zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Do Protein Shakes Make You Fat if You Aren't Working Out?

by
author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Do Protein Shakes Make You Fat if You Aren't Working Out?
A protein shake after a workout can help with recovery. Photo Credit Brian Balster/iStock/Getty Images

Protein shakes often appear in ads with muscular, toned athletes, implying that by simply consuming the drink you can achieve the same physique. While consuming a protein shake as part of a regular fitness routine and healthy, calorie-controlled diet may help you achieve the body you desire, drinking protein shakes without working out may have the opposite effect. Adding a daily protein shake to a sedentary lifestyle may cause weight gain.

About Protein Shakes

Do Protein Shakes Make You Fat if You Aren't Working Out?
You can make a homemade protein shake with any combination of milk, juice, fruit and protein powder. Photo Credit Tannjuska/iStock/Getty Images

You can make homemade protein shakes with any combination of milk, juice, fruit, nut butters and protein powder — usually whey or soy. Pre-packaged protein shakes containing similar ingredients along with preservatives and additional supplements are often available in refrigerated cases at gyms or health food stores. Homemade or commercial shakes pack anywhere from 14 to 40 grams of protein per serving and 200 to 400 calories each.

Purpose

Do Protein Shakes Make You Fat if You Aren't Working Out?
Protein shakes are a good way to fit more protein into your diet. Photo Credit marekuliasz/iStock/Getty Images

Protein shakes are a convenient way to fit more protein into your diet, especially if you are exercising. Consuming 15 to 20 grams of protein around the time of a workout enhances muscle growth and repair, notes the International Society of Sports Nutrition. While whole food sources of protein are superior, sometimes you cannot just down a salmon steak after a workout. Whey protein, in particular, digests quickly so the amino acids are available to worked muscles right away. You might also consume shakes made with protein powder when trying to lose weight. Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates alone and may help squelch cravings, causing you to eat less.

Fat Gain

Do Protein Shakes Make You Fat if You Aren't Working Out?
Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than you burn. Photo Credit Andrey Popov/iStock/Getty Images

Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than you burn. Consuming 3,500 excess calories will make you gain one pound, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. If you add protein shakes but do not burn off the extra calories or trim your daily intake to reflect the added calories, you will gain weight. If your daily protein shake contains just 200 calories, it could result in a gain of 21 pounds in a year. Protein shakes may help you gain healthy muscle weight, if you combine them with weight training. The weight you gain with protein shakes without working out will most likely be mostly fat.

Strategy

Do Protein Shakes Make You Fat if You Aren't Working Out?
Use an online calculator to determine your daily calorie needs. Photo Credit Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

If you want to add a protein shake, a homemade option may be a better option than commercial versions. You can control the ingredients in homemade shakes and keep added sugars and fats to a minimum. To prevent weight gain, whether exercising or not, be sure that your daily intake for all calories does not exceed what you burn. Use an online calculator to estimate your daily calorie burn based on your size, age, gender and activity level.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.