We don’t need to mention that protein is the number one macronutrient responsible for optimal muscle growth. Consuming adequate amounts of protein is the most important nutrition rule followed by bodybuilders, powerlifters, fitness enthusiasts and anyone that wants to improve their body composition. Regardless of how intense and heavy your workouts are; the muscles won’t grow unless you consume amino acids which are the comprising parts of protein.
Protein is the main building block of muscle tissue and it is the most essential nutrient that cannot be substituted. If building muscle and sculpting a great physique is one of your main goals, the general recommendation is that you eat at least a gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.
Usually, the majority of people cannot obtain that amount solely from whole foods, which makes supplements very convenient. If you do not consume enough protein, all the effort in the gym could be a waste of time and energy. This begs the question: what’s the best time to consume your protein and what is the type of protein that you should eat in order to maximize your muscle building potential?
1. Once you get out of bed
While you were sleeping, your body wasn’t getting any nutrients. The glycogen reserves are depleted and the body is forced to burn muscle and fat tissue as energy source. That’s why it’s important to consume fast-digesing protein in the form of a whey protein shake to stop the breaking down of muscle tissue as soon as possible.
2.Between your meals
The reason behind this is to maintain constant flow of protein to the bloodstream so the muscles can be constantly fed throughout the day. The best type of protein to achieve this is casein protein. Casein protein is remarkable in that it digests very slowly and it will supply your muscles with protein for prolonged periods of time. It’s a great strategy widely used by bodybuilders.
3. Pre and post-workout
Ingesting fast-digestible protein like whey before hitting the gym will provide a better muscle growth rate while you train. Mixing your whey protein with some fast-acting carbs like dextrose post-workout will quickly repair the damaged muscle tissue after your workout.
4. Before hitting the sack
The actual muscle building process doesn’t happen while you are training, it happens while you’re sleeping. And taking into consideration that you won’t be consuming food for at least 8 hours, the way to ensure supply of protein throughout the night is by consuming casein protein before you go to bed. As we already mentioned, casein is a slow-digesting protein and will make sure that your muscles are constantly fed and do not enter a catabolic state.