I hear this question quite often and I am often confused as to why I am asked this so much. Will protein shakes make me gain weight? To me this is a no brainer, but when we really dig deep into the question there are two answers.
Protein is a vital macronutrient to consume when you are on an exercise regime. It helps your muscles replenish after being torn down during exercise. When consuming a protein shake after a workout it helps with recovery and building muscle. Drinking it in a form of a shake versus eating it, will digest quicker making it beneficial post workout. Shakes can also be consumed as a protein source replacement. This means having a protein shake and a piece of fruit for a snack. It is still considered part of your daily intake, but helps you get more protein in your diet if you are not consuming enough in meals.
Now, how could protein shakes make you gain weight? If you are consuming a large amount of food throughout the day (over your needed calorie consumption) and then you have one or two protein shakes, then this could lead to weight gain over the weeks/months because you are consuming too many calories and potentially grams of protein. This would be a scenario where you could gain weight.
I support the use of protein shakes post workout because it helps with recovery especially after a weight lifting or an intense workout. Here is a great example nutrition day for someone who wants to add a protein shake into his or her diets.
(Amounts varies per person & gender)
Whole Wheat toast
Beans & Rice
Arugula Feta Salad
Don't be scared to drink protein shakes after a workout! They are great for weight loss when consumed properly.