Working on a plan and working hard in gym and is more of connected to food and how much calories you take in. Sometime buying all supplements can shrink your budget. Given that, can i substitute protein shake for fish or chicken, for every meal? If not protein shake, then what can i do to make food replacement (protein & carb) cheap?

Assuming i take the the said amount. Does it has any pros and cons? How does we calculate "1g of protein per pound of body weight" if we substitute.

2 Answers 2


First things first, nothing can substitute food. Protein supplements should only be taken when you know you simply can not eat that much. Protein is actually cheaper.

Right supplements can actually save you money, if approached in a smart way. A chicken breast that has 20g of protein costs 1-2 euros depending what you are buying. A serving of protein costs .50-1 euro, also depending on what you are buying.

That being said, you can not replace (it is not healthy) food, with only supplements. From fish you get many other nutrients. E.g. different fatty acids, like omega-3.

For example, instead of eating 2 cans of tuna, i eat 1 can + 1 serving of whey protein. That saves me a little bit of money already. If doing something like this daily, you can actually save a lot. But again, don't completely replace food, just use supplements to aid you a little bit, while still eating real foods.

I do believe in the "1 g of protein per pound of body weight", but that is only when you want to build muscle. Also, it is not important to start from the very beginning like this. Just start consistently going to the gym, eat more calories than you burn, but still eat plenty of protein and carbs.

  • How do u take whey with tuna, and how do you calculate "1 g of protein per pound of body weight" while eating that food. eeg is cheaper where i live, can i replace chicken with egg?
    – localhost
    Feb 6, 2015 at 9:52
  • You will still want to eat some meat. You get different benefits from that, than you would get from eggs. variety is important. Also, you should not eat over 3 yolks a day, because yolks have a lot of cholesterol. 1 egg white=4g of protein. Some stores only sell egg whites, which is actually pretty cheap. As for the calculations, as you hear it, for example, i weigh almost 200 pounds, so i try to eat 200 g of protein a day. You could also just follow your calories. If you eat more than your daily caloric need, then you will put on mass.
    – s3v3ns
    Feb 6, 2015 at 9:59
  • If you eat more than your daily caloric need, then you will put on mass. - True, but, it may not be the right kind of mass.
    – rrirower
    Feb 6, 2015 at 15:05
  • 1
    @s3v3ns - You really need to do some more research before you answer. The whole myth about somatotypes (ectomorph/mesomorph/endomorph) was developed in the 1940s and has since been firmly debunked. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatotype_and_constitutional_psychology
    – Alec
    Feb 10, 2015 at 8:42
  • 1
    I wasn't talking about the psychological side either. The whole idea of somatotypes was largely to do with genetic predispositions to growth. Also, I haven't downvoted you. Also, I don't think asking for downvotes to be removed is going to help you.
    – Alec
    Feb 11, 2015 at 11:26

I think the mistake you are making in your question is that you assume whey protein is not food. Whey protein is food just like anything else, it's usually referred to as a supplement because it has conveniently great macros for bodybuilding (if we take this as a general example 20g protein per 100 calories in a scoop).

You can substitute 2 scoops (40g protein) with anything else i.e. chicken, fish, etc but it's not so convenient.

If you weighed 150lbs, you'd need to eat 150g of protein a day to eat at 1g per lb of bodyweight, it doesn't make a difference if you get that protein from whey powder or something else (but whey powder will make your life easier).

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.