Do Protein Shakes Work?


The packaging on many popular whey protein shakes and supplements makes them seem like miracle products. It all begs the question: Do protein shakes really work to build muscle mass? Or is it marketing hype?

As it turns out, whey protein has been extensively tested - including a 2001 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise. In the study, 36 males were divided into three groups and underwent 6 weeks of strength training. Compared to the placebo group, men who supplemented with whey protein experienced more lean muscle mass and tested higher on many strength measures.

According the Mayo Clinic, the muscle building claims of whey protein are given a score of “B” - meaning that there is good scientific evidence for this use:

Whey protein has been studied for promoting muscle growth and improving athletic performance. Taking whey protein after exercise may have benefits in both men and women, in terms of improving protein oxidation and blood levels of essential amino acids. Overall, short-term studies have suggested that whey protein increases muscle mass and strength. Some conflicting results have been found in terms of whey protein’s effects on body composition. More research is needed to confirm these results over a longer period of time.

Of course, just consuming whey protein won’t magically grow your muscles. Whey protein supplementation must be in addition to a comprehensive strength training and nutrition program that targets muscle growth. And, too much protein can be detrimental to your health.

In other words, whey protein can be a powerful tool in building lean muscle mass - but it’s just one factor of many.



About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. OMG who’s that hottie in the picture? so freaking buff; so freaking sexy

  2. Antonio says:

    Hi Davey,

    You only mention Whey protein in this article, what are the difference between Soy, Hemp and Whey. Are there any differences with using one over an other?

    Thank you.

    J. Antonio

  3. i use pea protein that offers me 20g of protein but i don’t rely on just the shake. i also eat about 250g of protein too a day and have been having great results.

    i have a personal trainer once a week who also looks at my daily workouts and food intake.

  4. I heard most of the protein shake in the market contain steroid in it. Does this kind of protein shakes bring harm to the body?
    Besides that, I also heard that plant protein like soy are much better that animal protein. Although plant protein has a slower effect than animal protein but it is healthier. Animal protein tend to make our body acidic. Is that true?

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  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about protein. Regards