When is the Best Time to Have a Protein Shake?

If you’ve been around the health industry for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard that protein shakes should be consumed post workout. Or you may have heard that they are a go-to for bodybuilders and athletes, but that they aren’t really necessary for “regular” folks (read, women) who aren’t trying to bulk up or worry about hitting PRs.

But that’s only partially true.

Protein shakes are great post workout, and they are a favorite go-to fuel source for many athletes and bodybuilders, but it’s not only for the reasons you might think (i.e. for bulking up or enhancing performance), and it’s certainly not only for those extreme populations. Protein shakes are popular mostly because of cost and convenience.

Here’s what we mean.

Proper protein intake plays a vital role in regulating (i.e. burning) body fat and in building muscle, something athletes and bodybuilders monitor closely. In order to maximize their efforts in the gym, this population needs to consume higher amounts of it. But always having quality sources prepped and on hand can be difficult, and buying healthy options out multiple times per day can get expensive fast.

Enter a protein shake to save the day.

They are a quick, easy, and cost effective way to consume more protein and it doesn’t require cooking, refrigeration, or extra food prep (because who has time to live in the kitchen!?). This is why they have become so synonymous with gym rats and lifting weights.

But proper protein intake isn’t only beneficial for hardcore lifters and elite level athletes. It’s beneficial for anyone who wants to get stronger, maintain a healthy body composition, and feel more energetic throughout the day. This is why you should aim to have quality protein with every meal.

It can be easy to get bogged down by a crazy schedule and grab a pastry for breakfast, or settle for take-out again for dinner because work kept you later than you planned. We suggest taking a page from a bodybuilder’s playbook and using protein powder as a quick, easy, and cost effective way to get quality protein into your day, whenever you need it most.

Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate it:

As Meal Replacement Such as:

Protein Powder Pancakes - great when you want an oatmeal or eggs only break

Green Smoothie - perfect for summer breakfast, you can also rotate different fruits and veggies

Power Coffee - early meetings? No problem!

As a SNacks such as:

5-Minute Protein Powder Brownie - for when the sweet tooth hits!

Gluten-free Lemon Cupcakes - need to bring cupcakes to a baby shower? These will be a hit!

Protein Peanut Butter Balls - perfect to bring to the office for a quick snack

… or just mixed (in a shaker bottle) with plain ol’ water and milk of choice!

Start with the meal or snack that gives you the most trouble. For some this is breakfast, for others it’s the mid-afternoon sweet tooth.

And remember, the best time to have a protein shake, or to use protein powder, is when you need protein.

Don’t worry about over-thinking it. Get creative and use the quick and easy nature of protein powder to your advantage, and stay on track with ease.

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