When to drink protein shakes and why

This one goes out to Ryan who asks, “Hey steve can you recommend a morning shake/ afternoon shake or dinner shake?”

when to drink a protein shake and whyThere are a few ideal times when you want to consume a protein shake:

  • Immediately after a heavy workout (when you body is in an anabolic state)
  • In times when you don’t have time to make/eat a healthy meal and you want to avoid fast food and the like
  • In the morning on an empty stomach, shortly before and during morning cardio/weight lifting
  • If you are trying to gain weight and a mass gainer shake is cheaper than food instead

And that’s about it! So you shouldn’t drink protein shakes if you can avoid it otherwise. Here’s why:

You can never replace the purity and goodness of whole foods itself. In other words, don’t try to replace greens with a green powder drink. They sell these at GNC and other health food stores and they tout that they are as good as eating greens, sometimes better. This is false. They are okay ONLY if you CANNOT get any greens! As a green replacement, they will help but they will never be better than eating organic raw vegetables EVER. So eat your veggies! Or do what I do, drink veggie juice.. its faster and easier 😉

Don’t consume protein shakes (whey, soy, casein, etc) thinking they are a better protein source than natural and organic meats, fish or veggies.  In other words, your body does better eating and digesting protein via chicken, fish, beef, than it does consuming protein powder.  Organic foods are the best choice of course.  The only case this wouldn’t imply is if you eat a cheap source of protein, like a meat at a fast food joint.  If you didn’t know by now, all fast food meats and vegetables are generally the POOREST source available.  There is a reason they can charge $1.00 for a hamburger and still make a profit!

Protein shakes can often times be expensive.  If you buy at GNC, you’ll generally pay full retail.  And this ends up costing more than buying and preparing food alone!  Buying supplements online is cheaper but it’s important you find a reputable source.  I will post the best and most affordable supplements (in my opinion) on my recommendations page, check it out for yourself 😉

So with that being said..

Here’s how to make a protein shake.

And when should you drink a protein shake?  I’ll give you a quick example of how I utilize them:

  • Before I do cardio/abs on an empty stomach, I generally consume about 20 grams whey protein with 5 grams of glutamine.
  • When lifting heavy weight and trying to gain mass, be sure to consume a protein/carb shake before/during/after your intense workout.  What I do is mix 40 grams whey protein/5 grams glutamine/1 tbsp fiber/60 grams carbs and i sip on it on the way to the gym, while i’m working out.. and if needed, i’ll drink a straight protein shake (~20gms whey) after that.
  • If I ever go on the road to do work, I always plan how long I’ll be away from the house.  I don’t ever want to have the choice of starve or eat fast food!  So I bring along a protein brownie or an empty bottle filled with protein powder.  For emergency use only 😉
  • That’s it!  Feel free to leave any questions/comments.  Of course, as I progress in life and learn new things regarding health and fitness, I may update this blog later.  Peace and good health!

About the Author:  Steve Kim is a fitness model and former personal trainer based in Las Vegas, NV.  He is a writer for Apex Body, a website dedicated to helping people achieve their best health and fitness.

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