Protein Powders

What’s The Best Time For A Protein Shake?

drink protein shake

Protein shakes have shown tremendous benefits for fitness enthusiasts. However, people often wonder when the right time is to consume their protein shake to get the most of these benefits. So, when should you drink your protein shake? The best time is before or after a workout. However, the right time to have protein powder will depend on your goals, meaning whether you aim to build muscles or lose weight.

Let’s find out the best time for your protein shake, depending on your fitness goals.

What is the best time for a protein shake?

Now, let’s figure out what’s the best time to drink a protein shake.

The best time to have your protein shake will depend on your exercise routine and the purpose of having the shake. This means that the right time to consume protein will be different for people who want to lose weight, gain weight, and build muscles.

Let’s discuss these in detail.

When should you drink protein powder to gain muscles?

protein shake to gain muscles

If your goal is to gain and build muscles, you probably want to combine your protein shake with your workout routine.

However, the best time to consume protein powder for building muscles has been a debatable topic for a long time.

So, we can further break it down to understand better.

If you’re on a diet or work out during a fasted state (like working out before breakfast), you should consume the protein powder immediately after the workout. It’s because the body is already deficient in protein, and consuming protein shortly after will help you get an instant boost of energy to recover your muscles. This time period is known as the anabolic window, meaning that the body can get the most protein during this time.

In normal conditions, it is best to consume protein powder after a workout to gain muscles. Studies also support the stance that consuming protein powder immediately or within 2 hours of a workout is ideal for building muscle mass.

Apart from all this, there were also studies recommending that the time spent on protein consumption isn’t crucial enough for gaining muscles. Instead, the overall protein intake during the day matters more. This is mainly due to individual differences like weight, age, metabolic activity, etc. Such studies stated that 15-60 minutes after a workout is the right time to consume the protein shake.

But, new studies suggest that consuming protein powders within 2 hours can also be good.

When should you drink protein powder to lose weight?

protein powder to lose weight

Due to their high protein content, protein shakes are also great for helping you lose weight. They can control hunger and make you feel full for a long time.

In fact, a study, in which women were given a high-protein diet concluded that consuming a high-protein diet earlier in the day helped them lose over 135 calories, in contrast to skipping breakfast or consuming less protein.

This also suggests that if you want to lose weight, consuming protein shakes in the morning can help you feel full during the day while also providing enough energy to perform regular tasks throughout the day.

Another research also found that high-protein yogurt was much more beneficial than other snacks in controlling hunger. This means that having high-protein snacks in the afternoon can help you reduce hunger at dinner.

When should you drink protein powder for weight gain?

protein powder for weight gain

Luckily, you can also consume protein shakes for weight gain due to their ability to build muscles.

For gaining weight, it’s best to consume protein powder before bed. Making a protein shake with a milk base will further help in weight gain.

Also, you need to make sure that you are consuming all the other nutrients in the right amount. Even with a workout routine, your nutrient intake should account for the calories burned.

How many protein shakes should you take?

The amount of protein you need will depend on your workout routine and whether you want to build muscles or lose weight.

In general, one or two protein shakes per day are more than enough. The thing is, you need to balance your protein powder intake along with the other foods you consume during the day.

In general, 10-35% of your calories should be from protein sources. If you consume too much protein in your diet, it can cause several health issues like nausea and discomfort in the stomach.

Also, it’s important to note that the protein intake should directly align with your fitness goals. If you do tough workouts, your body will burn more calories, and you might need more protein for muscle recovery. On the other hand, if you don’t exercise, consuming more protein shakes will eventually lead to weight gain.

Therefore, you need to align your protein shake intake with your daily routine to make the most of its benefits. 

Should I take protein powder before bed?

protein powder before bed

Taking protein powder before bed can be surprisingly beneficial for the human body.

In fact, some studies suggest that taking protein powder before bed can help in the recovery of muscles.

In this case, casein protein powder is a good option to drink before bed as it digests more slowly than whey protein, hence fueling your body throughout the night.

Take-Away Message

Although the right time to consume your protein shake is a debatable topic, some say that overall protein consumption during the day matters more.

For muscle recovery and muscle gain, you should drink your protein shake within 2 hours of the workout. However, you can also drink protein shakes before a workout so that your body can utilize them during the exercise. Similarly, it’s fine to drink protein shakes before bed as well.

All of this suggests that there is no specified time for consuming protein shakes. You should keep the consumption according to your routine and ensure the right quantity as well.

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