When Should You Drink Protein Shakes?

The power of protein shakes is no secret. They aid bodybuilders in gaining muscle mass and supply nutrition enthusiasts with essential nutrients necessary in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, protein shakes can serve as meal replacements, expedite muscle recovery, and provide a boost in energy. However, if you're not drinking your protein shake at an optimal time, its beneficial nutrients could be put to waste. So, when should you drink protein shakes? Let the professionals at Road to Nutrition fill you in.

Our main goal at Road to Nutrition is to provide fellow fitness and nutrition enthusiasts with the information and supplements necessary in eating right, improving their lifestyle, and maintaining muscle. While protein shakes are efficient and beneficial to the body, drinking them at the proper times is key. If you're taking the time to pick out and purchase certain protein powders, you need to know when to drink protein shakes to truly reap their benefits.

Drinking Protein Shakes: Common Mistakes

Before we discuss when you should drink protein shakes for optimal results, you should familiarize yourself with the many mistakes people often make with protein powder. For now, we can tell you drinking protein shakes too often can result in bloating and even digestion issues. Avoid over consumption and the commonly-made mistakes listed below:

  • Avoid Too Many Ingredients: While fruit and nuts can be beneficial additions to your protein shake, too many ingredients will only increase your calorie intake. Keep your shakes simple, as many powders are packed with essential nutrients in addition to protein.
  • Keep Your Scoop Count Low: In terms of building muscle mass, you only need approximately .7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Similar to adding too many ingredients, too much powder will just add on the calories.
  • Use the Right Protein: Relative to when you drink your shakes, you need to ensure you're taking the right ones at the right times. For example, whey protein is optimal for post-workout recovery. We'll discuss this more below.
  • Don't Go Cheap: When shopping for protein powders, don't go for low price and long shelf life. Cheap powders won't offer everything you need, and you'll end up losing money while trying to save it.

In summary, avoiding over consumption of protein powder is key. You should also vary the type and source of your protein to attain different nutrients. Now that you know what not to do in drinking protein shakes, let's take a look at when to drink protein shakes.

When to Drink Protein Shakes: Pre-Workout, Meal Replacement and More

In terms of when to drink protein shakes, how you intend to use them and what you use is important to consider. For example, we mentioned above that whey protein is ideal for post-workout recovery, but that's not your only option. View the list below to learn when to drink protein shakes and what you should be drinking:

  • Pre-Workout/Breakfast: Whether you eat a protein-packed breakfast or choose to fill up with a protein shake, a pre-workout shake may not be necessary, as you'll have enough nutrients to fuel you through your routine. Whey protein is great for pre-workout shakes, while eggs make for a good breakfast.
  • Post Workout: The most important time for drinking protein shakes is after a workout, when your muscles and body need it most. Whey protein is considered key, but for vegans and other dieters, a pea protein powder can be beneficial too.
  • Meal Replacement: If you plan on replacing a meal with a protein shake, consider the aforementioned pea protein powder. Plant-based powders are often blended with a variety essential nutrients.
  • Nightcap: Your body works hard to recover while you sleep, so a pre-bedtime shake is quite beneficial. Some experts suggest casein powder is optimal for night time protein shakes.

Though whey protein made our list a couple of times, the use of pea protein has become a growing trend in the fitness and nutrition community over recent years. At Road to Nutrition, we've created a powerful protein powder, 30 Second Meal, which contains pea protein and much more. Filled with all three BCAAs and numerous nutrients, our protein powder packs a serious punch.

If you're interested in learning more about our products, take a look at our website. You can find plenty of information on staying fit and eating right.