The post-workout shake is a great ritual of the fit life, but if you're just trying to make sure you're getting all you need each day, there is no specific time to take it. Many people start the day with a shake, or even mix a scoop into their cereal or yogurt. But dietary protein is healthy no matter if you have it at breakfast or dinner—or in between.

However, there is also a case for taking protein before working out, particularly if you're on a low-calorie or low-carb diet.

"Taking it alone before a workout is extremely beneficial during a low-carb diet," explains nutritional consultant Mike Roussell, Ph.D., in the article "Should I Drink Protein Before or After a Workout?" Taken at this time, he says, the supplement "leads to an increase in fat oxidation (fat burning) during high-intensity exercise like interval training or metabolic resistance training."

If you're living the low-carb life, there are even low-carb protein powders specifically made to match up with your dietary preferences.

Don't like having that shake sloshing in your stomach during training? Roussell recommends taking isolated BCAAs instead.