What Is The Best Time To Take Protein Supplements?

Protein supplements are the hot favourites amongst the fitness freaks looking to flaunt a chiselled physique and toned musculature. These supplements are immensely popular as they help gym-goers, athletes, sportspersons, etc., to build desired muscle mass quickly.

Protein supplements are consumed for various reasons, including muscle-building, losing weight, exercise recovery, etc. However, merely consuming protein at any time of day is not enough; you should know the best time to take them to maximise its benefits.

Are you wondering when you should consume proteins? Then, keep reading as this article explains in detail the best time to take protein, depending on your health and fitness goals.

Best Time to Take Proteins

The best time for consuming protein supplements depends on the individual’s specific goals. You should eat proteins at a particular time of the day for achieving the desired result. Consuming protein in your everyday routine helps in maintaining your health and fitness goals.

Whether you want to improve overall health, preserve muscles, lose weight, or build muscles, your health and fitness goals determine the appropriate time for making proteins.

Building Muscle

Most of us consume proteins for building effective muscle mass. However, for building muscles and strength, you should consume more protein than broken by your body naturally during weight lifting or resistance training.

While consuming proteins works great for ensuring optimal muscle growth, there is no fixed time suitable for eating proteins for building muscles.

Gym goers and fitness enthusiasts suggest taking protein supplements 15-60 minutes after workouts. This anabolic window time frame is considered the perfect time for reaping the maximum benefits. However, some studies suggest this time frame be much more.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests the time frame of two hours after workouts for consuming proteins. You can consume proteins anytime in this window for building impressive muscle mass.

If you are not a fitness freak looking to build muscle mass, all you need is some resistance exercise and consuming enough protein without focusing on timings of protein intake.

If you do your workouts earlier in the morning without taking your breakfast, you can consume protein right after your exercise routine.

The best time for taking proteins for building muscles is within two hours after the workouts. People who exercise in a fasting state should ideally consume protein shortly after their workout sessions.

Losing Weight

We all love to stay in shape and maintain our ideal body weight. Proteins help us lose weight as it serves as important nutrients leading to fat loss in the body. When you consume a high-calorie diet, it not only reduces your appetite but also increases your metabolism.

Proteins increase levels of hormones responsible for reducing appetites, such as cholecystokinin (CCK), peptide YY (PYY), and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Moreover, they also reduce levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Thus, you feel fewer hunger pangs after consuming proteins.

This suggests that if you consume a protein-rich snack between meals, you will end up eating fewer calories later. Thus, in order to maximise the weight-loss benefits, you should eat ample protein-rich foods throughout the day.

As per the study conducted in healthy women, eating high-protein and less energy-dense snacks such as yoghurt reduces subsequent food intake and improves satiety & appetite control in comparison to consuming high-fat snacks.

The best time for taking proteins for weight loss is to consume protein-rich snacks between meals. It helps in curbing hunger and causes you to eat fewer calories at dinner.

Improving Exercise Performance and Recovery

Athletes and sportspersons take protein supplements for improving their exercise performance and recovery after workouts. They time their protein intake depending on the type of training they undertake.

If you are doing endurance training, you should combine protein intake with carbohydrates meals during and after exercises for reducing soreness and improving recovery and performance.

In the case of resistance training, consuming proteins with or without carbs helps in improving performance and recovery. Therefore, athletes who do intensive resistance training should take protein immediately before or after workouts for experiencing its amazing benefits.

If you are an average individual, ensure eating enough protein without worrying about timing your protein intake.

Thus, resistance-training athletes should immediately take protein either before or after a workout session. On the other hand, endurance athletes should take protein and a source of carbs during and after workouts to ensure improved recovery and performance.

Avoiding Muscle Loss

It’s important to maintain muscle mass as you get older. As per the research published in the National Library of Medicine, people lose around 3–8% of their muscle mass each decade

once they get into their thirties.

This lost muscle mass results in a higher risk of fractures and a shorter lifespan. To avoid muscle loss with growing age, you should consume protein evenly throughout the day. This amounts to eating 25–30 grams of protein with every meal.

As recommended by scientists, you should distribute protein intake evenly over the day by consuming more protein at breakfast. This helps in preventing muscle loss. Try taking protein supplements with meals that contain less protein and spread your intake across the day.

Should You Consume Protein Before Bedtime?

Yes, you should consume protein before bedtime as it is an effective strategy for promoting muscle building and helping individuals adapt to exercise routines.

Consuming protein before bedtime is beneficial for elderly individuals looking to preserve muscle mass. It also works great for people aiming for exercise performance and recovery, increasing strength, and building muscles.

When you consume protein before bed, it gets ample time to get digested and absorbed in the body. In addition, it helps in increasing the availability of protein to muscles for effective recovery throughout the night.

According to the findings of the study, consuming 40 grams of protein before bedtime helps maximise muscle growth and improve adaptation through the night hours.

It is recommended to take casein protein before going to bed as it digests slowly and provides a steady supply of protein to the body through the night. Consuming casein protein promotes muscle growth even in less active elderly people.

In addition to taking protein supplements, you can also get the benefits of casein protein by eating meals rich in casein proteins such as dairy products, cottage cheese and Greek yoghurt.

Is Too Much Protein Bad for You?

As per a common myth, consuming too much protein can deteriorate your health. It may damage kidneys and liver and even cause osteoporosis. However, there is no scientific evidence to support that notion.

On the contrary, many studies suggest you can eat plenty of protein safely without experiencing any harmful side effects. Moreover, a detailed review of over 74 studies concluded that healthy adults could consume as much protein as they want.

Most healthy adults can consume 1.4–2.0 grams of proteins per kg of body weight.

Those who aim to prevent muscle loss; can consume protein quantity at the lower end of the range, and those who want to build muscle or lose weight may consume protein quantity at the upper end of that range.

Dr. Sachin Bille

Dr. Sachin is a medical content writer at reviews.in and has a keen interest to inform people about useful and effective medical gadgets. Apart from practicing medicine and writing, he loves to watch sci-fi movies & spend time with family.

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