Protein shakes have come a long way over the past decade, evolving from the stereotypical weightlifter’s “chalky” drink to a daily staple for many health-conscious, fitness-focused individuals. Now, more than ever, there are plenty of options that taste great, are convenient to make, and – most importantly – fuel your body.

If you’ve ever asked yourself “When should I drink a protein shake?” we’re here to help. Read on if you have some protein shake questions.

When You Should Drink a Protein Shake

Before or After Your Workout

Protein is reported to be great for fueling your workouts and helping your body pack on muscle. But when is the best time to drink a protein shake to build muscle?

A commonly-held belief is that drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes of exercise – what’s referred to as the “anabolic window” – helps maximize gym results. Research now suggests, however, that this window may be longer than 30 minutes and, in fact, that may not be limited to solely after exercise. Some research indicates that total protein intake is the strongest predictor of muscle strength and size – regardless of whether it’s consumed before or after exercise.

Between Meals

As the most satiating macronutrient, protein can be an incredibly filling snack and is great to have between meals (or even with your breakfast). It’s important to note that protein shakes should never replace real foods (see Protein Mistake #4), but they can be great supplements to your diet and help you reach your daily protein intake goal.

Enjoying a nutritious protein shake between meals can help you feel full longer and avoid unhealthy processed snacks like crackers, chips, and cookies.

Rest Days

Should I drink a protein shake when I don’t work out? Experts suggest: Yes! Even on the days you don’t make it to the gym, your muscles are still recovering and growing. In fact, peak muscle inflammation often doesn’t occur for 48 hours post-sweat session – meaning your body needs protein more than ever.

Having a protein shake and sticking to your protein schedule even on rest days means your muscles will continue to effectively recover and grow.

Before Bed

Is it okay to drink a protein shake before bed? This may be a surprise, but current research says: Yes (depending on the kinds of protein). Research has shown that protein consumption before bed can improve skeletal muscle following resistance training and even promote weight loss by boosting your metabolism overnight.

However, research also shows it’s essential to drink the right kind of protein before bed. Anything with added sugars could result in restless sleep and weight gain. Make sure to avoid these added sugars and opt for a protein source that is more slowly digested, such as casein.

Is it bad to drink two protein shakes a day if you have one early in the day and one at night? If this is a question you’ve asked yourself, then it’s best to consult with your physician to determine what the right amount of daily protein intake should be for your health and wellness goals.

ColdSnap® Protein Shakes

Looking for a delicious and easy way to incorporate more protein into your diet or fitness routine? ColdSnap offers both dairy and nondairy protein shake options. These frozen protein shakes are packed full of nutrients – and can be made in approximately two minutes with no preparation, ingredients, or clean-up required! The perfect protein choice for when you’re looking for a frozen option or you’re on the go running to your next workout.

Contact us today to learn more about ColdSnap, a soon-to-be-released rapid-freezing appliance that produces single servings of frozen confections and frozen beverages that can fuel your body and satisfy your sweet tooth.

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