When to Take Whey Protein - Quick Summary
- Ideally you should have some whey protein before, during or after your workouts or training sessions.
- Having some protein before and after is even better.
- Outside of those times, you can have whey protein anytime of day, however it’s best to space it out so that you’re body is receiving protein every couple of hours.
- Always try to get most of your protein from whole and actual foods.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey protein is considered one of the best forms of protein around. Derived from the cheese making process, there are three different types of whey protein which include:
- Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
- Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
- Hydrolysed Whey Protein (Whey Peptides)
The different types occur through processing methods after whey is collected with the key difference between them is a) the percentage of protein and b) the percentage of di- and tri- peptides. Not only is whey protein rich in vitamins and minerals, it is a complete source of protein which provides a high level of essential and branched chain amino acids. These are the amino acids which are primarily responsible for muscle growth and muscle recovery.
Research over the years have yet to establish conclusively whether whey protein or casein protein is better for muscle protein synthesis or muscle growth. Most of the research however agrees though that whey protein has a better capacity to boost muscle growth quickly after consumption than any other types of protein, making it an ideal post-workout supplement.
How to Take Whey Protein
Whey protein can’t be easier to consume. As it is generally in powder form, the best way to consume it is to mix it with a suitable liquid such as water or milk. Some people like to mix their protein powders with juice, but as most protein powders come in milky flavours, this might not be the best idea. A few points to creating the ideal protein shake from whey protein:
- Each whey protein supplement will differ in their macronutrients (protein, fats and carbs)
- As such, aim to have 25-30g of protein.
- Having some extra serves throughout the day can help maintain muscle protein synthesis, growth and recovery.
- Whey protein mixes best in a shaker bottle.
- Add the powder after the liquid for better mixability
- For a thicker shaker, use milk. For a thinner consistency, use water.
- Always wash your protein shaker after consuming whey protein as the product can smell if left in the shaker.
Best Time to Take Whey Protein
The best time to take whey protein and indeed any type of protein is around workout and training times. So ideally, you want to have some protein before, during and after training for best results. It’s also important to consume adequate amounts of protein throughout the day and spaced evenly. Research is still continuing how protein timing and its effects on muscle growth, but as long as you follow the above principles, you should be able to achieve the gains your after.1. Campbell B, Kreider RB, Ziegenfuss T, La Bounty P, Roberts M, Burke D, Landis J, Lopez H, Antonio J. ‘International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise.’ J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007 Sep 26;4:8
2. Hoffman, JR and MJ Falvo, 'PROTEIN–WHICH IS BEST?' (2004) 3(3) Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 118