So one of the most common theories surrounding training is that you should always consume protein immediately after/ 30-60mins post workout- this also being known as the famous “anabolic window”.
It is commonly thought that if you miss this window you will have wasted your time training that day and no “gainz” will be made. Rendering that days training session a waste of time.
Research from scientific studies have been carried out and has identified the importance of protein consumption timing post workout depends on your daily protein intake. Daily protein intake being the most important aspect when looking at the overall picture.
If you have had a high protein meal (20-40g depending on the individual) 1-2hours prior to training, your body will still hold enough amino acids to maximise muscle protein synthesis (MPS) post training and therefore the rush for that high protein meal or shake is not needed. The pre workout meal is thought to open up a “window” of approximately 4-6hours which allows enough time post workout to relax without having to stress about the rush to consume protein.
If you were to train fasted, the protein nutrient timing post workout becomes slightly more important because you haven’t had the pre workout meal to spike MPS, however this does not mean the training session is a waste if protein consumption is not immediately post workout.
In conclusion… Do not stress about having to consume protein immediately as you step outside the gym. As long as you have had a pre workout meal that contained enough protein to spike MPS (20-40g depending on the individual) then that delayed post workout meal will not prevent you from making progress and getting those all important “gainz”.