When To Drink Protein Shakes

When To Drink Protein Shakes? Is There A Best Time?

We are all looking for the most efficient way to lose weight or build muscle. Yet, one topic still remains to have controversy. That question is “when to drink protein shakes”?

When To Drink Protein Shakes

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It’s probably been embedded in your brain that you need to drink your protein post-workout, aka after your workout session.

Although, could there be any benefits to drinking protein before your workout?

What about just before bedtime?

Also, how soon after your workout should you be pounding down your protein shake?

These are all good questions, and we’ll get into them.

When To Drink Protein Shakes: How Much Protein?

First, let’s discuss “how much” protein we should be consuming. Again, this is a highly debated topic, so I will only cover this briefly.

The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight.

Unfortunately, this is only the amount needed to prevent nutritional deficiencies and is geared toward building muscle, losing weight, or improving athletic performance.

Other studies show that bodybuilders and athletes will benefit from a much higher dose of protein resembling something closer to 2.3-3.1 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

How much you take in is up to you.

When To Drink Protein Shakes: Pre vs Post Shake?

I like you was under the belief that you ALWAYS needed to have a protein shake AFTER your workout. Furthermore, it was ingrained in my mind that it needed to be consumed within the 30-minute window.

This is known as the “anabolic window”. It basically means that if you don’t consume your protein within that time frame, your body will not utilize the protein efficiently.

Studies now show that this is actually not true, and that so-called window may not actually exist.

In regards to consuming protein before your workout, again, studies show NO DIFFERENCE between pre vs post workout protein shakes.

When To Drink Protein Shakes: Before Bed?When To Drink Protein Shakes

Drinking protein shakes before bed?

I was under the impression that this was just another marketing strategy for the supplement companies to profit off our ignorance.

I stand corrected!

It may sound crazy, but studies suggest otherwise.

One particular study showed that by consuming at least 40 grams of protein before bed, you are able to increase muscle protein synthesis and augment gains in muscle mass and strength.

So, it might be in your best interest to chug that protein shake prior to bedtime!

When To Drink Protein Shakes: Which Kind?when to drink protein shakes

This is where it gets a little tricky. We have SO MANY different options. You’ve got your choice of plant-based, whey, casein, and even soy protein.

While protein supplementation, in general, has been shown to be effective, one study found casein protein to be the most effective to consume prior to bedtime.

Now, do not think that casein protein is the only form of protein you should be consuming, it was just considered the best one prior to sleep for optimal protein synthesis.

In general, whey protein may be more beneficial to consume throughout the day. As we discovered previously, the time frame in which you consume your protein really doesn’t matter.

What seems to be more important is how much, which we also discussed earlier as well.

One study compared 23 different studies on consuming protein relative to exercise timing. The study found that the timing wasn’t as important compared to “how much” you were consuming.

Your general takeaway from all this should be…

  • Make you sure you are consuming enough
  • You may benefit from consuming 40 grams of casein protein prior to bedtime.

Alright, that wraps up the article on “When To Drink Protein Shakes”.

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