Everyone in healthcare stresses protein intake, and if they don’t they should! What most don’t tell you is that the timing of protein consumption is also crucial to performance. Case example:
Athlete walks in for concussion rehab at 345 pm AFTER a full day of work. When she was unable to perform word association as well as she has previously, we asked how much protein she has eaten today. Her response sounded mildly defensive, but she did respond with a smile on her face when she said, “I just ate a protein bar on the way here, and had muscle milk for breakfast”. We estimated that this was about 1/4 of what her daily protein intake needed to be for her body weight.
The clinicians had a great discussion with the athlete about the timing of protein consumption. It is most important to start the day off with natural sources of protein and then consuming it evenly throughout the day so that there is no drop in energy level. It is also important to consider how much protein is consumed of an evening, because this increases sleep quality.
If you are unsure what the definition of a “good” source of protein is, you can always ask us and work collaboratively for positive patient outcomes.