Everyone knows in the gym that you have to have a protein shake within 30 minutes of a workout or you start losing muscle. I have lived by this for years as well and always had my protein shake ready to have as soon as I finished my workout.
However I have started to read some information which has started to shift my thinking. How does you body know to start destroying muscle exactly 30 minutes after a workout. What about if you do two muscle groups in a session when does the muscle break start occurring?
Also the other issue with a post workout meal/shake is the body will take time to digest the protein and break it down to amino acids for muscle growth. So when is the best time and what should you do?
Well besides taking a BCAA (branch chain amino acid) and glutamine during your workout (which I would strongly recommend.) then a meal 1 hour to 1 and half hours before a workout is really important.
This meal should consist of protein and Low GI crabs which will allow the body to have amino acids in the body while you are working out which will help decrease muscle breakdown and give the body glycogen to power up for the workout.
So to retain muscle through the workout try having a small meal 1 – 2 hours before a workout but still have a post workout meal/shake to keep the body in an anabolic state during and after your workout.