Muscle gain, weight loss, weight gain, whatever your goals are in the gym, protein is essential in accomplishing them. Did you know, though, that when you take your protein can be almost as important as how much protein you take? If you want to reap the most benefits from your protein shake, here is how timing can affect your body’s ability to utilize this resource.
During your resting hours your body has been fasting. While fasting, your body will begin to break down muscle tissue for some quick energy since excess muscle is not the most necessary resource. Downing a protein shake first thing in the morning can offset that muscle breakdown and aid in muscle recovery. Fruit smoothies or protein muffins are great ways to get your protein needs in for breakfast too.
Drinking protein after a gym session has long been touted as the go to timing for a shake but drinking protein before a workout can be beneficial too. Protein delivers muscle building amino acids to your bloodstream when you need it most. Think about it as priming your muscles for a pump. And research shows that protein synthesis can increase for up to three hours after protein intake, so you can reap the benefits of that shake even after you're done at the gym.
Taking protein 30 minutes after a workout is also beneficial. Those amino acids we mentioned also aid in muscle recovery. So, after yours are all worn out and tired, a protein shake can deliver those amino acids to your bloodstream and help you recover faster so that you can get stronger faster.
Now what about drinking a shake during a workout? This is just dependent on you and your body. The problem that most people run into when drinking or eating during a workout is that it causes stomach discomfort. If you are exerting a lot of effort in your workouts, the last thing you want to do is barf. And if you barf up your protein shake then you won’t reap the benefits of it at all.
Your body does the most muscle repair and recovery while you are asleep. Which is why many people choose to let protein assist your body in doing so, all while they catch some Zzzs. Just make sure to take a slow releasing protein like casein, so that it can slowly do its job over the course of the night.
So, the short answer is, yes, it does matter what time you drink a protein shake. Once you understand what your body needs, you can choose a time that works best for your body and schedule.
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