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11 Effects of Drinking Protein Shakes without Working Out

Ever wonder what would happen to someone if they drank a protein shake without exercising? Here are 11 effects of drinking protein shakes without working out.
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Diet/Exercise Combos 

Ever wonder what would happen to someone if they drank a protein shake without exercising? Here are 11 effects of drinking protein shakes without working out.

The famous protein shake has been around since the 1950s, and ever since then, it has only continued to evolve into a convenient tool for athletes and bodybuilders. 

However, we know that it serves as a useful tool for individuals exercising and working out. But what if you didn’t work out? Will it still have the same effect? Let’s discuss. 

Protein Shake Anatomy

There are several types of protein shakes, but all of them serve the same purpose; aid in meeting a certain protein intake. 

It’s commonly used by athletes, bodybuilders, and gym-goers who need extra amounts of protein to meet certain goals. 

However, the elderly also tend to use protein shakes to meet their protein requirements as they are liquids and slightly easier to consume, but more on that later. (1✓)

Most protein shakes range from about 20-30 grams of protein for each scoop. 

Protein shakes are suitable for vegans, non-vegans, vegetarians, and just about anybody looking to up their protein intake.

The Effects of Drinking Protein Shakes Without Working Out

We’ve compiled a list of effects that take place once you stop working out while still consuming protein shakes.

1. Weight Gainhttps://supplementwolf.com/?p=3232&preview=true

The most common effect of not working out with protein shakes is the resulting weight gain you will experience. 

Although filled with 20 grams of complete protein, protein shakes still have a sum of calories, around 100-200 calories per scoop.  

If you add two scoops to your cup, that could easily creep up and add 400+ calories to your daily caloric intake. 

Be on the lookout for the number of excess calories you’ll be consuming with protein shakes if you’re not exercising to burn them off.

2. Increased Satiationhttps://supplementwolf.com/?p=3232&preview=true

As a counter to the first effect, protein shakes tend to make you feel less hungry or increase overall satiation. 

Protein is the macronutrient that makes us feel the most full, and several studies have shown that protein reduces the amount of ghrelin our bodies produce, one of our many hunger hormones. (2✓)

Protein shakes have a decent amount of protein. That’s why many people feel a sense of fullness or heaviness after drinking one. 

You can in turn, use this to your advantage if you plan your diet carefully. You won’t feel as hungry, and this can help you maintain calories even without working out. 

3. Undesirable Macronutrients

Protein shakes contain lots of sought-after macronutrients, such as dietary protein. However, they also contain a list of unwanted macronutrients. 

These include things such as sugars, artificial flavorings and sweeteners, and preservatives that tend to build up in the body if you do not exercise regularly. 

This effect can go hand in hand with weight gain if you’re not watching your weight. 

4. Kidney Problems

Your kidneys are responsible for filtering out any harmful substances that circulate with your blood.  

Your kidneys filter out toxins from the blood, but they also filter out an excess protein that the body doesn’t need. 

This puts an immense amount of strain on the kidneys when too much protein is consumed, and your organs are overworked. 

However, studies have shown that this issue only occurs in people with already previously damaged kidneys. 

Regular working kidneys show no problems with excessive amounts of protein intake. (3✓

5. Acidity Problems 

Unbeknownst to many consumers of protein shakes, protein can be quite acidic when taken excessively. 

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux, is the backward flow of your stomach acid up into your esophagus, the most common symptom of heartburn. (4✓

Two ingredients in protein powders cause acid reflux, whey protein, and certain additives. 

These two tend to stay in your stomach longer, allowing for the bacteria to ferment and cause numerous amount of things. 

If you experience frequent heartburn, not exercising while taking protein shakes should be avoided due to their acidity. 

6. Health Benefits for the Elderlyhttps://supplementwolf.com/?p=3232&preview=true

As we start to get older, our entire body starts to whiter, albeit slowly, and our bodies won’t function the same as they did in our 20s or 30s. 

The elderly have a harder time maintaining enough muscle to even do their day-to-day tasks. Just like everyone else, they need to move and consume protein to keep their muscle. 

Protein shakes are a convenient way older adults can get their protein intake in without much trouble as it’s a liquid and not a solid. 

Although they won’t gain the muscle they used to, some protein will help them be just a little more active. 

7. Complete Protein Intake

There’s a major difference between the amount of protein a bodybuilder needs and the amount of protein a sedentary person needs. 

The average person who does little to no exercise requires around 45-50 grams of protein daily. In contrast, a bodybuilder could potentially consume up to 175+ grams of protein. 

A protein shake can just about complete half the amount of protein a sedentary person needs in their daily diet. 

8. Increase in Fiber

Fiber is an essential nutrient that the body needs to move faster, quicker and smoother out of our body.  

Some protein powders contain more fiber than others, but staples like whey protein will contain a generous amount of fiber. 

9. Feelings of Heavinesshttps://supplementwolf.com/?p=3232&preview=true

Protein shakes tend to make a lot of people feel heavy after consuming them. There are a number of reasons this could be. 

First, the overall satiation of eating a protein-heavy beverage can make a person full and feel a bit heavy. 

Another reason could be due to the energy needed to break down protein in the body. While in your stomach, your body rushes blood into your stomach to break down your shake.  

This in combination, can make you feel heavy and sluggish after drinking a shake. 

10. Lackluster Muscle Gain 

To be clear, building muscle is completely possible without the incorporation of a protein shake. 

Your diet has to be well-balanced and has to have a decent focus on protein consumption. You won’t go very far with not enough protein. (5✓

Without exercising, however, no advancements in your muscle gain will ever occur. You need to tear down your muscle fibers in order to build them stronger

We need to be in a caloric deficit in order to lose weight and consume enough protein to build the muscle.

A protein shake is very convenient in your diet if your goal is to build muscle, but the exercise is absolutely critical. 

11. Supplement Reliance

Once you get a taste of just what a protein shake can do to your lifestyle and diet, you’ll no doubt want to continue the results.

However, it is imperative that your protein should come from your overall diet and not so much from supplements. 

Having a heavy reliance on protein shakes takes your attention away from your day-to-day diet. 

Supplements should accomplish what they’re made for, to “supplement” or assist your diet. 


In conclusion, protein shakes have a multitude of effects even if you do not work out, both good and bad effects. 

Be wary of how you consume your protein shakes, as, without exercise, you won’t reap all the benefits you strive for.