So in the P90X meal plan, it says you can substitute 1/3 cup of protein powder for a protein serving.

Now, the serving size of most (if not all) whey proteins is 28.5 g - or one scoop. Basically, one of those scoops, just by thinking about it, wouldn't even fill up like 1/4 cup all the way, would it?

Grams to cups isn't a direct comparison so I'm kind of confused.

Going by what I'm thinking, it would take like 2 scoops of whey protein to fill 1/3 cup, which is one serving, and I wanted to replace two servings, which would be like 4 scoops of whey protein in a shake.

Is this even like...healthy? (I'd be replacing probably 2 protein servings each day)

Any tips would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


Grams to cups make little sense without knowing the density of the substance being measured. Since you know a scoop holds 1 serving (~28.5g), you'll have find out the volume of that scoop.

  1. Fill the empty scoop with water
  2. Pour the water into a measuring cup
  3. Repeat until you reach 1/3 cup

The number of times required to get to that mark is the amount of protein powder you would need.

Personal view: I much prefer my protein in the form of chicken, fish, beef, or lamb. With several of those options you can have more protein with fewer calories than the protein powder.

Word of Caution: Not all protein supplements are the same. Some add sugar and other additives for taste which add more calories per volume. The lower quality protein supplements also have relatively high amounts of heavy metals, while the higher quality protein has more quality controls in place. Many protein supplements are designed for the guy who is bulking, which means they don't care about the extra Calories and in fact would rather have them.

Is it healthy? Yes, as long as you are getting all your vitamins and minerals (micro-nutrients) that you need. Assuming you have a good quality protein supplement (see the word of caution), it will be more readily absorbed by the body than the whole protein sources I prefer.

The trade-offs are:

  • Increased food bill (protein supplements are expensive)
  • Taste (very few protein supplements taste good in comparison to whole protein sources)
  • So basically what you're saying is, as long as the whey protein also has a bunch of good minerals and vitamins in it, it's just as healthy as eating meats to get your protein, however it might also contain some more calories that you have to be aware of.
    – slandau
    Aug 31, 2011 at 18:10
  • That's the long and the short of it. It also costs more than meat in most cases. Aug 31, 2011 at 18:57
  • NOTE: you can get the minerals and vitamins from multi-vitamin supplements. Aug 31, 2011 at 18:58
  • 1
    I believe what Berin is saying (and regardless of Berin, what I believe is true) is that as long as your diet as a whole provides the necessary minerals and vitamins, and your protein powder doesn't have harmful heavy metals, and you don't mind spending more for protein compared to dietary sources, and you don't mind the taste, and you're careful about the additives in your whey, you're fine with substituting whey powder for meat, eggs, milk and nuts. Aug 31, 2011 at 19:01

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