When to Drink Protein Shakes for Weight Loss and to Look Lean

By: Brian Wargula

Here’s Why Protein Can Help You Lose Weight & Get Lean

Incorporating regular protein supplement shakes into your diet and routine can help you lose weight, get lean muscle and make it easy to achieve those fitness goals. No matter how much you work out, the most important thing that will contribute to your fitness journey is mastering your nutrition. The results you see are 80% from nutrition, and 20% from your workouts. If you’re not incorporating a regular protein supplement into your daily nutrition regimen, then the reality is you might not see the results you’re after.

Protein supports lean muscle development and helps keep you feeling fuller for longer. There are plenty of protein shakes for beginners that keep it simple––all you need to do is add water and shake! No matter what you mix it with, protein shakes to lose weight and build muscle are always a good easy way to reach your goals. How you decide how much protein you need is based on a lot of individual factors like activity level, body weight, age, and gender.

It’s best to aim to get somewhere between 1.0 and 1.2 grams of protein/pound of your body weight should be more than enough protein to minimize muscle loss.

How Timing Impacts the Effects of Your Protein Shake

Yup, even the time of day when you have your protein shake can end up being very important. And here’s why; your body will use it in different ways depending on when your workout is.

Before Workout:

Nutrition consumed before a workout is used by the body throughout your routine. Pre-workout is best to keep your meals lighter, and as efficient as possible. Lean protein and the right carbohydrates can give you the energy to keep you at 100% throughout long workouts for max calorie burn. This helps prevent muscle breakdown, which can speed recovery and keep your lean muscle safe.

After Workout:

    Nutrition consumed after a workout is used to help your body recover. During your workout, you end up depleting your energy stores and it can affect how you will realize the results of your gym efforts. Your muscle fibers break and tear during a strenuous workout and need to be re-built with protein. Making sure that you are getting the right nutrition can replenish your glycogen stores to give you back your energy.

    Before Bed:

      Your body kicks the recovery process into high gear while you sleep. This is why bedtime can actually be a great slot to fit in a quick protein shake. Consuming around 40g of protein before bed has been shown to boost muscle protein synthesis, as well as help you feel fully recovered to tackle workouts the next day. Bedtime protein shakes also help to preserve muscle mass as we age, especially for men.

      Regardless of how often you actually get to work out any given day, it’s still important to be getting the right amount of protein every day. Protein is an essential macronutrient and not getting enough can affect your muscles, energy, and even cognitive functions. Splitting your intake throughout the day is wise, especially if you are planning a strenuous workout. When you do a strenuous workout your muscles have minor tears that they need protein to rebuild. This process is ultimately what makes you sore, and then in-turn builds new lean muscle. Having some protein 1-2 hrs after a workout can help replenish this faster.

      How to Find the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss and Building Muscle

      Typically, it only takes a day or two for your muscles to fully recover from a hard workout. And you may feel soreness or tightness in your muscles that lasts for up to 5 days. Figuring out your limits, understanding why your muscles might be particularly sore can help you calculate measures to make you feel better or when you might need a rest day.

      There are only a few key boxes you really need to check when you are looking for a protein powder. 

      • Dairy-free. This helps for several reasons:
        • Easy digestion
        • Hormone/antibiotic-free
        • Better for your heart
      • High-quality Ingredients: You need to know that this is quality nutrition and something you can feel good about putting in your body every day.
      • Complete Protein: Making sure to get all 9 essential amino acids is key. 
      • No Artificial Flavors!
      • Low in Added-Sweeteners: There are a lot of protein powders out there that add in excess sugars which can ultimately get you behind in your fitness goals. Cut out what you don’t need. 
      • Fillers: Be weary of protein powders with ingredient lists that are 100+ long. Many add fillers to their product to amp up the weight without actually giving you the vital nutrition you need.

      Make the Timing of Your Protein Shakes Work for Your Body & Fitness Goals

      Take a moment to think about how you feel every day. Do you have enough energy, focus, and power to tackle your day? What about your workouts? If the answer is no, then you probably need more complete protein in your life. In the morning, before and after a workout, and especially on days when your body is in constant motion. Don’t stop at plant protein, make sure that you have the added nutrition of animal protein––even if it's just vegetarian-friendly egg whites to fuel your body. Transformation Protein powder is a complete protein formula that is packed with all nine amino acids your body needs. It is one of the few that is dairy-free and contains only natural sweeteners to help you get the results you want. Once you know the correct amount of daily protein intake for you and you’re taking the best supplements, you’ll be amazed how good you feel every day.