When Should I Drink Protein Shake

Why You Need Protein

When Should I drink a Protein Shake? Should I drink Protein Shakes? How many is OK?

Protein is one of the three main macronutrients along with carbohydrates and fat. You need all three of these things to have a well-rounded diet. Protein helps your body with the several functions, including:

  • Muscle synthesis
  • Tissue repair
  • Building and maintaining strong bones

You can get protein from animal products, like meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy, or plant products, like tofu, edamame, beans, and nuts. You can also consume protein in shake form. Some common sources of protein in shakes are whey, casein, pea, and hemp.

It can be super convenient to get some of your protein from a shake, because you dont have to worry about cooking or preparing it, and its easy to take on the go. Supplementing your diet with a protein shake can help you keep your body fueled up properly, no matter how busy your schedule is or how much you hate to cook.

Does The Anabolic Window Matter

Many people believe drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes of exercise will maximize their results in the gym.

This 30-minute window, commonly known as the anabolic window, is a short period of time during which your muscles are like a sponge for protein.

The thought is that if you consume protein outside of the anabolic window, your body wont effectively utilize it or build muscle .

Research now suggests that this anabolic window of opportunity is much longer than 30 minutes and may not be limited to solely after exercise .

In fact, it may not matter whether you drink a protein shake before or after your workout in terms of optimizing muscle repair and growth.


It was previously believed that protein had to be consumed within 30 minutes of a workout for your body to use it. Recent research suggests that this may not be the case.

Dont Neglect Your Nutritional Needs Post

If you decide to drink your protein shake for breakfast before a morning workout, its important to also fuel your body after exercising. Many fitness experts recommend post-workout protein shakes because it can quicken the process of muscle recovery. You should avoid relying on protein powder as a main source of protein. If youre using protein shakes as breakfast, you should consume some high-protein food after hitting the gym.

Remember, protein shakes are supposed to be a convenient way to help satisfy your nutritional needs. Don’t get frustrated by making them with a cheap, plastic shaker bottle. Use the best and pick up an Ice Shaker bottle today. They’ll keep your shake cold and frothy, won’t sweat, and won’t absorb odor.

Did you find your 10% off coupon code? If not, we’ll give you a hint…Re-read the section about using protein shakes for BREAKFAST to aide in weight loss!

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Bonus Tips To Dial In Your Rest Day

Rest days are all about recovery. So think about what your body needs to fully recoup and be ready to get back to work.

Use your time to stretch. Stretching and other rehabilitory work like foam rolling can make a noticeable difference if you struggle with tightness and lack of mobility in the gym. The reward? Better workout performance and less risk of injury.

Plan a cheat meal. You could benefit from designating your off day as the day youre a little more relaxed with your diet. Many people find that planning a cheat meal gives them something to look forward to after a week of hard work.

Also, half the battle with nutrition is finding a plan thats sustainable. The occasional cheat day could help you stick to your diet in the long run.

Lastly, hydrate

Why Do We Need Protein

Best Time to Drink Protein Shake (Before or After Workout?)

Every day and throughout our lives, our muscles are always in a state of flux, as theyre partially breaking down and partially building back up .

Weightlifting and consuming protein are two common ways to increase muscle protein synthesis.1 When youre trying to lose weight and maintain a calorie deficit, its important to have enough protein in your diet to prevent muscle protein breakdown.2

Protein also slows down our digestion, making us feel full and satisfied, which can help with weight loss. Its great for snackers and 3pm hunger pangs too, keeping you feeling satiated.

As we age, we tend to lose lean muscle mass, making adequate protein intake important in the elderly population as well.4

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What Are The Other Benefits

Apart from a resounding yes in response to the question, Does drinking protein shakes help build muscle? specifically lean muscles, there are plenty of additional benefits of protein powder. In general, protein helps refuel and regenerate muscles after a workout, improve athletic performance, and maintain overall health. For women specifically, getting the necessary protein is also essential for growing and maintaining healthy and strong nails and hair, since these are largely made up of the same compound.

The benefits dont stop there. Although many women shy away from supplementing with protein for fear of looking manly or bulky, its actually a great way to get into shape and offers a rather holistic approach to health and wellness. Happy Way protein powder is superb for weight management, as it aids in weight loss via natural hunger control , and stabilises blood sugar levels, which helps with reducing sweet cravings.

Types Of Protein Shakes

There are three types of protein powders: whey, casein, and soy. All of them stimulate muscle growth differently.

Whey protein is digested faster, providing instant MPS, making it a good post work-out drink. Soy and casein are digested slowly, prolonging MPS through the night. Casein protein is the slowest, making it the best for overnight recovery.

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Why Is It Important To Time When You Drink Your Protein Shake

The secret to a successful protein shake is having the right balance of ingredients. The majority of a protein shake, whether it’s whey or soy protein, is already broken down and in liquid form.

When compared to a couple of eggs or some lean meat that your stomach must first digest before absorbing the macro and micronutrients, this sounds like a good deal.

The amino acid content of protein drinks is almost instantly ready to be absorbed into your body, and you may notice a boost within 30 minutes in some cases.

You want to make certain your body receives the boost at a time when it will have the optimum impact for a specific end result.

When you have different goals for your diet and exercise regimens, there may be significant variations in your timing needs.

Here’s how to go about it:

Protein Shakes For A Snack

how often should you drink protein shakes

Ah, snacking: our favourite topic. We know a thing or two about snacking and a protein shake is up there with one of our go-to healthier options. Take the Carb Killa® Protein Shake, for instance. Theyre packed with protein and low in sugar, meaning theyre a great way to overcome a midday hunger pang or an evening sweet tooth.

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How & When To Take Intra Workout Protein Shakes

For those who have had a high protein meal before training it is probably less important to worry about availability of amino acids during or after training, but many would not choose to have such a large meal before training as it can make it more uncomfortable to train and effect the potency of pre-workout supplements which many would prefer immediately before training. In addition, the very fast release rate of proteins such as Peptopro, BCAA’s, and Whey Hydrolysate, make them an ideal intra-workout choice as they would enter the bloodstream almost immediately and cause less gastric distress than a whole food protein. For very long workouts it would become more important still to provide some fast acting protein source during a training session.

How Late Should You Drink A Protein Shake

It’s generally best to drink a protein shake within 30 minutes of working out. If you’re drinking it for post-workout recovery, aim to drink it within 60 minutes. For general health and wellness, you can drink a protein shake at any time of day.

Just be mindful of the calories and nutrients you’re consuming if you’re also trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet.

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Benefits Of Having A Protein Shake Before Bed

Brittany Ford, RHN

Brittany Ford, RHN of the Biohacking with Brittany podcast, is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who lends her expertise in fact-checking our articles. In…

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Protein shakes are a popular food among athletes, bodybuilders, and active adults as the drink can help build muscle, shed weight, and improve your overall health. The drinks are also affordable, offered in countless flavors, and double as an easy snack or breakfast.

Consuming a protein shake post-workout is often thought to be the best time to maximize your muscle growth and recovery, though drinking protein before bed may provide extra benefits. Drinking an extra protein shake at night can improve strength, muscle size, speed up recovery, and promote weight loss.

Getting Started Drinking Protein Shakes

Should I Drink a Protein Shake After Running?

Lets recap some of the key points of drinking protein shakes for you:

  • Protein supplements can SUPPLEMENT a healthy diet, but should not replace it.
  • My recommendation is to buy a tub of Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein online if youre on a tighter budget, in whatever flavor you like.
  • If you have more money, consider the Jay Robbs Grassfed Whey Protein .
  • Consider mixing in a protein shakebefore or after your workout. Timing isnt as important as total protein consumed over the course of a day when it comes to building muscle and recovery.
  • Think of a shake as a way to get good protein when you cant afford/dont have time to make a good meal.
  • A cheap blender will suffice if you dont have other options, but if you have more of a budget I would recommend getting a Vitamix youll have it for the next 30 years.
  • Hopefully, this should get you started! Feel free to try out different flavors and combinations of ingredients in your smoothies to make them something you actually look forward to!

    Do you have any favorite protein shake recipes?

    Any more questions about protein powders and supplements?


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    If You Consumed A Mixed Meal Close To Your Workout

    A mixed meal consists all three macronutrientsprotein, carbs, and fat. When they consumed together, digestion is slower than normal. So its likely your body will continue to absorb your meals nutrients throughout and even following a workout. Digestion of a mixed meal can last upwards of 8 hours depending on size!

    When Should You Drink Protein Shakes

    Elliott Upton, certified personal trained and Head of Online Training at Ultimate Performance, believes protein shakes should be consumed exclusively post-workout, “unless otherwise prescribed.”

    He told Newsweek: “Whey protein, in its liquid form, means protein is rapidly shuttled to your muscle cells.

    “These shakes have been designed specifically to contain amino acids that are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, so they can improve your recovery and improve the speed at which you build muscle.

    “If you have a shake immediately before a gym session, it might sit very poorly on your stomach during a challenging exercise session.”

    Upton adds there is sometimes a misconception that failure to consume protein shakes within minutes of their training session can result in lost muscle gains.

    He said: “Yes, you should aim to get a good amount of protein after your training session, but there is no need for such urgency getting some one-to-two hours post-workout is fine. So, we don’t ‘need’ a post-workout shake the second that we finish the gym.”

    “If you’ve eaten sufficient protein within two hours of starting your exercise session, you should have a decent pool of amino acids the ‘building blocks’ that make up proteinin your system and immediate, easily digested protein isn’t that important. You can wait an hour or two to grab a decent meal after your session.”

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    What To Eat On Rest Days To Support Muscle Growth

    Do you need to eat differently when youre in recovery mode? Not really. Your diet on rest days can look pretty similar to active days because your body needs the same nutrients even on the days youre not working out in order to recover properly.

    First, you need enough carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen stores, which quickly become depleted with both resistance and endurance training. Keeping your carbohydrate intake consistent ensures youll have the energy you need during your next workout. Whole grains, fruit, sweet potato, rice, and quinoa are some examples of carb-rich foods for rest days.

    Next up, protein. You may need up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight to support muscle recovery. Since recovery takes at least a day, youll want to keep your protein intake up. Go for high-quality protein sources like lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish, beans, tofu, or a protein shake.

    Lastly, dont cut out fat. Including fat on rest days keeps you full between meals. Fat also helps and keeps the joints healthy.

    Should You Drink Protein Shakes On Rest Days

    Who Should Take Protein Shakes – (And How Safe Are They?)

    Arj Thiruchelvam, Performance Physique Running Coach and trainer of Olympian athletes, suggests protein shakes canin moderationform part of a healthy diet of regular gym-goers, even on their rest days.

    He told Newsweek: “The average person needs to be more aware of their limitations and shouldn’t exercise excessively: one-to-two rest days per week is adequate to stave off overtraining.

    “Remember that the time for your body to grow and adapt is during rest and recovery, therefore it’s important that you not only obey your rest periods and days off but also feed it nutritionally during this time. Yes, have your protein shake on days off too.”

    “Depending on how much training you’re used to, a rest day may be just a gentle walk or it may involve some yoga, gentle swimming or a mobility session to aid recovery.”

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    Is Too Much Protein Dangerous

    In short, there isnt a clear answer as to the maximum amount thats beneficial per dose. Recommendations are based on what your goals are. Common practice is to consume about 20-25 grams of high-quality protein at one time to maximise muscle protein synthesis.4

    However, larger doses of 30-45 grams were shown to have the greatest impact on lean mass and strength.5 When considering prevention of muscle loss due to aging, another study showed that 25-30 grams was optimal.6 Overall, the recommendations range between 20-45 grams per dose.

    When considering how many protein shakes a day to have, think about your total daily protein requirement and how many grams there are in a serving of your protein powder.

    If you have a high protein lunch and dinner, one shake in the morning may be enough to reach your daily goal. If you work out in the afternoon and have a long wait until dinner, it might be best to have a second shake then, to optimise muscle building after your workout.

    Protein shakes can also play an important role in the diets of vegan and vegetarian athletes, who dont consume animal protein. Check out our vegan/vegetarian protein range here.

    While you might read about negative side effects from high-protein diets, there have been no studies proving any harm in healthy individuals from protein.7 Its still important to choose high quality carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals for optimal daily nutrition.

    The Effect Of Protein Timing On Muscle Strength And Hypertrophy: A Meta

    Just in case youre not convinced, we also want to draw your attention to a meta-analysis of twenty-three studies that Dr. Schoenfeld also worked on. Once again, all this data showed no practical effect of having a protein shake at all, so long as your total calories and macros are in check.

    These results refute the commonly held belief that the timing of protein intake in and around a training session is critical to muscular adaptations and indicate that consuming adequate protein in combination with resistance exercise is the key factor for maximizing muscle protein accretion.

    That bears emphasis: how much you eat is much more important than when you eat it. In fact, plenty of research has found that even if youre fasting every other day, youll lose or gain about as much weight as people who are eating all day every day, so long as the calories are the same.

    It does seem to be true that theres a little increase in muscle protein synthesis after you exercise and that it increases further when you have some protein after you exercise. But it isnt estanlished that this spike makes a real difference to physique or performance over the long term. Total calories and macros are king.

    But there may be some exceptions.

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    Should You Drink Protein Shake During Workout Or Not

    We would tend to advise against drinking whey protein during workouts to protect digestion. This does not, however, mean that a complete source of amino acids during training cannot be helpful. An essential amino acid or peptopro supplement would be advised for how light they are on the digestive tract.

    Peptopro is a highly hydrolysed enzymatic digestion of casein comprised of all 20 amino acids. One study looked to examine the effect of using this hydrolysed casein supplement during weight training exercise.

    Methods: Ten subjects were studied with the training sessions being conducted in the evening following consumption of a standardised diet during the day. Participants took part in two experiments, one where they were provided 0.15g per kg of bodyweight of a carbohydrate solution provided before the session and every fifteen minutes during the workout, and one where they were given 0.15g per kg of bodyweight of Peptopro on top of the carbohydrate solution.

    Results: By consuming protein during the two hour long workout, protein breakdown rates were reduced by an average 8.4%, while protein synthesis increased by 33% compared to the carbohydrate only group. Whole body net protein balance was negative in the carbohydrate group but strongly positive in the group consuming protein during training.

    Even in the fed state, protein co-ingestion increases muscle protein synthesis during resistance exercise.

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