When To Take Whey Protein?
Posted on March 04 2018
Whey protein is the cheapest and most common form of whey protein, a byproduct of cheese production. Whey protein concentrate is a common bodybuilding supplement used to increase dietary protein intake, often with the goal of maximizing muscle hypertrophy.
Whey protein typically comes in three major forms: Concentrate (WPC), Isolate (WPI), and Hydrosylate (WPH).
Concentrates' typically have a low (but still significant) level of fat and cholesterol but, in general, have higher levels of bioactive compounds as well as carbohydrates in the form of lactose. They are only 29% to 89% protein by weight.
Whey protein is thought to be the best form of protein for the body to digest and use. Whey protein is rich in glutamine and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). These are considered essential amino acids for anyone who trains by providing an energy source to counteract muscle breakdown and support recovery. Whey protein can be used in several biochemical processes and is essential for muscle contraction, growth, and repair. Whey protein is also used for maintaining several metabolic processes and for controlling body composition.
When to take it?
The best time to take whey protein is within 1 hour of finishing your workout to help the recovery of your muscles. Of course, studies show the repair and regrowth of the body can take up to 48 hours. This is why people take between 20g to 30g of whey protein throughout the day.
Taking whey protein in the morning
As glycogen stores run low overnight, the body is forced to turn to amino acid stores to power metabolic processes. This places the muscle into a catabolic (or breakdown) state. Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein that is perfect for when you wake up since it quickly delivers amino acids to your muscles and counteracts muscle breakdown. Most experts recommend consuming a quality whey protein shake, such as Whey Protein 80, first thing in the morning. This is because of its impressive Biological Value and great amino acid profile which ultimately 'sets' you up for the day.
Taking whey protein pre-workout
A whey protein shake pre-workout is integral to creating a positive nitrogen balance in the body. This is necessary to stimulate protein synthesis and increase muscle mass. Protein is the building block of new muscle growth. Research has found that protein synthesis is increased when whey protein was taken 'immediately before resistance exercise'. For this reason, try including 25-35 grams of whey protein as the basis for your pre-workout shake.
Taking whey protein post-workout
Perhaps the most important time for athletes to take whey protein is immediately post-workout. This is because you've just put your muscles under a lot of stress and must now provide nutrients for repair and re-growth. A fast-acting protein source such as whey protein is a perfect choice. Research shows that after a strength based training session your muscles are starved and so have a 'sponge-like' property. Scientists believe you can, therefore, absorb more protein at this point compared to any other time of the day. Therefore it makes sense to add a large serving of whey protein post workout. This will serve as a great basis for your shake and kick-start the recovery process.
Taking whey protein before bed
Overnight some people will go several hours without food. With limited nutrients to your muscles, the muscle may then be forced to turn to amino acid stores to fuel metabolic processes. It is recommended to drink a whey protein shake prior to going to bed to stop your muscle from entering a catabolic state. Feeding the body in this way ensures that nutrients are available during the overnight fast and muscle breakdown can be avoided. Because of its fast release nature, many nutritionists prefer to recommend casein protein instead of whey protein before bed. This provides a tapered release of nutrients to the muscle overnight.