When should I take my protein shake

Nutrient Timing – Protein Shake

A pretty common topic dealt with in research has to do with discovering how providing protein and carbohydrate during resistance exercise may rework muscle protein equilibrium, recovery of muscle damage, anabolic hormone fluctuations in the blood, and modulation of performance or strength. For many years, pre-exercise supplementation centred on transporting carbohydrate sources at various points before the start of a session of exercise. In recent years, researchers have begun to examine the potential of consuming protein or amino acids or both (sometimes in tandem with carbohydrate) prior to exercise so as to augment training adaptations to exercise, aid in the process of recovery from damage known to happen with eccentric contractions, or both. When essential amino acids (6 grams) and carbohydrate (35 grams of sucrose) were delivered in combination either directly before or immediately after the resistance training session, ingestion directly beforehand increased levels of muscle protein synthesis to a greater degree. The same investigators compared the variations in muscle protein uptake after consumption of 20 grams of whey protein immediately before, or immediately after, a single session of resistance exercise; they found that regardless of timing, whey protein ingestion considerably amplified the rate of muscle protein synthesis.

As a group, results from these two studies propose that pre- or post- exercise whey protein ingestion can encourage considerably greater levels of muscle protein synthesis. However, when essential amino acids are pooled with a carbohydrate source, pre-exercise ingestion may bring about greater results than post-exercise consumption. A large amount of studies indicate that delivering some combination of carbohydrate and protein before and after resistance exercise is connected with superior enhancements in strength, body fat percentage, lean mass, quantities of imperative anabolic (muscle-building) hormones, and intramuscular indicators of muscle hypertrophy.


Benardot, Dan. Advanced Sports Nutrition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2006.

Campbell, Bill I., and Marie A. Spano. NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2011.

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