Whether you are looking for massive gains or are trying to drop a few pounds, eating the right amount of protein is important. One of the great debates with protein is timing your intake. The optimum window for protein consumption is different depending on what your fitness goals are. So before you go and chug that protein shake as you’re walking out of the gym, let’s talk about what the research says about protein timing.

As you may already know, protein is used to repair and build muscle in the body. There is a lot of debate as to when you are supposed to eat protein if you are working out. Previously the thought was that the window for optimum protein utilization was 15 to 60 minutes after a workout. This is because there is a belief that you are going to break down muscle for the energy needed to recover post-workout. Research suggests that this is not true. The window is closer to 2 or 3 hours. The study showed even individuals who fasted before their workout didn’t begin to break down muscle until 195 minutes after exercise.

Making sure you are eating enough protein throughout the day may be more important for weight loss than just supplementing after a workout. Protein consumption reduces the amount of Ghrelin being released. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone produced by the stomach and eating a high protein meal shuts off that production. Studies have shown eating protein, instead of carbs, as snacks throughout the day significantly reduced hunger felt throughout the day. Snacking on protein will also help you consume protein gradually throughout the day. Research shows that eating 20-35 grams of protein per meal is best for preventing muscle loss. 

The meal most people struggle to get protein with is breakfast. The average person is grabbing some kind of carbohydrate for breakfast: cereal, toast, bagel, pastry. Breakfast may be the best time for the average person to supplement with a protein shake. Protein for breakfast reduces hunger throughout the day and has been shown to increase energy levels. If you are struggling to get your recommended amount of protein each day, schedule a nutrition appointment at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic. Here at our Rochester, NY office we help modify your current diet to meet your nutritional and health goals. Schedule your free consultation today!