Consuming a muscle shake after intense physical exercise can aid both recovery and future performance. The timing of when to consume a muscle shake however can confuse a lot of people and is still open to debate. Whilst some people believe you should consume a muscle shake immediately after exercise, others argue that it is better at other points during the day. The one thing that is clear however is that the consumption of a muscle shake is a key component of recovery and performance. The question however remains as to when the optimal time is for consuming a muscle shake.
Taking a Muscle Shake Post Workout
Personally I believe the best time to consume a muscle shake is immediately after a workout. This is because this is the period when the muscle is most damaged and therefore requires a muscle shake to help provide nutrients for repair. Consuming a muscle shake immediately after a workout also means that you do not potentially feel bloated like if you had consumed it before a workout. It is often recommended that you try to consume your muscle shake within 45 minutes of completing your workout. Consuming a muscle shake during this period will ensure you kick-start the recovery process immediately with a hit of protein and carbohydrates.
If you cannot consume a muscle shake immediately after your training it may be beneficial to have one before you exercise. By taking a muscle shake before you exercise it will ensure your body still has a good dose of protein for recovery once you are finished. However, taking your muscle shake before a workout can cause some people to feel bloated.
Many people will also consume a muscle shake in the day following their workout. Drinking a muscle shake the day after exercise is vital as the body is still likely to be recovering. A muscle shake is a quick and easy method of topping up your protein consumption and ensuring muscle is repaired rather than broken down throughout the day.
Taking a Muscle Shake Before Bed
It may also be worthwhile consuming a muscle shake just before you go to bed at night. Drinking a muscle shake at this time will ensure your body has an adequate supply of protein during your most important period of recovery. It is worth trying to find a slower digesting type of muscle shake for just before bed to ensure that protein is available for recovery throughout the night.
Ideally your muscle shake should be consumed immediately upon waking as your body will require a good dose of protein. This is because no other sources of energy have been consumed throughout the night. A muscle shake is also a lot easier to consume in the morning than a heavy meal.