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When Should You Take Protein Powder?

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Protein supplements are among the world’s most widely used supplements. People are taking protein powder supplements for different reasons, including losing weight, building muscles, or improving their overall wellness. 

So, you may be wondering when is the best time to take this supplement. Depending on what you want to achieve, whether to build or preserve muscle or to lose weight, you can take the supplement at a certain time of day. 

Below is a quick guideline on when you should take protein powder supplement based on your certain goal. 

To build muscle 

Protein is crucial in building muscle. Your body needs more protein than it can break down naturally during weight lifting, extreme exercise or resistance training to build muscle. 

The perfect time to take protein supplements for muscle growth is quite a controversy. Most fitness enthusiasts recommend taking the supplement within 15-60 minutes after your exercise. They called this time frame “anabolic window,” which is the perfect time for your body to take advantage of nutrients, such as protein. 

However, a recent study reveals that this duration could be much longer than what they have thought. The International Society of Sports Nutrition says that taking protein supplement any time within two hours after working out is the perfect timing. 

For an average person, taking enough protein and resistance exercise is more important than the right timing of taking the supplement. With that in mind, if you train before breakfast, your body may benefit well from taking the supplement after the workout, since your body has not consumed any protein yet. 

To lose weight 

Protein is also a vital nutrient for weight loss. Consuming a high-protein diet reduces appetite and increases the body’s metabolism. Protein reduces the ghrelin level, the hunger hormone, to curb the appetite. Additionally, it increases the peptide YY (PYY), cholecystokinin (CKK), and glucagon-like peptide-1, which are all appetite-reducing hormones. So, eating a protein-rich snack before your meal can make you eat less calories in a day.  

A study has found that people who are eating a high-protein snack in the afternoon consume 100 fewer calories at dinner than those who are consuming other snacks, like chocolates and crackers. If you want to lose some weight, you must consume a lot of protein every day. 

To preserve muscle 

Preserving muscle mass is crucial as you get older. According to research, people normally lose around 3-8% of muscle mass every ten years after 30. Unfortunately, losing muscle mass increases the risk of fractures and can even shorten the lifespan. 

Experts recommend distributing the protein intake evenly within the day to keep your body from losing muscle mass as you age. Eating around 25-30 grams of protein each meal is recommended. 

To enhance performance and recovery 

Many athletes are not sure why they should take protein powder supplements for performance and recovery. If you are undergoing endurance training, taking protein with carbs while and after training may enhance your performance and recovery. It reduces soreness, too. 

A study was done on some athletes, and it is found that consuming protein and carb drinks while on training enhanced their recovery and decreased muscle soreness. For resistance training, however, protein can enhance both recovery and performance without carbs.  Protein is an important nutrient. Enough protein intake at the right time can help you lose weight, build and preserve muscle, and enhance your recovery and performance.

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