T Nation

When to Take Workout Shakes?


When should I take my protein shake? Currently I wake up have breakfast, go to gym, drink protein shake right after, have lunch 30-40 minutes after protein shake, diner, then a second shake an hour before bed.

Here's what I'm wondering, is it better to switch it up and have a protein shake before and after a work out or have them the way I am now?


You need to remember that protein shakes aren't supplements, they're just food. A fast acting shake with some carbs is good for a after workout, but it really doesn't matter how you get your protein at other times. I only use powders when I can't get a good, high-protein meal.


What's a good high-protein meal? Every time I read about this I keep thinking I have cook a steak and veggies, then I hear some people just have "some" cottage cheese late night before bed. How can cottage cheese have that much protein? There's got to be something I'm missing here.


depends what kind of protein it is
if its whey protein, right when you wake up, an hour pre work out and post workout are the best times to take it
if its casein protein, right before bed because its slow digesting and it'll stay with you for most of the night


Casein protein? What kind of foods can you get this from?


You're looking for a half a pound of meat or more. Could be chicken, turkey, beef, pork, bison, fish, etc. Season it however you want. Barbeque it, roast it, sautee it, whatever works for you. And yes, eat your veggies.

Cottage cheese is a good source of casein...otherwise look for a protein powder that contains it.


Okay I think I will go with the cottage cheese before bed because it is the simplest. I don't think I want to whoop out the pots to cook a steak at 1am everyday. How many spoons of cottage cheese we talkin' here? Enough to cover a toast?


I'll tell you what.

I HATE cottage cheese. Fat free cottage cheese tastes like dog sack.

However, cottage cheese is like 80% casein protein, and perfect for eating right before bed.

I found some of the best tasting fat free cottage cheese on the planet at Fresh Foods (Whole Foods). It's called Friendship Cottage Cheese. Google that shit. The name is bland, but it has earned a whole shelf in my fridge.

Low, low carbs, lots and lots of protein. Tastes great. Don't get the 2% stuff, get the fat free kind.

(Any Friendship Cottage Cheese reps, PM me for where you can send me my endorsement check.)


Milk. Or you can buy Biotest products with it. Check around labels, many shakes have it.


Friendship Cottage Cheese FTW. No doubt about it. It is almost "drier" (if that makes a lot of sense) and 10X more palatable than any other cottage cheese I have tried.

Get it. Eat it. Love it.

Oh and it's also good mixed with a scoop of your favorite Metabolic Drive flavor and a little bit of olive oil or macadamia nut oil.


What's your beef with the fat? 4% is usually what's recommended. I'd imagine it's similar to how whole milk is better than skim.


I'd rather not ingest fat calories 10 minutes before bed.
Otherwise, I am a strong supporter of healthy fats.


Why not?


I'd rather the little fatty units of energy go to work for me during active hours.

There's always a debate on fats/carbs before bed. Not eating fats before bed definately didn't reduce my cutting results. It's hard for me to understand how fats before bed would even help those bulking. Protein I get, fats, not so much.

Always open for insight though.

Why ingest fat calories 10 minutes before bed?


Fat slows the digestive process, which helps stretch whatever protein you just out further into the night. For cutting, I personally wouldn't eat anything right before bed, but I've seen good results doing so when bulking.


you got to bed at 1am?

what do you do for a living that enables you to sleep til 9am every morning?


In addition, if the fats are healthy fats just before bed, your body is less likely to use them as energy (which is a good thing for omega-3's, fish oils and such).