Timing of protein consumption for hypertrophy

If you ask some people on the gym floor, gym instructors or Personal Trainers, “when is it best to consume protein after a training session,” you will get an array of different answers. Why? There has been literally 100’s of sport science studies showing different results! However, I may have extracted just the review article for you to get that final answer!

Before I get going I must point out that the information below is from most of those concluded 100 studies and has taken some time to put it into words for all to understand! Anyway let’s read!

We all have a choice to consume protein before, during or after training (maybe all 3). There are lots of different theories as to which time period mentioned above brings about the best approach for physical adaptation. In the case of resistance training the studies seek to find what promotes muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and what slows down muscle protein breakdown (MPB).  

Overall when you weigh up all the studies when seeking to promote muscle hypertrophy, strength gain and timing of protein consumption before, during or after, it is AFTER when protein synthesis (muscle building) is primed and optimised the most. In regards to “how long after a training session,” it seems the sooner the better. Again there have been ample studies showing an array of results in regards to how long after a training session.


In regards to the studies showing different results there are some reasons for this.

1.The studies sometimes use people that have a more advanced training background and some that do not! So the training status of an individual will play a big part in the results displayed. The “not so trained” will have a poor MPS compared to the “well trained” according to the data.

2. Quality of the protein consumed! Lots of gym users consume cheap crap protein shakes in the hope to get big quick. This is not great for adaptation. The higher the quality of the protein the better MPS and MPB ratios. I feel my next blog might be on this!

3.Body type. We all have different body types. Genetically some of us are stocky (mesomorphs) and find it much easier to gain than extra lean muscle mass. I’m not too sure how big we could get Mo Farah on a hypertrophy training programme being naturally lean (ectomorph).

4.Other macronutrients. Never mind protein, are these subjects getting the correct amount of carbohydrate and fats down the hatchet! The 3 macronutrients work together and if one is out of sync then optimising hypertrophy will be impeded.

I could go on but I will stop there. Getting the balance right with protein or in actual fact nutrition as a whole may take some time with trial and error. There are lots of people who consume too much of this stuff and actually gain unwanted body fat % around the abdomen area (protein belly, again a blog in itself).

My take home message here would be that get your protein from natural sources first then look into purchasing the best shake for you on the market and that cheaper is not better with these.

If you have found this interesting please share to friends that may also enjoy this read! Or in actual fact you would like to become a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer with us please get in touch!

For different study options: www.thepersonaltraininggroup.co.uk/study-options