How long before a weightlifting session should I ingest proteins?

I have read different durations as shown below, and I wonder whether the scientific literature has reached any consensus on it.

http://www.myprotein.com/thezone/nutrition/protein-timing-drink-shake-before-after-workout/ (mirror):

There’s very little quality research in existence to provide practical recommendations with regards to timing of ingestion of a pre-workout protein beverage, however use within a 30-minute window beforehand should allow some of those amino acids to be floating around in your bloodstream by the time you begin your workout, if the right protein sources are ingested.

https://www.nutritionexpress.com/showarticle.aspx?articleid=787 (mirror):

Untrained men participated in a 10-week resistance training program and either supplemented with 40 grams of carbohydrate or 40 grams of protein containing a mixture of whey and casein. Half of the supplements were consumed one hour before and then immediately after exercise on workout days. The results were overwhelmingly positive for the combination protein group.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16896166 (mirror):

A solution of whey proteins was consumed either immediately before exercise (PRE; n = 8) or immediately following exercise (POST; n = 9).


  • 1
    I know this has been asked/answered before. I will see if I can find it.
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


I wrote this answer on another site so, disclaimer: I am copy-pasting my own work:

How important is nutrient or meal timing?

Under most circumstances and in the grand scheme of things, it's not critical. Of far greater importance is hitting your calorie, macro- and micro-nutrient needs over the course of the day. After that, consistency and commitment should be applied to an appropriate workout plan that suits your performance and/or body goals. If you tend to train in a fasted state, getting your post-workout nutrition in as soon as possible is a good idea, but the first two points (daily diet goals, consistent training) still take precedence.

For a good paper reviewing the literature examining the ideas and research behind nutrient timing and the "post-workout window", check out this meta-review.

For a review specific to protein timing and it's effect on strength and muscle building, check out this review.

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