What's the absolute best time to consume protein?


The key to gaining lean muscle is protein consumption. Of course, a good diet, training, and plenty of rest will enhance your anabolic state and promote muscle growth, but protein, which is the most important muscle-building nutrient, is essential. Up to 70% of the protein in your body can be found in your muscles. To promote muscle growth, make sure you get your protein from complete sources such as egg whites, turkey breast, fish, shellfish, chicken breast, and low-fat dairy products.

Additionally, you should consume a liquid meal that contains protein around your training in order to achieve a positive nitrogen balance. A positive nitrogen balance is a natural way to become anabolic, so it is safe for women who are trying to grow lean muscle as well. When you attain positive nitrogen balance, your body enters an anabolic state which is optimal for muscle growth, regardless of the type of lifting or cardio you are doing. Furthermore, the greater your nitrogen balance is, the faster will you recover from your workouts.


When should you take your protein?




The time when you consume protein is very important to help you maintain a positive nitrogen balance. The best time to consume your BCAA’s or whey protein is during your workout, every 15 or 20 minutes, and immediately after your workout. This will prevent you from becoming catabolic and using your muscles as an energy source during your workout. The following approximate dosages of BCAAs and protein are generally recommended during your workout:



  • L-Leucine = 1,000 gram
  • L-Isoleucine = 500 mg
  • L-Valine = 500 mg


Whey Protein

  • 5 grams per serving every 15 - 20 minutes


The exact serving size for you may differ, depending on your gender and body weight. For example, a 200 pounds female would take about 20%-40% off of these approximate dosages. The key is to test out these different serving size suggestions for yourself and see which one works best for you and your body. Outside of your training window, you should consume protein from complete sources during your day. The following time-windows are ideal for a quick protein intake that could help you lose weight and maintain muscle mass.

  • In the morning: Studies have found that having protein early in the morning inhibits your appetite and reduces cravings. It's a great way to boost your metabolism first thing in the morning. A high-protein breakfast promotes weight loss while supporting strength and muscles.
  • Throughout the day: Eating frequent meals throughout the day that contain protein will provide more energy and suppress your cravings, thus promoting weight loss.
  • Before training: A protein and carbs shake 45 minutes before training can give you the energy you need for your intense workouts. This will help you maintain your muscle glycogen stores to help you produce more energy.
  • Before bed: You can boost your recovery and muscle growth overnight be having a high-protein snack or protein supplement directly before bed. Studies have found that protein before bed is digested and used by your muscles as you sleep.
  • During your rest day: Your muscles recover, repair, and grow during your rest day. So make sure you consume sufficient protein to help you promote protein synthesis, proper muscle repair, and balanced muscle growth.






Protein helps you maintain a positive nitrogen balance and an anabolic state. It helps your muscle tissues grow and helps you maintain your fitness level high. Make sure that you follow a proper diet and training program, as protein supplements alone are not enough to help you build muscle and remain healthy.

It is essential to have your protein during and immediately after your workout but make sure you don't forget to get your protein from complete sources throughout the rest of the day. While the training window is the perfect time to consume protein, it is at a minimum, so make sure you have sufficient protein every day, including your rest days. As long as you evenly distribute protein across your meals, you promote optimal muscle repair, growth, and reap all the health benefits of protein!


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