T Nation

Noob Question: 3 Shakes a Day Plus Food?


New here, and I have a question regarding protein shakes. I am pretty skinny as of the moment, and would like to do 3x 75 gram shakes a day. Always eating food, but being poor limits the amount of grub I got in my house.

No Idea if this is safe or if it will even work. I'm upping my workouts for 2 workouts a day right now. I'm young and have no job for summer, till school opens up again


2 workouts a day ? a bit much innit ?


IMO, I don't see how having 3 protein shakes would be unsafe. Also, if you're saying that cost will limit how much food you can eat, I probably wouldn't do two workouts a day as you probably won't be able to eat enough cals to gain (if that's your goal).


Pick up a mass gainer like serious mass


It's probably actually cheaper to buy food than protein shakes, and 75g of protein a shake is just silly, you're not Ronnie Coleman, so I doubt your body is going to be able to make use of that much per feeding. Buy store brand Mac n Cheese, a few tins of cheap chunk tuna, and mix it all up together. I used to eat that twice a day when I was a poor college student, occasionally buying the 'marked down' steaks that were a day or two from being unsellable, and whatever store brand (crap) protein powder was on the 'special' (meaning practically expired) shelf at GNC.



Protein drinks are good for convenience, fast digestion (depending on the type), low carb eating (depending on the type) and to break up the boredom of eating all the time. They're really not that cost effective if you only use them because you're broke.


go to stop n shop or whatever your local food store is an hour before they close and buy the meat that has a sell by date of that day. They usually go around towards the end of the day slapping half price or 1 dollar off stickers on them just to get them out of the store. youll save a ton of money on meat that way.


Per gram of protein, solid food is almost always more expensive than the lower priced protein powder options.

$5.50 will get you a lb of bulk whey concentrate and $8.50 will get you a lb of bulk milk protein isolate. That's 360g of protein in a lb of the whey concentrate and 390g in a lb of milk protein isolate, coming out to 1.5 cents/gram for the whey and 2.1 cents/gram for the casein. Compare that to bargain basement chicken at $2/lb, which comes out to 2.17 cents/gram. That's the cheapest you'll find chicken breast around here, and it's usually closer to the $3-4/lb range on sale.

Tuna is actually fairly ineffective, cost-wise, as it tends to run around $2.50 for the 12 oz (60g protein) cans, and nowhere near cheap enough to cause me to tolerate the awful taste, haha. Beef is about the same as chicken, you rarely find the leaner stuff for $2/lb, and the high fat content stuff, while cheaper, doesn't yield as much protein. If you can find 80/20 for rock bottom (like under $2/lb) cheap, you can rinse it and do alright (81g protein/lb raw).

Another way to do this on a budget is to not get swept up in the "MUST HAVE 2.5G/LB BW PROTEIN" thing. You'll do just fine hitting around 1.25g/lb if you're eating enough of everything else.

Personally, I do about 100g of protein from shakes daily as well as a lb of some sort of leaner meat. Granted, I'm heavier and have higher protein needs than the OP, so what's appropriate for him will be different. Going by the information in his profile, at 160 lbs and very lean, 200g protein/day will be a good starting point (adjust upwards as you gain weight), along with 400g of carbs and 80g of fat. This is assuming the goal is to gain weight-which at 6' and 160 lbs, it should be. If you're training twice a day, you're definitely going to need those carbs and calories.

So daily: 2-3 scoops of protein powder, 3/4 lb of meat, 3-5 whole eggs, and the amino acid content of the 400g of primarily starches and you'll be more than set on your protein requirements.


Eggs; Cottage Cheese; Eggs; Tuna; Eggs; Peanut Butter; Eggs; Pasta; Eggs; Oatmeal; Eggs; Eggs...


Quit that working out twice a day bullshit, that will pretty much guarantee you get nowhere if your naturally skinny... 2-3 hard workouts a week is enough to keep your body stressed enough to respond with growth. Anything beyond that and your just wasting calories on energy in the gym and repairing the unneeded damage you did with your workout. Those calories could have been going towards growth.

Nothing wrong with 2-3 shakes a day on top of your regular food. But you should be using them on top of food, not in its place.


Are you old enough to get a job? That would give you money to buy real food, and you probably would just spend time on one productive workout a day.

Don't neglect other sources of calories if you're skinny and trying to bulk. Heck, oatmeal is actually pretty cheap in price per g of protein... even though it's primarily a carb source.

In other words, just eat.


No. ?

I do it when I have the time. 4 days a week of 2-a-days can work. But I dont recommend it for someone who is low on food.


My point. He is low on food and skinny. Youre body can handle training twice a day, plus you actually know what it is to eat enough, a lot of beginners don't.


2-3 "hard workouts" is far from optimal for the vast majority of people, ESPECIALLY a kid with no real stress outside of lifting or other commitments.


True. It sounded like you were just making a general claim that 2-a-days werent conducive for muscle building.

But even a normal workout routine can be considered 'a bit much' if food intake is not up to par. So that's sort of a obvious claim to make.


Really? Not to hijack the thread, but would you mind detailing the split you use for this?


This is exactly what I'm thinking!

I buy protein from Trueprotien, They let you customize the stuff and it's really cheap especially since I buy it in bulk. Not only that, it tastes 2x better than GNC garbage.

I may not always get something clean, But I do go for the cheap stuff eggs, tuna..ect.

My problem is that I'm doing football right now, I'm a wide-out. Not only that, I train for track very hard during the summer as well. Obviously way to much cardio to have gains very easy to come by.

I need to get stronger in general for football and track. Upper body is very underdeveloped while lower body is pretty fast but average strength.

You guys probably get a lot of guys in my situation, Skinny and want to gain. Well, I have a crazy metabolism, track and football workouts, Not even mentioning probably the worst genetics of muscle mass on the site.(everyone in my family is skinny)

still wondering if the 3x a day shake thing is cool with you guys. I will always shake after food, but whatever i'm eating, I probably need more.

Idk about the 2 a days, they are already draining as hell. Track and football, hitting the weights for each workout is draining.

anybody think GOMAD?


If you're running for track/football, you need to decrease your training frequency some. Four lifting workouts/week will be fine.

3 shakes daily is totally fine. Shakes are nothing more than liquid food. However you want to get it in.

I don't think GOMAD is a good idea, at all. I've got no problem with people drinking a good bit of milk, but basing a diet on it is pretty stupid and not a good way to go forward WRT health or body composition.

Obviously, protein will be the primary requirement you need to meet, but carbs come in a close second here. As active as you are, you NEED to be eating plenty of carbs. Rice, oats, potatoes, pasta, and even bread. All are cheap and easy to prepare. Eat 3 large meat/egg+carb+vegetable meals per day along with your three shakes and you'll be off on the right foot.


As described by the others, 2-a-days are not a good idea since you are very skinny and train football/track 6-10x per week as well.

I don't know your training style. If you use lots of compound lifts, 4 times per week is plenty. If you mostly play around with dumbbells, you could do one body part every day.

Personally, I would recommend doing Wendler's 5/3/1. It would be good for you because:
1) The regular template is 4 days
2) It's built around the major compound lifts
3) Assistance work is flexible and can be low volume

GOMAD may be a good option for you. Try to get organic milk, as most people report less bloating and stomach problems when doing it like that.

Edit: In response to the above post, GOMAD would mean a gallon of milk ON TOP of your regular meals not instead, but I think you know that.


true, but it had to be said, if he can't afford enough food he shouldn't be overdoing it . Call me captain obvious !