When Is The Best Time To Drink a Protein Shake?

Savvy athletes who know when's the best time to take protein are working out with battle ropes in a fitness gym


If you’re taking protein to boost your performance, you want to know the best time to drink a protein shake. After all, the whole point of your supplement is to get the best results possible. So when should you drink a protein shake? And does the timing even matter? 

Today we will discuss the best time to take protein depending on your workout goals. But before we discuss the best time to drink a protein shake, it’s important to talk about what is in your protein shake. Because if you aren’t fueling your body the right way, the timing won’t matter! 

Does the timing of my protein shake matter?

Some athletes swear the best time to drink a protein shake is after their workout. Others will scream the benefits of pre-workout protein shakes to the rooftops. 

So when should you drink a protein shake? 

There are benefits to both pre-workout and post-workout protein shakes, and the timing may not be as important as you think. Studies have found that the amount of protein and the quality of the protein are much more important than determining the best time to take protein. 

That being said, there may be some slight differences for your body when choosing the timing of your protein supplement – so let’s discuss the best time to drink a protein shake based on your workout goals. 

The best time to drink a protein shake

The best time to drink a protein shake depends on your health and fitness goals. Depending on whether you want to build muscle, boost endurance, or lose weight, you might want to consume your supplement at a specific time.

Here is the best time to drink a protein shake broken down by goal:

Athlete who follows the advice on the best time to drink a protein shake is working out at gym

For building muscle

Protein is important for building muscle, and you need to consume more protein than your body breaks down during your workout. If you’re hoping to use peptides for muscle growth, the best time to drink a protein shake is heavily debated.  

Many fitness enthusiasts swear that the best time to drink a protein shake is 15 – 60 minutes after your workout, but recent research has shown that this anabolic window is much larger than we previously thought. 

According to these studies, the best time to drink a protein shake for building muscle mass is any time up to two hours after your workout. 

Of course, if you are working out in a fasted state, such as before breakfast, your body might start to burn muscle instead of fat. As such, it’s a good idea to eat before your workout – and maybe even take a protein supplement, which can reduce the likelihood of muscle damage. 

Athletes working out at a gym after talking about the best time to drink a protein shake

For faster recovery 

When should you drink a protein shake to improve your post workout recovery time? 

Generally speaking, the best time to drink a protein shake is during and after exercise. This will help reduce muscle soreness and speed recovery times by providing your muscles with the nutrients they need to heal. 

Athlete drinking Frog Fuel nano hydrolyzed collagen® protein

For losing weight 

If your main goal of exercise is to lose weight, it doesn’t really matter if you take your protein before or after your workout. The best time to drink a protein shake for weight loss is…frequently. 

You should eat a high-protein diet and spread your protein intake out throughout the day. This can help raise your metabolism and reduce your appetite. 


Protein helps curb your appetite by reducing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. This means consuming a protein shake between meals could lead you to eat fewer calories later in the day.

Of course, you shouldn’t use protein shakes in place of a balanced, whole-food diet. Your protein supplement works best alongside other nutritious foods. 

Athlete working out at a gym while being coached by his trainer on the best time to drink a protein shake

For boosting endurance 

If you’re hoping to boost your endurance, the best time to drink a protein shake is actually before your workout. This will preserve your muscles as much as possible and provide a source of energy to help your body through long and grueling workouts. 

If you’re gearing up for a marathon, a protein-rich snack or shake 30 minutes to an hour before your race can be beneficial. Of course, it’s not going to carry you through the entire race. That’s why it’s equally important for endurance athletes to know what to drink during workouts

Since you probably don’t want to lug a protein shake around, we recommend our liquid protein shots. These collagen protein shots are pre-portioned and easy to throw in your pocket. When you’re ready for more protein, rip it open and toss it back – no mixing required.

Liquid protein shots make it easy to achieve your optimal protein intake, so you don’t need to worry about the best time to drink a protein shake. You can get your protein whenever it's needed most. 

Two athletes talking about best time to drink a protein shake

What is the best type of protein to put in my protein shake?

There are so many types of protein supplements on the market that it can be difficult to know where to start when optimizing your workout routine. Luckily, we know a thing or two about supplements, and here is our ten cents on the most popular types of protein out there. 

Whey protein 

Whey protein is one of the most popular protein supplements out there – but is it the best?

We don’t generally recommend whey protein. While it works for some people, it is a dairy-based protein, which means it causes stomach upset in people with lactose intolerance (which is 65% of the population). 

It is also harder to digest than collagen protein, so it could cause an upset stomach even if you aren’t lactose intolerant. 

Whey protein also contributes to the environmental footprint of the dairy industry, which may concern those focused on sustainability and environmental issues.


Athlete showing Frog Fuel Ultra liquid protein shot to the camera

Collagen protein

Collagen is undoubtedly the best protein for athletes. It gives you all the same benefits of whey protein, but without the digestive issues. It is also what your body naturally uses to strengthen and repair your connective issues, so it can speed recovery and help with injury prevention. 

Casein protein

Casein protein, like whey protein, is derived from dairy products. It has much slower absorption than other proteins on this list, which is why some people choose to take it before bed. We don’t recommend taking it around workouts though, since you want a more bioavailable supplement. 

Soy protein

Soy protein is a complete protein source, which makes it a solid option for athletes who eat a plant-based diet. But if you choose to use soy as your main protein supplement, there are a few things you should be aware of. 

Soy contains compounds called phytoestrogens, which can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Some studies have raised concerns about potential hormonal imbalances in men with very high soy intake.

Soy also contains phytates and trypsin inhibitors, which can interfere with the absorption of minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc. Athletes who rely heavily on soy protein may need to pay attention to their overall mineral intake and consider diversifying their protein sources.

Pea protein 

Pea protein is another popular plant-based protein. Unfortunately, it isn’t a complete protein. It has low levels of the amino acids cysteine and methionine, so you will want to mix up your protein sources instead of relying solely on pea protein.

Be aware that plant-based proteins generally have lower protein content and worse digestibility when compared to animal-based proteins, so adjust your diet accordingly to ensure you’re getting adequate protein levels. 

Rice protein

Rice protein is a plant-based protein with low levels of the essential amino acid lysine. Because of this, some athletes choose to mix pea and rice protein together to make up for the imbalances and achieve a more complete protein supplement. 

Hemp protein

This plant-based protein is made from hemp seeds and has high levels of fiber, omega-3s, and omega-6 fats. Hemp protein is also low in lysine, so it’s important to mix it with another protein like collagen, soy, or pea protein in order to have a more complete amino acid profile. 

Now that you have a better idea of what protein you should use, it’s time to talk about the subject you’re here for: the best time to drink a protein shake.

Maximize protein shake benefits 

Timing, type of protein, and knowing how to avoid indigestion or stomach upset can all either maximize or inhibit the effectiveness of protein. Concerns about indigestion related to protein shakes often stem from various factors, including excessive protein intake, the type of protein used, and the presence of questionable additives. 

Protein intake is crucial for muscle repair and growth, but excessive consumption can lead to digestive issues and inefficiency. It's recommended that adult athletes consume between 0.6 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight to support their training needs effectively. 

Athlete holding a packet of Frog Fuel liquid protein shot

Exercising on an empty stomach is a topic of debate among athletes. While some may find it effective for quick fat burning, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those engaged in endurance or high-intensity workouts. 

Regardless of the best time to drink a protein shake for you, vigilance regarding supplement labels and avoiding vague ingredients can help ensure the healthiness of protein shakes and supplements.

While collagen is one of the best types of protein supplements, in the realm of collagen supplements, quality can vary significantly. 

One major difference between collagen supplements is the bioavailability and how easy it is for you to digest. 

Athlete drinking Frog Fuel collagen protein

Hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen peptides, addresses absorption challenges by breaking collagen into smaller, more digestible pieces through hydrolysis. This process enhances bioavailability, allowing the body to absorb and utilize collagen more effectively. 

Hydrolyzed collagen supplements offer quicker benefits, aiding in skin health, joint support, and overall well-being, making them a valuable addition to anti-aging and nutritional regimens.

Frog Fuel collagen liquid protein shots boast fast absorption, providing benefits within 15 minutes. Offering 15 grams of enzyme-hydrolyzed collagen protein, our Frog Fuel collagen digests up to 4 times faster than leading whey proteins. 

Whether you're an athlete seeking muscle support, aiming for overall health improvement, or recovering from surgery, our hydrolyzed collagen protein could be the solution you seek.

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