Change your protein shake timing to improve your body composition.
“You can’t miss your protein shake straight after training – that’s the most important time to have it” says almost every gym-goer and trainer. The importance of a protein supplement to boost recovery and muscle development is not to be questioned, but does timing your shake around the completion of your workout really matter?.
Well, maybe not… The best time to sip on your favourite protein drink may depend on your goals, according to new research.
Researchers from Purdue University recently delivered a number of interesting insights into the effectiveness of protein supplement timing. The research team, led by Joshua Hudson, conducted a study to investigate the effects of protein supplement consumption in relation to when it was consumed throughout the day. They focused on consumption of a protein shake with meals, versus between meals, by adults whom participated in resistance training. The findings could be very appealing to anyone looking to tone up or burn fat.
Differences in timing
With so many different scientific studies supporting different approaches to protein supplementation timing; one should look at their goals to best determine the approach they should take.
When supplementing to add muscle or for weight-management, general practice is to have your protein shake between meals, particularly after resistance training, hence creating a positive net protein balance.
However, researchers have found a link between the timing of protein supplement consumption and body composition responses. For instance, having a protein supplement between meals, was found to decrease compensatory eating behaviours, increase energy intake and, therefore, body weight.
It was also found that, consuming a protein supplement twice daily with meals led to great rewards in terms of the increased energy levels in adults who performed resistance training. This approach also showed consistency in fat reduction and increased lean muscle mass by participants.
The researchers suggested that “consuming protein supplements with meals may lead to partial meal replacement that would displace the energy that would be consumed otherwise.” They therefore concluded that: “Concurrently with resistance training, consuming protein supplements with meals, rather than between meals, may more effectively promote weight control and reduce fat mass without influencing improvements in lean mass.”
Getting lean vs gaining muscle
Ultimately, regardless of when you drink your protein shake in relation to meals, you’ll add muscle to your frame in response to intense weight training. This study simply shows that you can influence your body composition slightly more favourably by changing the timing of your shakes.