How Soon After a Workout Should I Eat Protein?


When Should You Eat After a Workout?

There are so many controversial statements on the web regarding the best timing to eat protein after training that it can be hard to determine the right one. Check this article that sorts everything out.


How Soon After a Workout Should I Eat Protein?

Eating a protein-rich meal after training helps repair, thus, growing muscle tissues. Moreover, taking nutritious foods or supplements after a workout allows one to recover and become even stronger.

However, many people work hard in gyms and outdoors to stay in shape and become stronger, but a large proportion is not sure what and when one should eat after a workout. Although most of the athletes understand the importance of protein intake, the debates regarding when you need to eat a protein-containing meal remain to this day. Let’s sort everything out and find out how soon one should eat protein after exercising.

The Truth About Anabolic Window

The main reason why people worry when they need to eat after training is a metabolic window, also called a protein window. It is a period after a workout during which proper nutrition can make your body construct new molecules and repair muscles quicker (an anabolic state) instead of breaking them down into smaller units (a catabolic one). The former metabolic pathway set is the condition that every athlete aims for building muscle mass and restoring after training faster.

There are many controversial statements on the web. Some people say that the anabolic window closes within minutes after one finishes working out, while others assume that this period can last even up to four hours after your exercise. The most common belief is that the protein window lasts from thirty minutes to an hour.

However, it is essential to note that your body repairs the most during your sleep. That’s why it is vital to rest well after a workout. Also, all organisms are different, so the best timing to eat proteins and carbs may vary for you.

By experimenting with different periods of eating after workouts and different foods and supplements, you can find out the best time to have a meal to gain the best results. Nevertheless, this time would probably be within thirty minutes to one hour after exercising, like it or not, because that’s how our metabolism works. What’s more, different foods act differently, so that’s not about the timing only but a well-thought-out combination.

According to Kate Huber at NJGamblingFun, who also works as a nutrition specialist “This period is also called the protein window because proteins and carbohydrates are the nutrients that your body needs to recover after the workout. Proteins allow synthesizing amino acids that contribute to muscle building and other body tissues restoration, while carbs replenish the glycogen storage. That’s why all the post-workout meal recommendations and supplements include these ingredients in different proportions.”

The food you eat before the workout also matters. Basically, you need to fuel your body before the training to make you energized and not tired with food digestion.

Complex carbs will deliver stable energy levels and allow you to exercise well. However, what you eat after the workout influences your result much more. Let’s take a look at what meals you can take after training.

What and When to Eat After Workout?

According to The Insider, your body can’t process more than thirty grams of protein at once, so there is no need to stuff yourself with protein-containing solutions. Instead, you need to provide your organism with the amount needed for body tissue repair and muscle growth.

Moreover, you need to combine protein content with some carbohydrates and other nutrients to restore depleted glycogen levels, as seen on Forbes. Let’s take a look at the food combinations and other supplements that can make a perfect post-exercise meal.


First of all, it is vital to drink enough water to restore your water balance and create ideal conditions for the cells restoring. If you don’t stay hydrated during and after your training, your body won’t be able to recover properly.


After a workout, you need to supply your organism with the right nutrients that your body used during the training. So, it is all about balanced combinations of meat, dairy, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Here are some meal suggestions for you:

● Greek yogurt with berries and granola;

● Crackers and peanut butter;

● Avocado toast with eggs or tuna;

● Multi-grain bread, nuts, and banana;

● Chicken breasts with sweet potato;

● Cottage cheese and fruits.

You can combine any carbs, proteins, and fats to create your own balanced meals. However, life happens, and with the fast rhythms of our lives, it may be impossible to eat a full meal within the required time. That’s when protein-containing supplements come in handy and save us from rushing over to eat at least something.

Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are a universal option for all sporting enthusiasts. Such products are available already bottled or as a powder that you can mix with water or milk. Moreover, protein shakes are available in such a variety of flavors that you may spend some time choosing the taste for today.

Such supplements are easy to take with you anywhere and drink on the go. They contain a standard dose of protein one needs after a workout and ease our lives much.

Protein Bars

Protein bars are a great alternative to shakes, and they don’t require mixing solutions. As seen on GiftWits, such a product can be a substitute for a full meal in terms of the useful nutrients it contains. Moreover, protein bars are as effective as protein powder or foods, and one bar is enough for your body’s needs after exercise.

You can find these items tasting like your favorite desserts, for example, a lemon mousse. However, most of the bars are either chocolate or peanut butter ones. If you are looking for coupons for protein shakes or bars, be sure to check out

Protein Coffee

The last but not least on this list is protein coffee, a pretty new solution on the market. If you are tired of protein shakes and love coffee, this product can be your best bet.

From my experience, I can say that the Complete Nutrition company produces probably the best protein coffee on the market. I have tried all three tastes available, and all of them allowed me to restore my glycogen levels and take the right amount of protein after training. As seen on Complete Nutrition, the brand uses only high-quality Columbian coffee beans for making this protein coffee product.

Final Advice

To sum up, the popular belief that one should eat within half an hour to an hour after training is not far from true. People are different, but for most sports fans, this rule works, and you need to have a meal containing proteins and carbohydrates to help your body restore and build muscles.

However, often, you don’t have time to prepare a full meal or eat exactly in the given timeframe. That’s when such solutions like protein bars or protein coffee come in handy and allow you to get enough protein and carbs timely.