QUESTION: When is the best time to drink a protein shake? Can I be drinking a shake at those times too? What should you recommend?ANSWER Great question, but before I answer it, I need to ensure we all know what the real purpose and benefit of protein shake actually is. .What Do Protein Shakes Do? You shouldn’t ever take a nutritional supplement without completely understanding what it does. So, what do protein shakes do? Nothing.
They do nothing. That has been easy! Then why beverage them you ask? Since they’re a handy source of high excellent protein, and protein does something. Actually, it will a lot of stuff. From playing a crucial part in building muscle and preventing muscle loss, to controlling hunger and increasing the thermic effect of food (TEF), to fixing all the cells and cells in your body… protein is the main macronutrient for many reasons. And for all these reasons and more, eating a sufficient amount of protein per day is a hugely important part of every individual’s diet, whatever their specific goal might be. Speaking of which, for those of us looking to build muscle, lose fat or perform both, something in the assortment of 0.8g – 1.3g of protein per pound of your present body weight is going to be the ideal range to take for (utilize your target bodyweight if you’re extremely obese ).
Total details here. Protein Shakes vs FoodNow, you might be asking yourself, with all else being equal (e.g. same total protein intake, same total calorie consumption, same meal timing/frequency, etc.), what are the many advantages of drinking a protein shake compared to eating a higher protein food like chicken breast? Good question. Here is a comprehensive list of the advantages. .ConvenienceAaaand that is it. High excellent protein is high excellent protein. Whether it’s coming from the kind of poultry or turkey breast, lean cuts of beef, fish, eggs/egg whites, low fat/fat-free milk… or if it is coming via protein shakes… it does not really matter. There isn’t going to be any meaningful difference in the end.Which is the reason why the sole benefit of a protein shake is the fact that it is convenient?
There is no food to cook, prepare or eat. You just throw a scoop in a cup or bottle, add some water (or whatever), mix it for a couple of seconds, and drink. Quick and easy! Of program, most individuals need to try to find the vast majority of their everyday protein from premium excellent food resources such as those that I just mentioned, since ingesting your calories and nutrients is generally more filling and satisfying than drinking them. And if you are able to always meet your total daily protein needs this way (and you do not have any problems doing this ), then guess what? There is no need for you to drink a protein shake. In this circumstance, it is a redundant waste of money.BUT…If you are not able to reach that ideal total from food alone…Or it would simply be simpler and much more convenient for you to find some of your everyday protein from a shake…Then that is precise if protein shakes should be utilized.
This is their true purpose. So in this circumstance, you can don’t hesitate to use supplements (powder, pubs, whatever) as required to fill in the gaps and allow you to hit your target total for the day. (Further details here: Just How Many Protein Shakes If You Drink A Day?) Now with that point clear, let us return to the initial query. . .When Is The Ideal Time to Drink Protein Shakes? That is determined by who you ask. What Supplement Firms And Misinformed People Say. .
For example, if you ask the super reputable nutritional supplement companies that make these products, the super trustworthy people that sell them or the super knowledgeable people in the diet and physical fitness world who love giving advice about this sort of stuff, they may tell you that it’s highly significant (bordering on demanded ) to consume a protein shake for breakfast (“to rev up your metabolism! )”) , another one before AND promptly after your workout (plus maybe also sip on one throughout your workout, too), another prior to bed (to reduce muscle loss during your overnight quickly, obviously), another during lunch (for advantage, of course), and another 1-3 shakes over the course of the day involving meals (“as a great tasting, low calorie, protein-packed snack!”) .
So… basically… beverage such as 50 protein shakes a day. Also do not forget to put some protein powder on your oatmeal, on your yogurt, and use it to bake tasty high protein muffins and cookies! HELL YEAH!! Although, to be honest, this really is pretty close to exactly what I recall reading on the back part of my first bottle of whey protein powder years back, and exactly what the guy at GNC recommended, and what many gym bros were/still are doing. And it mostly comes down to the fact that supplement businesses want you to think there is something magical about supplements… that they do something that whole food sources do not do/can’t do, or else that protein shakes somehow”work” better than whole food resources do. All of which is mostly bullshit, of course. But tons of individuals think it anyway.
The Truth…The truth is, there are no special times of the day that justify drinking a protein shake. That’s not really a thing. What there might be, however, are specific times of the day that are ideal for consuming protein, period. And from the vast majority of these cases (and with all else being equal), it is going to make no difference at whether your source of protein in these times happens to be a shake or a top excellent food source. But wait, what’s that you say?
“But I noticed…”You noticed that there are particular times of the day if a protein shake is far better than a high excellent food source of protein? Ah yes, you ought to be speaking about the infamous post-workout anabolic pub, aka a very brief span of time (30 minutes or less) immediately after your workout once you MUST consume a fast-digesting protein shake… or else. Or else exactly what, precisely? Terrible things. You won’t regain.
You’ll eliminate muscle. You’ll get fat. Your entire workout is going to have been a waste. Your spouse will abandon you. You’ll lose your work. Every cookie you consume from this point on will have protein powder in it. TERRIBLE THINGS!! The matter is, though, this notion of having to slam a shakedown 12 seconds after your workout (or else!) Is a myth that’s been widely disproven lately (resources here and here). Turns out that under most circumstances (more about exactly what I mean by”most” a bit later), that allegedly”brief” window of time is similar to 1 – two hours rather than 0 – 30 minutes. And of course, the significance of the post-workout meal has been greatly exaggerated.
Don’t make me wrong, it matters. Hell, there is a super-comprehensive chapter in both Superior Muscle Growth and Superior Fat Loss that covers all, including my specific recommendations. Why? Since it matters. But the amount that it things are waaaaay significantly less than people makes it out to be. It is not something that will make or break your success. Nor can it be anything even remotely near that. That’s all a myth. What things most, by far, is the total protein intake for the day. THAT’S something that can make or break your success.
But as long as that is exactly what it should be, the specific timing of it, the specific sources of it and if you ate exactly the”best” post-workout meal in the”best” period are minor secondary particulars in comparison. With all that in mind, there is a different question we need to be asking and replying to here. . .When Are The Finest Times To Eat Protein? It’s not about protein shakes.
It is about protein. Protein shakes are just one of MANY good sources of protein. You would not ask”when will be the best times to eat egg whites,” would you? This is pretty much exactly the same damn thing. So the question is, are there certain times of the day that are more ideal for swallowing protein? The response is yes. Here are those times, in order of significance. Whenever the hell that you need to so as to attain your ideal total for the day.
I made this point already, but I’m going to make it because it is that important. Above all else, the most crucial aspect of your protein intake is swallowing the ideal total amount per day. That is, undoubtedly, the thing that matters most. It matters more than the specific timing of if you consume it, how often you eat it, what food resources are providing it, what amounts you consume it in, whether it is a complete food source or a protein shake, what other foods you consume along with it, or whatever else you can consider. When is the best time to eat protein? Whenever the hell you need to for ensuring your ideal total is fulfilled at the conclusion of the day. During every meal.
As soon as you’re consuming a decent total amount of protein per day, you might be asking yourself if there is a specific way of eating it throughout the day that is best. Perhaps more of it should be consumed in the morning ? Or perhaps at night? Or during lunch? Or dinner? The solution is none of the above mentioned. Or really, it is all the above. Meaning, to maximize the benefits of protein, the ideal way of eating it is by simply consuming a nice amount in every meal (source). Simple as that. And again, if a source of protein during one or more of these foods is a complete food source or protein shake doesn’t matter at all. Do whatever suits you best.During your pre and post-workout meals.
Yes, I know I just said that you should ideally consume protein throughout every meal, and”every meal” technically includes every meal… which includes your pre and post-workout meals. But out of”every meal,” your pre and post-workout foods are very likely to be the most beneficial to consume protein during. No, as I mentioned previously, this isn’t something that’s SUPER important. Your pre and post-workout nutrition won’t make or break your success, nor will they play massive roles in the amount of success you attain.
They are, however, a secondary variable of your daily diet that is well worth placing a fair amount of work into becoming right because doing so will be useful to your advancement in some little way. How do you do that, you ask? It is simple. Consume a few proteins 1 – 2 hours before and 1 – two hours after your workouts from whatever high-quality resources you enjoy best. Further details here. Are There ANY Scenarios When A Protein Shake Is Your ideal Choice? Do you remember earlier when I had been explaining that advantage has been the only real difference between drinking a protein shake and ingesting a high excellent food source of protein?
And there wasn’t any benefit to swallowing a”fast-digesting shake” immediately after your workout? Do you also remember when I used the term” under most circumstances” when saying those things, and said I’d clarify what I meant a tiny later? Well, it is later. As I was saying earlier, under most circumstances, it will not make any difference if your source of protein at a meal is a shake or a top excellent food source. But, are there ANY situations when maybe, just maybe, a protein shake could have some benefit over food? The response is yes, and all these are those situations. . .If you train at a fasted state.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is all of the rages nowadays, despite not actually providing any purposeful body composition advantages beyond just being an approach to supper timing/frequency that happens to satisfy some people’s needs, schedules and tastes better than other processes. But if you are doing some kind of IF for that very reason, it is absolutely fine by me. (If you are doing it because you think it’s somehow better for fat loss or muscle growth with all else being equal… you are wasting your time. Resources and here.) And if so, you most likely train while at a fasted state. In this scenario – one where there wasn’t any pre-workout meal consumed – using a”fast-digesting protein shake” shortly after your workout is the best choice. It is still not something that will make or break your success, nor can it be something that is more significant than your total protein intake for the day.
The very same things I just said (minus all the shitting on IF) apply here as well.If your pre-workout meal is within 30 minutes of your workout.
Most people have their pre-workout meal someplace within 1 – 2 hours prior to their workout, which will be fine. But some people are not able to do that for whatever reason and will instead end up needing to consume their pre-workout meal within 30 minutes of their workout. In this scenario, swallowing a whole food source of protein so near the time you’ll be exercising can cause gastrointestinal difficulties.
If that’s the case, a protein shake could be a much better alternative since it is a little easier to digest and less likely to trigger any problems.If your workout is considerably longer than is typical.
Generally, the typical weight training workout will continue… what? 1-2 hours? Sounds good to me. (Details: How Long Should My Workout Be?) That’s when using a”fast-digesting post-workout shake” is a superior choice.
Unless all these are endurance-oriented workouts, you are probably doing something very wrong. Whenever that you need to or wish to.
Specifically, whenever you need to consume additional protein so as to attain your ideal total for the day, and you either A) do not have time to cook, prepare or eat a complete food source( B) you do not feel like cooking, eating or preparing a complete food source, C) you do not have any other alternatives available at the time, or D) you’d simply prefer to have a protein shake for much other non-myth-based reason. All of these are situations if a protein shake will probably be the best choice