When you drink protein shakes every day, this is what happens to your body

Protein shakes have never been more popular. As a report in Healthline advises, the most well-known and beloved dietary supplement is used predominantly to add extra protein to your diet in order to help you meet your fitness goals. Protein shakes are easy, affordable, and particularly handy for anybody looking to up their intake on the go.

Protein shakes work mainly to promote muscle gain and to help improve performance during workouts and, afterwards, for recovery. They also prevent muscle loss and could even help with weight loss, particularly around the stomach. But, do we need to be drinking protein shakes every day? And what happens if we do?

A protein shake a day isn't a must for your body

In a piece in LiveStrong, medically reviewed by Dr. Claudia Thompson, it's reiterated that protein shakes are great for weight loss, muscle growth, and even just simple fitness goals, but drinking them every day might not be necessary. It's all about your requirements, related to how much exercise you're doing, and what you're eating. You'll likely get much of your protein from meat, dairy, fish and eggs. But it's worth noting soy, beans, legumes, and whole-grains are also great sources of protein. 

It's recommended you get about 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight daily, according to Harvard Health. If you feel as though you're not getting enough, protein shakes can definitely help. However, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, most Americans are getting more than enough protein. Only bodybuilders, for example, might want the extra protein on a daily basis.

Drinking too many protein shakes may make you gain weight

It's worth noting, first and foremost, protein shakes are not a full, meal replacement and often contain nasty additives. Likewise, too many of them could actually make it harder to lose weight. The Mayo Clinic warns that drinking protein shakes daily, on top of your regular diet, may lead to the intake of way too many calories, likely causing weight gain. Certain protein powders are high in sugar, or even scary chemicals, according to Harvard Health, which will also be detrimental to your fitness goals. 

A first-person account in Pop Sugar notes an increase in energy levels overall, as well as a curb in cravings, from daily protein shakes. But a healthy, balanced diet is all you really need to feel full and satisfied — and to fuel your workouts. If you're having a protein shake every day and looking to lose weight or promote muscle growth, ensure you incorporate bananas, blueberries, or other healthy whole foods, along with eating full meals as normal. What everyone gets wrong about eating healthy, after all, is it's not actually that complicated.