Protein Timing

 Protein powder has been a foundational bodybuilding supplement for decades. More than likely it’s the first supplement a new bodybuilder or athlete tries. You may be a new 5%er that’s just beginning to use 5% supplements. Perhaps you’re wondering about protein; what 5% powder to use and protein timing. We cover that and much more in this article so let’s dive right in.

Why Is Protein Important?

If more muscle is your goal, understanding protein’s importance and timing becomes critical. Protein, like carbohydrates and fat, is a macronutrient. That means it is essential, you can’t survive without it. 

So, why is protein important? Well, first of all, after water, protein is a major component of our body. In simple terms, protein is used for thousands of daily biological processes. How does it do this? Protein contains amino acids that your body uses in thousands of different sequences. Each sequence performs a specific function in the body.(1,2)

These functions include but are not limited to:

  • Synthesis of Hormones
  • Production of Neurotransmitters
  • Maintenance of Hair, Skin, And Nails
  • Wound Healing
  • Bone Health and Strength
  • Proper Functioning Metabolism
  • Cell Repair and New Cell Production

Without adequate protein intake, your body cannot perform these life-sustaining functions. What about your goals as a bodybuilder/athlete? Protein performs the following functions:

  • Muscle Repair and Recovery
  • Protein Synthesis Stimulation
  • Muscle Growth

Protein Timing - Fact or Myth?

Protein intake and timing become even more critical if you’re a hard-training bodybuilder. Why? You need to take in enough protein to cover the basic physiological functions of your body. But, you also need additional protein to support the body’s muscle recovery and growth processes.

Most authorities suggest 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.(3) Of course, the most crucial aspect of this is that you meet your protein requirements every day. One way to achieve that is to eat protein meals or drink 5% protein shakes every 3-4 hours. The thinking is that this approach helps you meet your protein goals and maintain a positive protein balance. That means your body is in an anabolic, or building-up phase. If you are in a negative protein balance from lack of adequate protein, you are in a catabolic or tearing down phase. This is one reason why consuming 5% protein shakes and eating enough high-protein meals throughout the day is so important. 

However, current research seems to suggest that as long as you’re taking in enough protein, the “when” isn’t as important. However, let’s say you weigh 200+ lbs. That means you need to take in 200+ grams of protein per day. Why not divide that total up over your meals, like Rich did? Even if you ate a pre-workout meal, making (in theory) a post-workout shake optional, why not have one anyway? It will not hurt anything, and you’re giving your body what it needs right now. Even if you ate a pre-workout meal, that would have been roughly 3-4 hours ago. No doubt you’re hungry. A shake would taste really good right after a tough workout - and it would hold you over until you could sit down to your next meal. Rich always drank a post-workout shake right after his last set.

The 5% Nutrition Protein Options

Here’s a brief rundown of our protein options.

Shake Time

Here’s our stand-out No Whey protein powder that gives you a huge 26 grams of real food protein. Based on Beef isolate, this exceptionally delicious protein also uses Chicken and Whole Egg powder. 

Real Carbs + Protein

Here’s the protein powder that is based on Rich’s outstanding Real Carbs formula. First, there are 29 grams of real food-based carbohydrates sourced from Oats, Rice Bran, and Sweet Potato. Combined with this are 21 grams of real food protein. This blend is the same as Shake Time with the addition of Chickpea protein and organic Chicken protein. 

Snack Time

While Snack Time is not a powder, it is a single-serving squeeze pouch. It’s easy to use and convenient! Plus, it’s a delicious combination of peanut butter and egg white powder. Our regular Peanut Butter flavor gives you 15 grams of protein and our Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor gives you 14.


Even though protein timing has come under scrutiny in recent years, the concept still makes sense. Ultimately, you have 2 options. You can eat before training and feel like you can wait a few hours after your workout to eat/drink. Or, you can follow Rich’s approach of an immediate post-workout shake and eating high-protein meals every few hours. The choice is yours.


  1. Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Cataldo, DeBruyne and Whitney, “The Chemist's View of Protein” p.80-81
  3. Jäger R, Kerksick CM, Campbell BI, Cribb PJ, Wells SD, Skwiat TM, Purpura M, Ziegenfuss TN, Ferrando AA, Arent SM, Smith-Ryan AE, Stout JR, Arciero PJ, Ormsbee MJ, Taylor LW, Wilborn CD, Kalman DS, Kreider RB, Willoughby DS, Hoffman JR, Krzykowski JL, Antonio J. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 20;14:20. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8. PMID: 28642676; PMCID: PMC5477153
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