Are You Having Protein Shakes At The Right Time?

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When’s the right time to get in that much needed protein?

Every bodybuilder understands that in order to get proper muscle growth that their nutrition will be a major factor. You can’t just eat anything you please in the hopes of bulking up, you can’t be that foolish with your diet. Eating a bunch of burgers then lifting some heavy weight may not be the best path to seeing gains from your training. The beef may be a step in the right direction though. Lean meats can do the trick where protein is concerned and it’s one of the essential parts of your diet.

In the world of bodybuilding popular protein alternatives exist to give lifters a much needed boost in their training. Sometimes lean steak, chicken, or fish isn’t always on hand, so a whey protein shake or casein based product will have to do in a pinch. These are great alternatives in order to pack on the muscle. But not everyone knows exactly what time of the day to take these supplements. So when should you be taking protein shakes and which kind works for what?


Since whey protein is a fast burning protein, it’s a great idea to consume it first thing in the morning as it will stop your body from breaking down muscle protein as fuel. It’s a quick dose of that will help promote protein synthesis.


Casein protein is great to consume right before bed. Since your body can go slightly catabolic as you sleep, it’s great to consume a slow burning protein that will keep your muscle growth support throughout the night. Casein will ensure you maintain your gains even during sleep.

Pre and Post-Workout

Whey protein is great to consume within an hour before and after completing your training. The fast acting branch chain amino acids are great in aiding your recovery after a tough session and has a peak anabolic response. But keep in mind this will only be a short period of time and a protein based meal afterwards would be required to bolster the anabolic process.

For the best results it’s a great idea to have a mix of both in your diet plan. A mix of whey and casein before training will ensure a anabolic environment that doesn’t last too long or burn away immediately. A whey shake directly after training and mix and/or casein protein right before bed will grant you continued muscle stabilization through the night.

So how do you consume your protein shakes? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Header Image Courtesy of Larry North Fitness 

Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.