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Optimizing breakfast/protein shake timing?
Optimizing breakfast/protein shake timing?
p90x diet breakfast optimization protein shake catabolic state catabolism
1/4/13 2:32 PM
Hi Team Beachbody,

For those interested, you can read my P90X success story here on the message board.

After indulging in some end-of-year hedonism, I've noticed an unwelcome layer of fat come back to haunt my lower abs, so I'm embarking on another round of P90X, this time with an eye towards adding the micro-tweaks to my diet to optimize my results, and this led me to the question: when is best to drink a protein shake?

The problem is that there seem to be as many different answers to this question as there are resources giving advice.

What is Team Beachbody's consensus on the ideal time to drink a protein shake?

I'll explain my routine if it helps with an answer: my schedule really only allows me to work out in the morning, right after waking up, usually ~ 7am. I don't like to work out right after eating, and fitness experts advise against this anyway, so I work out right after waking up, after which I have breakfast. Previously, I would then have my protein shake as my midday snack, but that's more than an hour after I've worked out.

But doesn't this mean I've lost the 60-minute post-workout window that's "ideal" to drink protein shakes? The problem is, I really don't have enough time in the morning that I can have breakfast first, then wait an hour before working out; and for other schedule reasons, I really prefer to keep my workouts in the morning rather than anytime else. Also, I honestly cannot wake up any earlier, or I just would not be getting enough sleep - work and household chores just always chew up a lot of nighttime hours.

Also, I'd appreciate if someone could speak to the idea of eating some protein immediately after waking up, in order to prevent your body becoming catabolic. What's the minimum that you can eat if you want to do this? (Again, I prefer not to work out on a full stomach, but my schedule won't allow me to eat immediately after waking up and then wait another hour before working out).

So with all that said, how would the community advise to organize waking up, working out, breakfast, and a protein shake (and possibly a post-wake-up meal)?

Thank you, everyone, I appreciate any info and advice you can pass my way.
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RE: Optimizing breakfast/protein shake timing?
Answer Answer (Unmark)
1/4/13 10:15 PM as a reply to Person813.
I don't really think there is a best time to drink a shake, just as long as your daily macros and calories are in the right area.

I do agree that a post workout shake is important, especially with a 4:1 or 3:1 carb to protein ratio, to get you back on track to complete your day. It really does help with recovery.

About the morning eating, I know plenty of people who workout on an empty stomach and they tell me that it works for them. Doesn't work for me. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but on days that I'm going to workout first thing, I will set my alarm for an hour and a half before I actually work out. I throw together a quick protein shake with some ground up oats for carbs, chug it, then go back to bed until its time to get up. I really need that energy, or my workouts end up being horrible... especially towards the last 15 minutes.

If thats not the case for you and you continue to see gains in strength, feel free to continue what you are doing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Glad you had great results with P90X. I too, had awesome results. I completed Insanity next, and thats when my abs really started to show, as the entire program is core based. I am now doing P90X2, which is also core based. Just an idea, but take a look at those workouts either now, or for the future.
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