As with any macro-nutrient, or micro-nutrient for that matter, there is much debate about the importance of protein, how much you should get, what types, etc; and that is multiplied when you consider protein’s importance in exercise and recovery.
My current view based on a variety of sources I have consumed over the years can be summed up as: protein is important, it should be consumed evenly throughout the day, I should probably get 20-30 grams per meal (I don’t, but should), and that it is important within 20-30 minutes after a workout — but only if it is a particularly long workout.
I have generally NOT been good at getting protein immediately after a workout. Somewhat embarrassing to admit, but this is in part due to wanting a big meal after a long workout and not wanting to ruin it with unsatisfying protein calories. But I am happy to report that I have started to do it more often, have felt better when I do, and thus I think I will make it a better habit. After a long workout when I am tired and ready for a shower, I have made myself pause to make a very quick protein smoothie. Usually when I make a smoothie for a meal I add in fruit and greens and some more substance. But these are just almond milk and protein powder, and sometimes some other powders such as spirulina, maca powder, and an adaptogen blend. I drink it up on my way to and just after my shower and then proceed to make my meal. While possibly a placebo effect, I really have been feeling that when I do this, I recover more quickly including having more energy that very day.