Here is a nice double blind crossover study that aimed to determine if whey protein ingestion enhances whole body net protein balance and recovery of exercise performance during overnight (10h) and 24h recovery after whole body resistance exercise in trained men.
It was found that the consumption of 25g of whey protein after an evening bout of resistance exercise tended to improve whole body net protein balance over 10h of overnight recovery compared to a rested control, and was moderately beneficial versus an isocaloric carbohydrate post-exercise supplement.
Consuming an additional 25g of whey protein in the morning after exercise contributed to the maintenance of a greater whole body protein balance over the 24 h recovery period compared to a rested control and carbohydrate supplementation. The greater whole body anabolism with whey protein supplementation was also associated with enhanced recovery exercise performance after an intense bout of resistance exercise.
The data suggests that resistance-trained individuals may benefit from protein supplementation after an evening bout of resistance exercise as well as the following morning to attenuate overnight fasted-state protein losses and enhance exercise performance recovery.