No matter what type of protein powder you’ve decided to go with, if you don’t take it at the most beneficial times, you might as well not be buying protein powder at all. Here is a list of times to take your protein powders, listed in order of general consensus from the weight training community.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER A WORKOUT
This is generally agreed to be the most beneficial time to take your protein powder. Immediately after you finish your workout, your body needs raw materials to rebuild and recover with. Most weight trainers will tell you that you have a 20 minute “sweet spot” immediately following your workout to consume your protein powder to get the most bang for your buck. By taking in some protein (20 to 30 grams or so) within minutes after exercise, you provide your body with the raw materials it needs to recover.
AN HOUR AFTER A WORKOUT
An hour after the workout, your body will have already processed your initial protein powder shake. Having another one an hour following this may seem overkill, but it is a great way to speed up the recovery process.
FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
A protein shake in the morning can give your metabolism a boost, and start off the day well… but be sure to follow it up with a solid breakfast.
LAST THING AT NIGHT
If you take this route, make sure that you combine your protein with a “slow” protein source, such as milk. The reason for this is that, at night time, when your body is relaxing, you want the protein to be processed slowly throughout the night. Milk is a great way to slow the digestion down.
In between meals, ultimately, is really just a way of keeping your body supplied with protein throughout the day.
Taking a protein supplement with meals is ultimately just a way of increasing your protein intake when your meal might be low in protein.