Well I decide to start taking protein shakes, I am very active at work I am always on the move and I take long walks but I am no doing a real work out. How good or bad can it be for me to take the 35 grams of protein shake everyday?

  • If your diet is good enough, you won't need that too. By the way, proteins are used only if we workout (according to my understanding). Without a workout they don't break, hence wasted.
    – Freakyuser
    Jan 23, 2014 at 7:50
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    @Freakyuser That's incorrect. Your body needs protein to survive whether you're working out or not. It is possible, however, to consume more than your body can digest in one sitting, which is why you're supposed to eat small amounts of protein continuously throughout the day.
    – Josh
    Jan 23, 2014 at 15:03
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    Information seems to be divided, but there are reports that excess protein can be bad for you. If you're not working out regularly and generating a need for the additional protein then you probably shouldn't be taking a protein shake every day if you're also eating meals that provide you with a decent amount of protein. Best case, it's just unnecessary and you're wasting money on the shakes; worst case, it's harmful for you and you're actually doing damage to your liver and kidneys. Jan 23, 2014 at 15:05
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    @SoylentGreen excess protein is bad. My relative recently due to protein accumulation (renal failure). Not discouraging intake, but should be careful. We generally consume protein in our normal diet. Not required for an extra protein shake, without much workout.
    – Freakyuser
    Jan 23, 2014 at 15:44
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    @Freakyuser That's patently absurd misinformation. Humans can survive perfectly fine on diets composed almost entirely of fats and proteins. Traditional Inuit diets derive, at most, 35-40% of their calories from protein, with 50-75% of calories preferably coming from fat. [1]
    – Daniel
    Jan 23, 2014 at 16:27

6 Answers 6


There is so much disinformation ("bro-science") in the answers and comments.

I will start with answering the question: Yes, a protein shake once a day as meal replacement is completely safe. This shouldn't worry you. Do you need the extra protein? Probably not, unless you actually do resistance training (and for long term health you should) it will do very little for you. However, is it unhealthy? No, it isn't.

  • +1 just for the acknowledgement of disinformation. Frankly, I'm amazed at how little people know about nutrition on this site. Nice post, btw.
    – Josh
    Jan 24, 2014 at 15:19
  • Yes the process isn't very efficient. Great point.
    – hortstu
    Jan 24, 2014 at 18:37

It is definitely not bad for someone to drink a protein shake without working out. It is very similar to eating a chicken breast that has 35 grams of protein in it. 35 grams of protein is 35 grams of protein, no matter where you get it from. Some proteins are different, such as casein (slow release) and whey (quick release), but it is still protein. As Freakyuser said in his comment, if your diet is good enough you shouldn't need the shake. In your case though it sounds like you are simply using it as a meal replacement, which is totally fine.

EDIT: This is all dependent on the rest of your diet.

  • That's not entirely accurate. Animal protein (e.g. meat and dairy) contains complete protein, meaning that it provides all 10 essential amino acids. Not so with plant protein, which is why vegetarians need to get their protein from a variety of food sources. Jan 9, 2017 at 17:26

The answer to this question actually depends on the number of meals you are taking. But then again, I personally think you don't need it, as your muscle tissues are not put into any heavy stress, which require you to supply it with protein supplements.

However, you can definitely use protein shakes as a meal replacement. But take care that the protein shake is a meal "replacement" and not consumed pre/post any of your meals.


As crazy stated this depends on how much protein you're getting from you're diet. Have you noticed since the Atkins diet that the fad diets have been super high protein and super low carb? Do you know why this works for weight loss? Because your body can't store protein. It stores fat in the form of fat and it converts unused carbs to fat and stores those as well but protein... well if your body can't use it as it's passing through then out it goes... Only it isn't that simple. Your body still has to send that protein through your digestive tract, your liver and kidneys need to do some extra work, and for what? To waste protein.

Now I'm not saying you're wasting protein but many first world people are, simply by eating too much in one sitting, and they're not aware of the impact that all that extra work might have on their internal organs. Ideally you'll figure out how much protein you really need and get it from healthy foods that are also nutrient dense and spread that out throughout your day.

Hope this helps.

Edit begins here. Consuming excess protein in the diet (over 35% of total calories), especially with carbohydrate restriction, can lead to the buildup of toxic ketones, substances made when the body uses its own fat cells for fuel in the absence of sufficient carbohydrates. Ketones can harm the kidneys as they try to excrete these substances. This is accompanied by a corresponding loss of water through the kidneys, leading to dehydration. Symptoms of consuming a ketogenic diet can include fatigue, headache, dizziness, heart palpitations, and bad breath. There is excess stress on the heart, and muscle mass and bone calcium both decline. The American Heart Association does not recommend high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets because they often contain high-fat foods and can lead to deficiencies in some nutrients like fiber and certain vitamins.

8 side effects of too much protein

there is definitely such a thing as eating too much protein. Experts say that the pitfalls of excessive protein include dangerous or even life threatening conditions such as hyperaminoacidemia (excess amino acids), hyperammonemia (excess ammonia), hyperinsulinemia (excess insulin), not to mention uncomfortable symptoms like nausea and diarrhea. Excess protein is defined as getting more than 35% of your total daily calories from protein. Bodybuilders and hardcore fitness competitors most often recommend taking in one gram per pound of bodyweight. Interestingly, researchers who have studied low-carb/ high-protein diets also agree that one gram per pound of body weight is the max one should ingest.

Too much protein, especially when that amount includes animal and dairy protein, is also extremely acidic and has an aging effect on the body.

Hepatic encephalopathy may be triggered by: Eating too much protein Hepatic encephalopathy is a worsening of brain function that occurs when the liver is no longer able to remove toxic substances in the blood.

Dangers of excessive protein, defined as when protein constitutes > 35% of total energy intake, include hyperaminoacidemia, hyperammonemia, hyperinsulinemia nausea, diarrhea, and even death This one is from a peer reviewed research paper.

Again, I'm not suggesting that one shake/day is a health issue for you or even lacks benefits. There are way too many variables to take into account. My edit is merely to point out that there are risks to overdoing protein and I'd hardly call 40% in active people morbidly excessive.


"It is reasonable to expect that taking too much could cause any of the usual whey protein side effects, such as headaches or bloating. Chronic overconsumption of any protein (including whey protein) can be unhealthy, as it can stress the kidneys and may even lead to kidney damage. Treatment for a Whey Protein Overdose."


"Protein toxicity occurs when the body is unable to get rid of the potentially toxic wastes that are generated as a result of protein metabolism."


"Although "overdosing" or consuming more protein than your body can process is not fatal, consuming excess protein does have side effects that you should be aware of."


And many more here: http://www.google.com/search?q=protein+overdose+symptoms


You are doing the complete opposite of what you should be doing. You should start to work out, throw away the protein shakes and get your proteins from ground turkey, salmon and chicken breasts.

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