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Food & Nutrition

What Is the Best Time to Take Protein?

It seems like this question became quite popular nowadays. It would be best if there was a universal answer but that’s not the case. And every fitness lover takes supplements in order to further enhance fitness progress. That’s why we’d like to answer this question. The optimal time for you to take protein depends on what you want to get from your workout and diet. To be precise, it all comes down to your fitness goals. That’s why we present to you a guide that will help you determine what the best time is for you to take your protein.


According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, taking protein early in the morning gives a feeling of fullness and reduces appetite and the urge to snack throughout the day. Consider buying fine low-fat  protein powder if your goal is to lose weight. Take it in the morning and you’ll boost your metabolism and reduce food cravings. Blend it with some milk, blueberries or spinach and that will make for a good breakfast. On the other hand, many people claim that taking protein early in the day supports strength and muscle mass build-up. A 2006 study from Victoria University showed that taking protein first thing in the morning increased both overall muscle mass and strength for athletes when compared to a control group who had no protein with breakfast.

During the day

More and more people suffer from mid-afternoon tiredness and some blame modern lifestyle and the overall hectic pace of our lives. However, that tiredness usually comes as a result of a bad diet. If you feel drained halfway through the day, your diet is probably lacking long-lasting energy. That’s why you need to split your three main meals into five smaller ones, eating every three hours. You have to make sure that each one of these meals contains protein. When you feel tired, your body starts craving more food because it needs energy. Therefore, you should avoid feeling drained since it can harm your fitness progress but also make you gain weight.

Pre-training intake

Due to the fact that many proteins have high levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which help maintain muscle glycogen stores. Considering that glycogen provides energy to the body, more glycogen means more energy. A pre-workout snack of a protein shake combined with a complex carbohydrate like brown rice or oats forty-five minutes before exercise can provide the energy needed to go harder during workouts. Hence, if you want that much-needed fuel for your workouts, now you know what to do. Take protein before training if you want better efficiency.

Post-training intake

According to a study published in 2001 in American Journal of Physiology, our muscles crave amino acids the most after exercising and that’s also the time when they are most likely to absorb protein. The benefits of a post-workout protein hit for muscle growth and/or recovery are well documented. Provide your muscles with the fuel they need to recover by consuming protein when you finish your workout. After you train your muscles, they’re more responsive than usual to the muscle-building stimuli provided by protein. Protein breakdown rates begin to rise rapidly after you finish your workout and taking protein negates this. That’s why the vast majority of fitness professionals encourage taking protein after a workout. You virtually can’t be wrong if you do that.

Before bed protein

There is a study from 2012 executed at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands that revealed what happens to protein supplements if we take them just before bedtime. These supplements that are taken directly before bedtime get digested or used by our muscles while we sleep. Therefore, it has been concluded that taking protein before bed boosts overnight recovery and muscle growth.

We hope that you now have a clearer picture of when to take your protein. We need to emphasize that you need to buy quality protein. That usually goes without saying but one can never be too careful. Last but not least, don’t think that protein shakes substitute rest days. They improve your progress but you need to let your body rest properly.

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