What is the best time to take protein?

Protein – our indispensable assistant. Protein is gaining popularity among athletes for quite a lot of time. It is ideal for people who are engaged in various types of power that are in sports. But a couple of years ago, there was a rather small number of schemes with which it would be possible to determine the required dose of such a protein.
And not one dose was important, but the time that was most suitable for absorption and for the best effect. Everyone had only one of the general knowledge – you need to drink protein shakes several times a day.

Taking protein after waking up

The average sleep duration varies between 7 and 8 hours a day. During this time, the body does not receive food, which means that to maintain vital activity, the substances stored for this case are expended: glycogen contained in muscles and liver, as well as amino acids obtained as a result of the destruction of muscle tissue.

Muscle catabolism is also accelerated by the increased secretion of cortisol, characteristic of the morning time. This means that to prevent muscle breakdown, you need to take a dose of fast proteins immediately after sleep. The best option in this case is whey protein or protein hydrolyzate.

Whey protein
Whey protein


During the day

In order for muscle mass to grow, it is necessary to replenish amino acid reserves in time. For these purposes, you should eat more often and in the intervals between meals, use 2–4 servings of protein at 20 g. If you know in advance that food intake is delayed, use complex or slow protein.

Why it is not recommended to take protein before workout?

This is due to the fact that physical activity completely blocks the growth of muscle tissue using amino acids derived from proteins. During exercise, the body switches to the production of energy from blood glucose and glycogen accumulated in the muscles and liver. When these glycogen stores run out, the body begins to produce energy from proteins, but not from the protein you took, but directly from the muscles in the form of amino acids with branched side chains.

After completing the workout, for an hour, the amino acids that have been worked and damaged by microtraumas are tightened, which begin the healing process of microtraumas of the muscle fibers. It is this time that is called “the protein window”, here the reception of easily digestible protein will be just the way.

Reception after training

Reception of a protein after the end of training is very important. At this time, the so-called “anabolic window” opens, during the validity of which the absorption of nutrients entering the athlete’s body increases. This is because after a hard workout, the concentration of amino acids and glycogen drops significantly. The body, wanting to replenish the spent energy reserves, rapidly absorbs any nutrients entering it from outside.

For quick replenishment of energy and amino acid balance, it is recommended to take a gainer after a workout, which contains the necessary amount of both proteins and carbohydrates. These nutrients, entering the body, quickly replenish the spent glycogen and amino acids. Among other things, the “fast” carbohydrates contained in Gainer (usually maltodextrin) activate the synthesis of the anabolic hormone insulin, which increases nutrient absorption and accelerates muscle growth.

Optimum nutrition whey
Optimum nutrition whey

Before bedtime

There is an opinion that eating food before bedtime can lead to an increase in fat reserves. Such an opinion may be true, when it applies, directly to carbohydrates, but not to protein (this applies exclusively to physically developed and active people). Over the next 8-9 hours, a person will not be able to eat and the body will not be able to receive amino acids. To exclude catabolism at night, it is necessary, approximately 25 minutes before you go to bed, to take protein. An excellent solution would be a composite portion, which includes proteins with a diverse rate of full absorption by the body.

Optimum protein intake hours for weight loss

In order to lose weight effectively, you need to take a sufficient amount of protein. The fact is that with food we often get an insufficient amount of proteins, this serves as a prompting for the onset of catabolic processes in the muscles, which in no way helps to achieve the main goal.

When losing weight, most often practice more frequent meals – 5-6 times a day. To alleviate this problem, special protein shakes help, which allow you to replace with 2 or 3 meals. This protein shake has neither fat nor carbohydrates, so it helps to lose weight. At the same time, the cocktail provides enough nutrients for muscle growth, and therefore only helps to increase your strength indicators.

During weight loss, a portion of protein is half of the usual – 15 g. Cocktail should be used 2 hours before exercise and 2 hours after the end of the workout. To achieve your main goal will help slow proteins, reaching in the complex. This mixture will give you the necessary stable concentration of amino acids in the blood throughout the workout.

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