If you drink a pre-workout smoothie around half an hour before your workout, it will be most beneficial. You’re unlikely to experience any substantial effect if you don’t start working out until hours after you’ve consumed it. Also, avoid choosing a smoothie that is solely protein-based. “A high-protein, a low-carb smoothie isn’t optimal,” explains Karen Reid, a qualified sports nutritionist. “A shortage of carbohydrates puts you at a higher risk of muscular injury.”

There’s a time and a place for fat, and it’s not right after your gym workout. A shake with some carbohydrates, once again, is an excellent choice, as carbs catalyze an insulin increase in your body. This increases the rate at which nutrients enter your muscular tissue. You’ll also want to choose the correct shake. It’s better to choose one with a high whey protein content because it’s the fastest digesting protein available and goes right to work on your muscles.

A protein shake about an hour before bedtime is ideal, but some people may require it a bit early to have a good night’s sleep. “You’ll be feeding muscle at a time when your growth hormones are increased, so it’s a fantastic time to receive the greatest stimulus,” he says. “You’ll be feeding muscle at a time when your growth hormones are elevated, so it’s a great time to get the best stimulus.”