How to time your protein intake around your workout

The saying “bodies are built in the kitchen” exists for a reason — nutrition is just as important as exercise in reaching your fitness goals. However, it’s not always easy to know what and when is best to eat (let’s face it, chicken, rice and broccoli five times a day gets old fast).

Fortunately, fitness-focused nutrition brands like Lindahls have recognized our needs and are launching a range of versatile and (whisper it) delightful protein-rich yoghurts and drinks. “Products like these are great for convenience, taste and variety,” explains Ian Marber, leading nutritionist and author of Man Food.

To help you make the smartest nutritional choices, we spoke to Marber and Tim Blakeley, the celebrity personal trainer behind Physical media.

What should my macro split look like?

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Macros are the carbohydrates, fats and proteins in your diet. In addition to protein, “you should have essential fats with every meal, and carbs for energy — especially pre-gym,” says Blakeley. As for what your macro split should look like, that depends on your fitness goals, body type, height, age and other metrics, he adds. For best results, consult a nutritionist directly.

How does my body use protein?

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“Protein is broken down into 20 amino acids, nine of which we can’t make in our bodies and must get from food,” explains Blakeley. These are the building blocks of muscles. When you exercise, your muscles break down, so you have to repair them.’ Unfortunately, our bodies can’t store protein in the same way as fat and carbs, so both Blakeley and Marber recommend supplementing your protein with snacks throughout the day (Lindahl’s range of yogurts, drinks and pudding pots are great for this). “It’s best to trickle in protein every three hours,” says Blakeley. The more consistent your protein intake, the faster your muscles will recover, preventing injury and promoting growth.

What is the best time to exercise?

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The jury is out. Some research suggests that exercise in the morning is best for managing your weight, while a recent study from the Netherlands suggests that between 2 and 6 p.m. is best for controlling blood sugar levels, lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes . The reality is that the best time to practice is when you get the chance. Few of us can commit to the same time every day – life isn’t like that. Marber and Blakeley agree that sticking to a consistent overall plan is more important than thinking of workouts as shifts that need to be punched in and out at the same time each day.

What is the best time to consume protein?

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Blakeley is a big proponent of pre-workout protein, as well as taking supplements during your workout to maximize performance. Marber agrees, but warns that pre-gym protein may not go straight to your muscles like you might think. Instead, it’s more important to keep you energized during your workout. “Protein helps regulate your glucose supply for consistent energy during exercise,” he explains. However, both advocate protein loading post-workout.

A great way to do this is to make sure you reach for something tasty, like a Lindahls KVARG yogurt or Protein Pudding jar, so that your post-workout snack feels like a well-deserved treat too. The Lindahls PRO range is best if you’re serious about maximizing your gains – each drink contains 23g of protein and a 50:50 mix of whey and casein proteins – meaning it won’t be heavy on your stomach no matter what time of day you have it.

So the takeaway is that protein is your friend, but as with any food, quality matters. Good protein, consumed little and often, could be just what your workout plan is missing.

When it comes to hitting your protein goals, add some Lindahls to your day. Try the range from your local supermarket or visit Lindahls.co.uk

How to time your protein intake around your workout

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