Timing is everything - When to feed for different benefits

Timing is everything - When to feed for different benefits

Precision Equine innovates the most effective and powerful topline muscle building and recovery supplements for Equine athletes. We have broken the boundaries of traditional horse supplements by applying high performance human sports science nutrition strategies to deliver maximum muscle gains and optimum equine performance support. 

Why feeding your horse protein creates muscle

Muscle building processes in a horse require protein and amino acids just like they do in humans. During exercise, micro-tears develop in the horse's muscle fibres causing muscle mass break down, a process known as the Catabolic State.  After completing exercise the muscles require Amino Acid building blocks (protein) to repair these micro-tears and switch the horse's body into the muscle 'repair and building' phase know as the Anabolic State.  

Our nutrition scientist explains how the protein in Muscle Max Bars is delivered to build muscles effectively:

"Straight after a workout period there is an opportunity to target getting protein to the muscles that have just been exercised, by ‘piggy backing’ on the natural Anabolic processes that occur when you switch the body from a ‘muscle breakdown’ to a ‘muscle repair’ state, through the actions of Insulin.
During exercise, glucagon is telling the muscles to release glucose for energy. Then when you feed glucose after exercise, the glucagon is switched off and Insulin production begins, telling the muscles to store glucose. This targets blood filled with glucose from the digestive tract, to the muscle cells.
If you have fed the horse a highly concentrated and easily digestible protein (like the Whey Protein Isolate in Muscle Max Bars) at the same time as the glucose, these proteins will also be absorbed from the digestive tract and targeted to the muscle cells - where they can be instantly put to use for muscle repair and rebuilding."

If you want your horse to build healthy strong muscles you need to give the muscles access to the essential amino acids they need for optimum structural repair and building - at a time when the body is focusing on sending blood to the muscles to deliver glucose for Glycogen replenishment.

This is why giving your horse an instant nutrition boost after training, with highly available protein and amino acids, will aid muscle recovery and repair, and prevent muscle loss.

This well timed support for recovery and repair processes with Muscle Max Bars is what allows horses build topline condition and increase physical performance in an incredible 3-6 weeks.

Read more about how protein benefits horses or check our reviews - the results truly do speak for themselves.

When to feed Muscle Max Bars 

Your Goal - Build Muscle and Develop your Horse's Topline

Feed Muscle Max Bar to your horse within 20 minutes of completing training to support them in developing more topline muscle and over-all muscle building.

For example, half a bar after regular flatwork training and dressage competition, or a full bar after SJ and XC training and competition (unless you have fed a full bar before, then just feed a half bar).

The concentrated protein and glucose in the Muscle Max Bar work together to prevent the muscle breakdown that naturally occurs during exercise, and kickstart the muscle repair and rebuilding processes.

Without post-workout supplementation of protein and glucose, muscles can continue to breakdown for up to 2 hours after completing exercise, by halting this process within 20 minutes after exercise, the muscles become less depleted and start to repair much sooner resulting in maximised muscle mass gains.

The muscle building results of protein supplements have been shown to be most effective when the horse consumes the protein supplement within 20 minutes of completing exercise. This 2021 study published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science suggests that feeding  post-exercise may facilitate better muscle protein balance (synthesis vs. breakdown) in the recovery period following exercise.

The scientists observed that the horses fed after exercise not only had more amino acids in their plasma than those fed earlier or not at all, but that the level of amino acids dropped quicker, suggesting that they were being utilized for recovery (which would help the horse to build more muscle).

Your Goal - Accelerate Muscle Recovery

Feed Muscle Max Bar during performance intervals as well as after completing training and performance to maximize muscle recovery.

Feeding smaller amounts more often ensures that your horse has a steady availability of amino acids for muscle recovery (and therefore building) throughout the times they are working. This is an ideal scenario for Horse Trials, Showjumping competitions, Performance Events or Eventing. 

Your Goal - Supercharge Muscle Stamina

Feed Muscle Max Bar to your horse 30 minutes before commencing strenuous training and performance, to delay muscle fatigue and elevate endurance.

This is ideal for before Cross Country or Endurance Riding, or for horses who are still building fitness, or who are moving up to the next level and are now taking on bigger fences and longer courses. Feeding our protein bars provides a concentrated source of Branched Chain Amino Acids which can be used as energy by the muscles before they are forced to start breaking down the muscle itself to use as energy.

Feeding the MUSCLE MAX BARS before an XC run or even an SJ course is also a powerful way to reduce the risk of tying up and delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS).

If you feed half a bar before XC, you can also feed a full bar after.

Your Goal - Use as a treat that benefits general health and wellness

Muscle Max Bars can absolutely be used as a treat for older or younger horses or horses on rest, but you are less likely to see dramatic muscle gain. When you feed protein to a horse who has not just been exercised, there will still be an insulin response to the feed and glucose will be sent to the muscles for storage, but the amino acids will not be ‘targeted’ to the muscles that were exercised. Instead the amino acids will be distributed to the whole body for all sorts of essential functions (building blood, tissue, cells, supporting hoof growth and generalised muscle health). Feeding a high quality protein supplement to a horse who has not worked still has huge benefits to the horses whole body, but it does not facilitate the targeted muscle building and repair that feeding Muscle Max Bars protein immediately after exercise does. 

Feed the protein each horse needs

MUSCLE MAX BARS can be used in different ways to achieve very different results. 

By adjusting how you use MUSCLE MAX BARS you can tailor their use to each individual horse's specific needs. Some horses just need the stamina boost, some really need the muscle mass gains, and some need both. It really comes down to identifying what your unique goals are for each of your horses fitness and conditioning, and then feeding the MUSCLE MAX BARS at the most effective time to achieve that.


Still have questions? See our Feeding Guide or ask us anything!



After exercise – feed a half or full MUSCLE MAX BARS within 15-20 minutes of completing every training and competition session to boost muscle recovery and significant muscle development.