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Science: There's No Best Time to Consume Protein

Picture of Nutritional Protein Products

Protein is a primary ingredient in many of the sports nutrition products found in Nutrivend vending machines. This is for good reason. Protein is essential for building muscle mass and helpful in weight management. Both appeal to the kinds of customers who buy into sports nutrition.

Having said all that, there is no best time to consume protein if you're trying to achieve one of these two goals. Despite what you may have read online, there is no conclusive science proving that consuming protein immediately following a workout builds muscle mass faster. There is no proof that eating protein between meals decreases your caloric intake at your next regular meal.

Protein and Muscle Mass

There is no arguing that plenty of protein studies have been done over the years. Many of those studies have conclusively proved that you need protein to build muscle mass. In fact, we have known about the link between protein and muscle mass for decades. As for whether there's a best time to consume protein in order to build additional muscle tissue, the jury is still out.

According to Medical News Today contributor Timothy Huzar, the studies that do exist conflict on this matter. Some studies seem to suggest that consuming protein immediately following exercise builds muscle mass more quickly. Other studies say it has no affect at all.

So what do you do as a person interested in combining exercise and diet to build muscle mass? You keep doing what you're doing and wait for more science. Keep exercising, keep paying attention to what you eat, and make sure to get enough protein to support your workouts.

Protein and Weight Loss

The idea behind protein aiding weight loss is rooted in the idea of satiety. Simply put, consuming protein allegedly makes a person feel full. Proponents of between-meal protein say that consuming protein-rich snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon will reduce the amount of calories you consume at lunch and dinner by reducing your appetite.

Once again, Huzar cites conflicting studies in his Medical News Today piece. Two specific studies he cited in his post went as far as to say that the findings they did reach were by no means conclusive. Both studies made the case for further research.

If you're trying to lose weight, focus less on the best time to eat protein and more on your overall diet. That's where sports nutrition products can be helpful. By nature, quality sports nutrition snacks are low in sugar, low in fat, and moderate in their calorie content. Combining those snacks with a generally healthy diet will do more for weight management than eating protein between meals alone.

Sports nutrition products often include protein because of its important to the human diet. But don't obsess over it to the point that you are scheduling protein snacks at a specific time in order to either increase muscle mass or lose weight. Science just does not support such practices.

Sources:

Medical News Today – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324790.php