Protein shakes are one of the most important aspects of your diet, especially if you’re looking to maximize your muscle growth and development. Over the years, there has been much debate about the best time to consume a protein shake, and thanks to science, that question has been answered.

Protein is essential for building muscle, however, it also plays a crucial role in almost every other aspect of your physiology, so knowing when to consume a protein shake will help you to maximize your results as well as supporting other vital functions such as your immune system.

It’s important to understand that your body relies on nutrients, calories, and fats in order to fuel metabolic processes throughout the day, and when you’re sleeping, and if you don’t have the required amounts then your body will start turning to amino acids and muscle in order to fuel these functions.

With this in mind, you need to ensure your body has the essential proteins it needs to build and repair muscle 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Should I Drink A Protein Shake Before Or After A Workout?

Studies show that consuming a protein shake immediately before a workout can help to promote increases in physical performance, training session recovery, lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy, and strength [1].

This can also be said for post workout. Studies also show that consuming protein after a workout is crucial to your recovery and muscle growth, however, this can be flexible.

A recent review carried out by the Department of Health Sciences, Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York resulted in some interesting findings which have been published in a paper entitled ‘Pre- versus post-exercise protein intake has similar effects on muscular adaptations’ [2].

The review found no significant measures that suggested a pre-workout shake was any more beneficial than a post workout shake. Essentially, you can choose to consume a shake before or after your workout depending on your own personal preference.

Should I Drink A Protein Shake In The Morning?

Absolutely! If you think about the fact that overnight you sleep for 6-8 hours, your body is not receiving any nutrients, vitamins or proteins, so fueling your body with a protein shake in the morning will give your system a much-needed boost.

Studies also show that ensuring you consume a protein-rich breakfast will help your body to regulate its desire for food and snacks, essentially “setting you up” to eat healthy for the rest of the day [3].

Should I Drink A Protein Shake At Night?

Again, this is essential! As we mentioned before, when you’re sleeping for 8 hours a night, your body is being starved of amino acids and proteins, especially if you have your last meal in the early evening. This food and energy will have been put to good use by your body before you go to bed.

Consuming a protein shake before you got to bed will give your body an extra shot of nutrients, proteins and amino acids that will all go towards muscle growth, repair, and development.

Conclusion – When Is The Best Time To Drink A Protein Shake?

Your body works 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so you need to make sure it has the fuel it needs to power all of its metabolic processes and functions, including muscle growth. You should be consuming a protein shake first thing in the morning, pre or post workout, and a protein shake before bed.

This will ensure your body always has the essential amino acids it needs to synthesize the proteins it needs to keep you strong and healthy. Even on a rest day, you should still be consuming at least two protein shakes a day, in the morning, and in the evening.

Kath Ross, PhD
Kath Ross, PhD
Health Editor at DietProbe
Kathryn is a Ph.D Health Editor here at DietProbe. She specializes in diabetes and weight control research and in her spare time she's a professional cat lady and wine connoisseur!
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