances are that you might need to supplement your diet with - you guessed it: supplements. So, you should have a healthy balance of both sources. And that’s why you might just drink two protein shakes a day, in addition to multiple balanced meals.
However, not all protein supplements and shakes are created equal. Here are a few things to consider:
- Protein absorption rate
- Protein safety and sensitivities
- Protein accessibility
- Protein ingredients
- Protein completeness
- Other protein benefits
Collagen vs whey
To help you further, we’re going to break down the difference between collagen protein and whey protein for some of these points. Whey has been the poster child for protein shakes for a long time. Meanwhile collagen protein has been most often thought of as a beauty supplement and is a rising star in the medical nutrition industry.
But it’s time to solidify its place in the sports nutrition world as well.
Whey protein is made from one of the two primary proteins found in dairy products. Aside from its accessibility and affordability, it contains various essential amino acids which are what has catapulted its popularity among athletes.
When it comes to muscle building, the good news is that whey is just as effective as collagen protein.
However, collagen protein has an astounding number of benefits. Side-by-side, collagen consistently outranks whey when it comes to other aspects such as absorption rate, increased bone density, and increased injury recovery or prevention. And this is apart from the other benefits of liquid collagen unrelated to athletic performance.
Put simply, if you want to train hard, whey won’t give you the connective tissue protection that liquid collagen protein does.
So let’s get into some of the details.
Protein absorption rate
It’s easy to think that quantity may mean quality for protein supplements. And, with that logic, you might find yourself tempted to reach for and drink two protein shakes a day.
But that won’t matter if your body can’t absorb it well.
This is why protein absorption rate matters. You don’t just want to drink those two protein shakes each day - you want your body to absorb and use the protein molecules.
Many protein molecules (including whey) are larger than the holes in your stomach lining, decreasing absorption and increasing your chance of an upset stomach after downing your protein shake.
For example, Frog Fuel hydrolyzed collagen protein is easy on your body’s digestive system and digests more than 4x faster than whey protein. In fact, it’s proven to be 100% digested within just 15 minutes compared to other whey powders that still contained 70% of proteins detected in the same amount of time.
With collagen protein, you’ll easily be able to drink two protein shakes a day to meet your macros - with no upset stomach.
Protein safety and sensitivities
While we’ve mentioned one common reason you may get an upset stomach after drinking protein shakes, there are other things to be aware of.
If you do have certain stomach sensitivities like IBS or Crohn’s, know whey is more likely to trigger those than collagen protein. That’s because collagen is a protein peptide that’s already being naturally produced by your body. It’s not a foreign substance, and your body doesn’t need to convert it into another protein type or nutrient before using it.
For those with diabetes or an increased risk of diabetes, it’s even more important to look at the sports drink nutrition facts of that store-bought protein mix. While many whey proteins and other protein options have plenty of additives, high-quality collagen protein drinks are safe for diabetics.
For most people, collagen is safe and effective for daily use - and you can drink two protein shakes in a day with no need to worry about adverse effects. In fact, many medical facilities use collagen as a medical nutrition supplement due to its proven safety and long list of benefits.
Protein accessibility and ingredients
In terms of accessibility, whey protein is easier to consume by eating animal products, especially dairy.
Collagen, on the other hand, is not as easy to incorporate in an average diet since it mostly comes from the skin, bones, cartilage and connective tissues of animals.
But with a once daily or even two protein shakes a day, you can easily consume enough collagen to support your weight loss, performance, or muscle growth goals.
Once again, it’s important to read the sports drink nutrition facts and labels to ensure you are getting a high-quality protein product with little or no added ingredients. Look for collagen proteins that are hydrolyzed, have all your amino acids, and take advantage of the benefits of beta alanine, and the benefits of citrulline malate, while omitting additives such as dyes, sugars, and unknown flavoring.
Another criteria you’ll want to look at when it comes to protein supplements - especially if you’re drinking two protein shakes a day - is the difference between complete and incomplete proteins. Like the conversation around absorption, you want to make sure you are reaping the full benefits of your protein.
Now, generally speaking, both whey and collagen protein are complete. This means that they contain all 9 essential amino acids.
But not all protein supplements and shakes are.
And others aren’t complete naturally, but have been fortified.
This is why it’s very important to research your protein of choice and read those labels.
Other liquid collagen protein benefits
There’s no disputing that whey protein has proven muscle-building benefits.
But if you’re looking for a more well-rounded protein that serves a diverse set of athletic performance benefits, a collagen protein is going to be more ideal for you.
Here are some liquid collagen benefits for men and women of all ages:
- Collagen may promote heart health
- Collagen may improve gut health
- Collagen may support weight maintenance and weight loss
- Collagen may decrease common signs of aging
- Collagen may aid hair growth and prevent hair loss
- Collagen may improve muscle recovery and decrease post-workout soreness
- Collagen may help reduce injuries in joints, tendons, and bones
How and why to drink two protein shakes in a day
Whether you occasionally hit the gym, are a Spartan racer, Ninja warrior, CrossFitter, or triathlete in active training, the liquid collagen protein benefits are vast. And it is okay to drink two protein shakes a day - as long as they are high quality, hydrolyzed collagen.
So, if the question, “Can I drink two protein shakes in a day” is what brought you here, we can confidently answer it with a resounding YES.
But now we’ll take that a step further and show you how and when to drink them. Because you can leverage multiple servings of collagen protein throughout the day for:
- Eating during rigorous training schedules
- Fueling mid-workout fatigue in endurance athletes
- Charging through two a day football workouts
- Growing lean muscle
- Reaching a calorie surplus with nutrient-dense foods
- Replacing meals in order to cut weight
- Promoting faster post-workout recovery
- Snacking while on the go
If you’re an athlete with an intense training regimen and a high protein intake, it’s best to spread out your protein consumption between 4 or 5 times throughout the day. Ideally, this will be through a mix of protein-rich meals and two protein shakes a day (or more).
Here’s what your protein supplement schedule could look like.
Taking liquid collagen before a workout
Aside from simply needing a fuel source for your workouts, your recovery also starts before the workout.
It’s easy to discount the impact of fatigue on athletic injuries, so we’re here to remind you that they are, in fact, related. What does this have to do with taking your protein pre-workout then?
More energy equals more focus on your form and technique. Which, whether you’re into weight lifting, endurance, or high-intensity training, can mean the difference between peak performance and getting an ACL injury.
Alongside healthy habits, having a pre-workout protein supplement may help with your energy levels. It’s usually best to take the first of your two protein shakes per day around 30 minutes before you begin.
This gives your body ample time to break down the protein and nutrients.
Frog Fuel’s liquid collagen protein supplement only takes 15 minutes for you to digest, so you can cut down on the waiting time before the boost kicks in.
Aside from improved energy, the right pre-workout liquid collagen protein supplement may help improve your blood flow and kickstart enhanced recovery.
Taking liquid collagen protein after a workout
Most athletes have gotten used to - and even attached to - their post-workout shake. This is a great way to fuel your body with pure protein, promoting both muscle growth and muscle recovery.
It would be ideal to consume your second daily protein shake within 30-60 minutes of a workout, race, or competition. Pair your liquid collagen or collagen protein shake with a few whole carbs to promote peak muscle recovery and repair.
As for how many grams of protein to take after workout, you can continue to base it on the two formulas we gave earlier for your daily requirement.
Just try not to consume more than 30 g of protein at a time, as this is the maximum absorption rate your body can process in one sitting. Many athletes consume up to 25 grams of protein after a workout. But with the high absorption rate in hydrolyzed collagen protein (and two protein shakes a day that help spread out your protein intake), you only need about 10-15 grams of post-workout protein to get the full benefits.
Taking liquid collagen protein during workouts
You already know you can drink two protein shakes a day.
But many endurance athletes find that’s not enough to keep their bodies operating at peak performance.
If your workouts often reach around 90 minutes then you will likely need to power up mid-workout. This should come in the form of a low-calorie, easy-to-digest protein option that doesn’t leave you feeling full or sluggish.
Even with a pre-workout supplement, once you reach 60-90 minutes, your body is going to look for more protein and carbs to stay strong. A recent study proves that combining both these macros can help reduce muscle soreness, boost energy, and restore muscle function.
So, for every hour of exercise, try to take 5-15 grams of liquid collagen protein - ideally with some electrolytes, a small amount of carbs, and of course, water.
This may mean that you drink more than two protein shakes a day (or take more than two liquid collagen packs a day). And that’s okay!
In fact, it may be necessary for you to achieve your unique goals. Again, just make sure you are taking a complete protein that’s been hydrolyzed for maximum absorption and carefully tested for the highest quality and effectiveness.
Fuel your body with hydrolyzed collagen protein
Congratulations, you’re leveling up. You’ve gotten to the point in your fitness journey that you are asking, “Can I drink two protein shakes in a day”?
You are here for the performance and muscle gains.
And we highly recommend taking hydrolyzed liquid collagen as it has been shown to strengthen your tendons, ligaments, and other muscle tissues, making it a superb choice for rapid recovery, better performance, and overall health.
As an athlete, your training regimen and needs may change depending on your goal. But one thing we all have in common is that we play to win. And that calls for nothing less than our physical best.
With that, providing the highest quality of nutrition and protein to fuel your body is a no-brainer.
That’s why Frog Fuel liquid collagen protein was made for athletes by athletes. Designed by US Navy Seals and Stanford biochemists, our nano hydrolyzed collagen supplement is proven to be the fastest digesting and absorbing protein with 100% digestibility in less than 15 minutes.
Whether you need a pre-workout, mid-workout, or post-workout boost (or all of the above), we have a formula to fuel you. Each comes with targeted nutrients and the option of caffeine to make sure you are giving your body everything it needs for peak performance and superior nourishment.