Protein shakes are a popular dietary supplement used by many people to enhance workouts, lose weight, and promote general health. For all their popularity, many people still wonder about the best time to drink protein shakes. That’s why Tony Horton has compiled this go-to protein shake timing guide. Learn all about protein shakes and the perfect time of protein intake.
Different Types Of Protein Powder And Shakes
Go to any nutrition store and you’ll find an entire wall of different protein shakes and protein powders. Don’t let all the choices intimidate you. Most protein shakes fall into a few categories, each with its own properties and potential benefits. Let’s explore the most common protein shakes.
Whey proteins are a dairy-based product derived from milk protein. They’re unique because they contain high amounts of essential amino acids. Your body does not naturally produce all nine of these amino acids, so they must come from the food you consume. Whey protein contains specific branched-chain amino acids which are particularly good at building muscle.1
Tony Horton’s High Impact Whey Protein supplies these crucial amino acids with a signature blend of high-quality protein and prohydrolase to increase digestibility and absorption.
Plant-based protein powders can be combined for a blend that contains all nine essential amino acids. Plants offer a great source of protein that’s naturally low in saturated fat. Plus, they contain lots of beneficial phytochemicals and fiber. Plant protein shakes and powders are a great option for vegans or vegetarians.2
High Impact Plant Protein provides a signature blend of plant proteins and enzymes for muscle development and overall health.
Best Time To Drink Protein Shakes
The perfect time for protein intake depends largely on your fitness goals. So, Tony Horton generally prefers to time protein supplementation around a specific fitness goal. Learn about some of the best times to consume protein based on your unique exercise objectives.
Note: Always speak to a medical professional before making any changes to your diet.
Protein Shakes For Weight Loss
Protein can help regulate and enhance weight loss goals. Consuming a high-protein diet helps support your metabolism and may decrease your appetite. This means that protein-rich snacks, like protein shakes, may leave you feeling full — so you’re less likely to eat extra calories.3,4
If weight loss is your goal, then you may want to time your protein shakes between meals throughout the day. For example, people who consume a midday snack with lots of protein tend to consume fewer calories at dinner compared to people who eat carbs and fat. This may lead to a decrease in food intake and overall weight loss.5
Building Muscle With Protein Shakes
Protein is a vital macronutrient for anyone trying to pack on muscle mass. That’s because your muscles use protein as a source of energy to repair and grow. Muscles tend to use protein throughout the whole day. So, it’s important to consume plenty of protein to ensure your muscles receive a proper amount of fuel.6
There are several theories on when you should consume protein for muscle gains. Typically, fitness experts like Tony Horton tend to recommend a protein shake 15-60 minutes after lifting weights or doing resistance training. This post-exercise anabolic window is when the amino acids in protein shakes get absorbed quickly to support muscle repair and growth.7
However, the amount of protein you consume is more important than when you consume it. Your perfectly timed post-workout shake won’t provide much of a boost if your body doesn’t have adequate amounts of protein to supply your muscles.8
A great way to meet your recommended daily protein intake is through shakes and protein supplements. For the most part, your protein should come from real foods. However, protein supplementation from powders and shakes is an effective way to ensure your body has all the protein it needs to recover.9
Preventing Muscle Loss With Protein Shakes
Everyone begins to lose muscle mass after age 30. Adequate protein intake may help limit this muscle loss.10
The perfect time of protein intake for preventing muscle loss tends to be throughout the day. Rather than a set time, some scientists suggest spreading protein consumption out into three or four specific meals. Eating 25-30 grams of protein at each meal –breakfast, lunch, and dinner – can stimulate muscle protein synthesis to reduce muscle loss.11
Protein Shakes For Building Endurance
Protein timing is an important consideration for those who want to build endurance.
Athletes performing endurance training, like running or cycling, may potentially benefit from consuming protein during exercise. This is especially true when protein is consumed with carbs. One study found that cyclists who drank a protein and carb beverage during their rides reduced muscle soreness and enjoyed better post-workout muscle recovery.12
Typically, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy used during aerobic exercise; they’re an important nutrient for building endurance. But, research suggests that the addition of protein might help muscles recover more efficiently.13,14,15
Protein Shake Before Or After A Workout
As you can see, there are advantages to finding the best time to drink protein shakes based on your health goals. But, don’t feel discouraged if you forget to drink your protein shake at a specific time. Research suggests that your total protein intake is more important for your fitness goals than the exact protein intake timing.16,17
Protein At Any Time Can Support Your Health
Protein provides vital nutrients for general health and wellness. It creates and maintains the cells that repair and fuel your body. Providing your body with enough protein may help support body weight, muscle mass, and general fitness.18
The ideal time for protein intake is a common subject of debate. Mostly, there is no right or wrong time to drink a protein shake. It often comes down to your personal preference and your fitness goals and training regimen.
These strategies may assist with your fitness and health goals. But the most important thing is to provide your body with adequate amounts of protein. Try to consume balanced meals with plenty of protein coming from whole foods. Then, supplement that natural protein with shakes like High Impact Plant Protein or High Impact Whey Protein to ensure your body has the fuel it needs to build muscle and promote general health.
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