Elemental great reply.
Pretty much nutritional timing is everything. So if you are going to drink one before, make sure it is digested and not sitting in your stomach draining blood that could be in your muscles. This will also allow you to have more amino acids in your blood stream to help negate the catobolic effect of weight lifting. If after (you'd better have something if you want to gain) then the first 45 mins. after the completed exercise is a good rule of thumb. This allows time for the protien to break down and start replacing the amino acid pool in your body. Remember, recovery (synthesis) only truely starts while you sleep, so make sure you at a minimum take some small amount of protein with your evening meal.
Depending if I am going to go running or not after a heavy lift is how I judge my meals for the day. If lets say I am going to do a 5 mile run after lifting chest and back, I try to have a protein & carb drink / light meal about 1 hour prior to going to the gym and track. This keeps my stomach from eating into my spine at around mile 3, which if I dont eat before, I cant concentrate on the run because I'm so damn hungry. Then after the run, I either go grab a turkey sub from a local deli, or get a protein shake with carbs to replace the lost glycogen stores.
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