When To Take Protein Powder | Optimal Timing
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When To Take Protein Powder | Optimal Timing

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Optimal Timing

Is there a specific time when to take protein powder? As one of the most popular supplements on the market, it’s crucial to know in order to maximize its effects. If you don’t utilize one properly, the chances of your protein going to waste increases.

Athletes, lifters, and consumers, in general, would like to know when the best time to take protein powder. There’s a lot of useful information out there, but there also exists myths that people still believe in. In today’s article, I’m going over all the times one might consume protein powder, in which time trumps the rest.

What Is Protein Powder?

I’d like to give a brief discussion of protein powder before hopping right into this. You’re welcome to skip this section if you think you know protein powders like the back of your hand. However, you might want to stick around for some information that you might haven’t heard of.

When To Take Protein Powder | Optimal Timing

Protein powder is a supplement that is meant to provide you with more protein in your diet. That’s it. It’s not a miracle tool that instantly burns fat or builds muscle, although it can help. Typically, protein powders contain around 20-30 grams of protein per scoop, which is solid.

Achieving goals of muscle building require more effort on your diet, especially on nutrients like protein. Protein supplements like protein powder or protein bars help you achieve the goal with a solid amount of protein.

A disclaimer should be since protein powders are labeled as “supplements.” Meaning the should not be the foundation of your diet but only as small enhancements. Protein powder is intended to “supplement” one diet, not create it.

Whole foods like meat, fish, eggs, and chicken should make up most of your diet when eating protein. They offer the likes of protein and other nutrients that you need in your diet. Protein powders only give protein, whole foods provide whole nutrients.

Protein Consumption Timing

There are a lot of times throughout the day where one might take protein powder. It really depends on how you go about your day and schedule. I’ll discuss the majority of the times when people take protein powder with the pros and cons.

First Thing In The Morning

Getting up after hitting your alarm and v-lining straight for the kitchen for a snack is not uncommon for people. Their choice of food for breakfast differs. One option people choose is supplements like protein powder, for several reasons.

Supplements like protein powder are a light choice for breakfast since they aren’t calorie heavy. Most protein powders have around 150-250 calories per scoop, which is quite light, perfect for breakfast.

Not only is it low calorie, but since the snack is almost pure protein, it’s very filling. For those of you who don’t know, protein is our most filling macronutrient at our disposal. Taking one in the morning will keep you full for a while, sometimes even after lunch.

Right Before Bed

Instead of consuming one in A.M, people choose to drink one before bed during the P.M. There are a couple of reasons why people choose to take one at night instead of in the morning. Me personally, I can see the reasoning behind it.

When To Take Protein Powder | Optimal Timing

One main reason is to recover after a hard day at work with a well-deserved protein shake. Your body takes on the wear and tear of the day, causing your muscle fibers to damage. In order to heal them and make them grow, protein must be provided.

The protein your muscle fibers get from food is used to help grow your muscles bigger and stronger. This is the chief mechanic of how bodybuilders build muscle—high tension placed on their muscles to damage muscle fibers and build on them with protein.

After A Workout 

As the most common time when people drink protein powder after a workout is when your body needs it most. Your muscles fibers get torn up after all the tension is placed on them from the weights, and recovery is only possible through protein and rest.

The myth here people follow is known as the anabolic window. The anabolic window is a time after a workout where one must consume protein in order for their muscles to grow. The muscle fibers are in desperate need of protein, and if they don’t get it during the small window of time, they won’t grow.

The window is debated, either 30 minutes or an hour. However, the myth was debunked a long time ago. The anabolic window concept turned into an anabolic gateway since the time frame is more like 24 hours. As long as you get protein after your workout in the next 24 hours, your muscles will grow.

Which Is The Best Time?

I know you’re not going to like the answer I’m going to give you, or maybe you will, but they all could be considered the best times. It really depends on how you go about your day and the opportunity you have to drink the shake.

In the morning might not work for you maybe because you’re like me and fast through breakfast, I do intermittent fasting. At night may seem too late to drink a protein shake or even after a workout. You choose the timing of when to drink the protein.

The key point to take away here is as long as you get your protein in during the day, you should be fine. The protein needs to be in your body at some point in order for your muscles to repair and grow stronger.


In conclusion, there you have when to take protein powder. There are plenty of other times when one might take protein powder that I didn’t mention here in this article. The main thing you want to focus on is actually drinking the protein shake and not forgetting about it. Making sure that you’ll consume enough protein so that your muscles will heal and grow.

Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments you may have!