Maybe you’ve knocked back a protein shake after a tough workout. But is a protein shake good at breakfast? Yep — in fact, it’s a great way to get more protein each day. If you’re ready to shake things up, here’s what you need to know about sipping protein shakes as part of breakfast — plus some yummy breakfast recipes made with protein powder.
How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?
The minimum amount of protein your body needs per day is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. (To determine your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.)
But you may want to think of that number as just a starting point. Many of us — including people who are super active and people looking to lose weight — may need significantly more protein — upwards of 1.6 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day, says Krista Maguire, R.D., and Beachbody senior nutrition manager.
Is It OK to Eat a Protein Shake on an Empty Stomach?
“There’s no reason you can’t have one in the morning on an empty stomach,” Maguire says. But if you’re drinking a protein shake as part of breakfast, you may want to go beyond simply mixing protein powder with water. To make it a complete meal, Maguire suggests adding ingredients such as fruit, nut butter, yogurt, oats, or seeds.
“Protein helps keep you feeling full,” Maguire says. “So having a protein shake at breakfast — combined with some fruit or complex carbs and healthy fats — makes a complete, balanced meal that provides the energy and nutrition you need.”
Should You Drink a Protein Shake Before or After a Morning Workout?
If you favor morning workouts, you may be wondering when you should have a protein shake: before or after your sweat sesh. The answer? Whatever works best for you.
“The research is still out on whether or not protein or specific amino acids — the building blocks of protein — consumed before exercise can help with post-exercise recovery,” Maguire says. That said, digestion and exercise sometimes don’t mix, so it’s a good idea to give yourself an hour or so between your shake and your workout.
And, since your muscles go into rebuilding mode right after exercise, consuming protein within 30 minutes of wrapping your workout can help give your body those building blocks it needs to do this effectively. Beachbody Performance Recover‘s proprietary blend of fast-absorbing whey protein, medium-absorbing pea protein, and slow-absorbing casein protein ensures you have protein on hand for the entire process.
All that being said, when it comes to protein timing, total daily intake may matter more than however you plan your protein consumption around exercise. So, it may be to your advantage to train your protein focus on that total above all others.
5 Protein Shake Breakfast Recipes
Looking for ways to add protein to your breakfast? Try one of these tasty recipes made with Shakeology.
Triple Berry Breakfast Smoothie
Fruity Strawberry Whey Shakeology is blended with two kinds of dark berries, and rich Greek yogurt gives this shake a boost of extra protein for a total of 37 grams.
Carrot Cake Smoothie
This shake recipe has all the flavors of actual carrot cake, without all the added fats and sugars. It also packs a flavor punch, thanks to fresh carrots, pineapple, walnuts, and cinnamon.
La-La Land Smoothie
Creamy Vanilla Whey (or Vanilla Plant-Based Vegan) Shakeology blends with tart-sweet kiwifruit, orange zest, avocado, hearty kale, plus a scoop of Collagen Boost for beautiful skin, healthy nails, and 11 grams of filling fiber.
Banana Cashew Latte
Creamy, coffee-flavored Café Latte Whey Shakeology saves having to brew a cup of joe (add a scoop of Focused Energy Shakeology Boost if it’s caffeine you crave) and cook up a big breakfast if you’re in a rush.
Triple Chocolate Smoothie
Made with rich and creamy Chocolate Whey Shakeology, this shake boasts an added boost of cocoa powder and cacao nibs for even more chocolatey flavor. If you’re following 2B Mindset, simply add in some fruit to fit Plate It! guidelines.