How many calories does a protein shake have?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How many calories does a protein shake have?”. We will also discuss where the calories in the protein shakes come from and whether ready-to-go protein shakes are high in calories.

How many calories does a protein shake have?

The calorie count in a protein shake can range from less than 100 to more than 700. This is determined by the drink, protein powder, and any add-ons’ contents and portion quantities. If you use high-calorie ingredients in your protein shake, it adds to your protein shake as well. 

So, you’ll have to use low-calorie ingredients if you want to limit the calories in your protein shake. High-calorie protein shakes are not good for weight loss, so if you want to reduce weight, go for low-calorie protein shakes (usually fewer than 200 calories per serving). An average scoop of protein powder contains between 30 and 50 grams or ¼ cup. The calorie content can vary according to the type of protein powder used. 

A typical protein shake contains 100-150 calories per scoop when no other ingredients are added. If you use two scoops per shake, that’s around one-tenth of your total daily calorie intake.

Where do the calories in protein shake come from?

The calories in the protein shake mostly come from the protein powder used, liquid, and the additional ingredients (add-ons). Let us discuss them in detail:

Protein powder

Protein powders are offered in a variety of flavors on the market today. Lactose-free, plant-based, Paleo, keto, gluten-free, organic, vegan, and other dietary preferences are all catered to. This makes it so much more convenient to choose the type of protein powder that you prefer according to your dietary restrictions.

A scoop of whey powder contains approximately 100 calories, while a scoop of soy powder contains approximately 175. A scoop of brown rice powder contains 110 calories, whereas roughly equal volumes of pea powder and hemp powder contain 130 and 135 calories, respectively. Go for a protein powder with no added sweeteners or artificial color.

The liquid 

Water, milk, and almond milk are the best options for you if you want to keep the calorie count of your protein shake as low as possible. Water is your best bet as it has zero calories. If you use whole milk for your protein shakes, that’s 150 calories added right there. 

You can also substitute milk, yogurt, or soy milk for protein. One cup of low-fat milk contains around 120 calories, one cup of nonfat Greek yogurt contains approximately 130 calories, and one cup of unsweetened soy milk contains around 100 calories.

Additional ingredients

You can choose to add these additional ingredients to your protein shake or not, it’s up to you. Adding these ingredients adds some extra bits of proteins to your shake, but it also adds some extra calories. Fruit or vegetables, oats, and nuts or seeds are common add-ons for protein drinks.

You can combine ingredients like spinach, chia seeds, cocoa powder, strawberries, oats, peanut butter, nuts, etc in a high-speed blender to get a thick and smooth outcome. They turn into more of a protein smoothie than a protein shake. These ingredients can add extra 100 calories to your protein shake.

Are ready-to-go protein shakes high in calories?

Yes, ready-to-go protein shakes are high in calories as compared to the ones prepared at home. While making your protein shake at home, you can carefully choose the low-calorie protein powder, liquid, and additional ingredients you want in your shake.

However, ready-to-go protein shakes nearly always contain flavorings, stabilizers, and preservatives in the form of additives. These additives add high calories, although concentrated protein usually accounts for the majority of the calorie content. 

Natural or artificial flavors, cellulose gum or xanthan gum, and sweeteners such as corn syrup, sugar, fructose, or sucralose are some of the additives used in commercially prepared protein shakes. For some of the best high nutritional ready-to-go protein shakes on the market, please click the link here.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “How many calories does a protein shake have?”. We have also discussed where the calories in the protein shakes come from and whether ready-to-go protein shakes are high in calories.


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