I would like to know if it is safe to drink a protein shake once a day when I don't work out. I may have to walk a lot and I just have one meal a day, according to Tim Hortons some time. So I was thinking if I could have a protein shake once a day...as I'm having both weight and a lot of hair loss due improper diet recently. Also could you suggest which shakes out there in the market should I look for?

  • 3
    Unfortunately, your question is off topic for this site. I would encourage you to seek the help of a professional nutritionist.
    – JohnP
    Mar 21, 2015 at 15:21

4 Answers 4


Sure you can drink a protein shake even if you're not working out in a classical sense — like doing some heavy "macho-stuff" at a gym or something — but walking definitely counts as "physical fitness" type of exercise too.

Proteins are just basic building blocks our body needs for normal functioning, and most certainly not just for the "reconstruction" of muscle tissue after intense workouts, so if you ask me, you'd probably do well to include them in your diet, especially if you've recently been on some low-protein diet regime (but like somebody already commented, you should consult a nutritionist if you want to be 100% sure).

And while I certainly won't state any brands here, my advice would be to check out the nutrition labels and Google any unfamiliar ingredients (to rule out any harmful ones), but other than that, drinking protein shakes really isn't really all that different from eating a steak or something.

  • Steaks are healthier in general than protein shakes, unless you eat the same exact kind of steak every day.
    – Mephisto
    Mar 25, 2015 at 17:19
  • @Mephisto why are steaks healthier? Whey protein, if no sugar added, and no preservatives/artificial colors, if perfectly healthy 100% extracted from milk, right? And steaks, depending on the cut can contain too much saturated fat Sep 8, 2015 at 10:44

If you are having only one meal a day and if you really want to use protein powders instead of healthy natural foods, then you definitely need to choose egg white powder protein because it will be digested slowly, releasing a steady level of essential aminoacids during hours into your blood. Casein protein powders are the second best option, they are still slow digestion protein, but not even as a slow digestion protein as white eggs.

You want to avoid whey protein because it will be diggested faster, giving you a quick excess of aminoacids that will be wasted, because your body has little ability of storing them.

In any case, having a single meal a day is unhealthy and you should try to avoid it.


Here is some reference regarding the different absorption rates of proteins. According to a study quoted there, aminoacids from egg white protein are absorbed at a rate of ~1.4 g/h, casein at ~6 g/h and whey at ~9 g/h. You don't find many references like that, because of the powerful marketing of the supplements companies, who are interested in selling you casein as the standard of "slow" protein instead of egg whites (easily found everywhere).

  • Can you in any way support your claims? I'm sincerely interested in different viewpoints, but pretty much everything I've heard was along the lines of "We didn't eat in regular intervals in prehistoric times, so why start now?". Which goes very much against your claim that "a single meal a day is unhealthy".
    – user8119
    Mar 24, 2015 at 12:00
  • @LarissaGodzilla There is all sort of pseudo-paleo-crap trends statings similar sort of nonsense (out ancestors did such or such thing...). But please read in Wikipedia about Ötzi, an iron-age warrior found intact in a glacier. Analysis of his intestines show several meals spatiated by hours, with different kind of foods combined. He also had a small bag of nuts with him.
    – Mephisto
    Mar 24, 2015 at 17:33
  • @LarissaGodzilla And much before Ötzi, when our ancestors where hunters-gatherers, they would spend many days eating small seeds, bugs and whatever they found during the whole day, a bit like chimpancees do nowadays, until they found some big prey. No, we are definitely not designed for one single meal a day. Don't pay attention to that crap. We live in the XXI century, there is a lot of research and progress on nutrition, health care and so on. That is why many people live until well beyond their 80s, whereas our ancestors didn't.
    – Mephisto
    Mar 24, 2015 at 17:40
  • Okay, but that just proves that "one big meal a day is what we're designed for" is wrong. It doesn't prove that "one big meal a day is unhealthy".
    – user8119
    Mar 25, 2015 at 9:47
  • @LarissaGodzilla "One big meal a day is unhealthy" is a very well stablished fact. Just do a 20 seconds google search. Or simply look how soldiers are fed in the army. Or how astronauts are fed. Do you really think that NASA would neglect such thing? You can survive with one meal a day, but with poor quality of life: insulin spikes and other problems. Forget about it. Some religions impose fasting on certain times of the year, but based on ancient traditions not having to do precisely with medical and biological research. And those fastings happen only at certain times every year.
    – Mephisto
    Mar 25, 2015 at 10:28

Protein shakes are fine to drink without working out but this probably will not contribute to any muscle building if that is what you are looking for. It will probably add to your body weight in general. If you do work out, it is a different story where the protein will greatly contribute to your muscle building which of course will depend on how much stress you place on the muscle itself. Look for a book called "home workout bible" about this subject, it is great and cheap.


I can't say what is and isn't safe for you. You should see a nutritionist.

However, in general it is safe to consume protein powder.

If you believe you are not consuming enough protein, than that is exactly what the protein powder is for.

Most people that feel they need the extra powder require more protein because they are working out frequently, but that doesn't mean you can't use it too.

Note: I am not saying a protein powder will give you all of the nutrients you need or that it will solve your problems.

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