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Should You Drink Protein Shakes on Non-Workout Days?

The quick answer? Yes, you can drink protein shakes on non-workout days!

Consuming protein shakes on days you don’t exercise can contribute to your overall protein intake, support muscle repair and growth, and help maintain an even distribution of macronutrients throughout the week.

It can also serve as a tasty treat that doesn’t come with all the added sugar.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that individual needs may vary, and it’s always beneficial to consider your personal health goals and dietary requirements.

Understanding the Role of Protein

Protein, one of the three main macronutrients along with carbohydrates and fats, plays a critical role in our bodies.

It’s involved in various functions, such as repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and building overall muscle mass.

According to a report published on ScienceDirect, the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for protein for adults is 10-35% of total caloric intake.

The Importance of Regular Protein Intake

It’s vital to understand that our bodies don’t store protein the same way they do with fats and carbohydrates. Thus, regular protein intake is necessary to supply our bodies with essential amino acids.

Drinking protein shakes, even on non-workout days, can help meet these requirements.

Think of it like regularly ‘topping up’ your protein stores to ensure your muscles are never lacking the goods they need!

Benefits of Drinking Protein Shakes on Non-Workout Days

Supports Muscle Repair and Growth

Adequate protein intake can promote muscle recovery and growth, even on non-workout days.

This is because the muscle repair process continues long after the workout session is over, sometimes extending to days when you’re not exercising. 

Most of the muscle building actually happens outside of the gym!

Maintains a Balanced Protein Distribution

Drinking protein shakes on non-workout days allows for a consistent distribution of protein intake throughout the week, aligning with the AMDR guidelines.

Regular protein consumption can avoid sudden peaks and troughs in your protein intake, which might influence overall muscle protein synthesis.

Should Everyone Drink Protein Shakes on Non-Workout Days?

While it’s acceptable and potentially beneficial to consume protein shakes on non-workout days, individual needs vary.

Factors such as age, sex, body weight, activity level, and overall health status play a significant role in determining one’s protein requirements.

Therefore, while some people might benefit from drinking protein shakes on non-workout days, others may not need it. 

Final Thoughts: Flexibility with Protein Intake

So, should you drink protein shakes on non-workout days? The answer still stands: Yes, you can.

Protein shakes on rest days can contribute to your muscle recovery process, fulfill your daily protein requirements, and maintain a consistent protein intake.

However, remember that protein shakes are supplements, and they should complement a balanced, nutritious diet rather than replace whole food sources of protein.


1. Elango, R., Humayun, M. A., Ball, R. O., & Pencharz, P. B. (2010). Protein requirement of healthy school-age children determined by the indicator amino acid oxidation method. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 92(4), 722-729.

2. Pasiakos, S. M., McLellan, T. M., & Lieberman, H. R. (2015). The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: A systematic review. Sports Medicine, 45(1), 111-131.

3. Phillips, S. M., & Van Loon, L. J. (2011). Dietary protein for athletes: From requirements to metabolic advantage. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 37(6), 894-903.

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