Many people think they need to eat protein within 30 minutes of lifting to gain strength, but that’s not true.
The half-hour rule is based on the idea that there’s a short period post-workout (called the anabolic window) when your body can repair and build muscle more efficiently. But that window is much longer than half an hour, it’s more like an entire day, says Tiffany Chag, RD, a sports performance specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
Getting a steady intake of protein throughout the day, especially on strength-training days, is key for building muscle. Aim for at least 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, Chag says, and space your intake out over four to five snacks and meals.