When it comes to taking whey protein, it makes sense to try and consume it at the right times for the best results.
If an aspiring weight trainer is just starting out and looking to supplement their diet with a protein supplement, it can be very confusing as to when to take whey protein for best the results.
Let me give you a personal example.
When I first started weight training, way back in 86, my first protein supplement was Beverly International's protein powder. Of course, this protein supplement was not a whey based product but a cheap variation of soy protein mixed with milk proteins.
I'll be the first to say that these early protein powders mixed like cement and tasted slightly better.
Anyways, I had no clue when to take this protein supplement. I basically took this protein powder once every two days. This was a complete waste of money with no benefit whatsoever. First of all , my protein intake was very inconsistent which is not conducive to building muscle at all.
Secondly , every two days was not enough to affect my protein intake at all.
How was I supposed to know when to take a protein supplement? There was absolutely no information - No forums, no blogs, no Yahoo answers, no information sites (such as building muscle101..hehe), no internet, no nothing. If you were an aspiring weight trainer back in the mid 80's, there was not a whole lot of information to be found, let alone use.
Anyways, now I know.
Whey protein is a wonderful supplement since it contains some great muscle building properties that has one important element that most other protein sources don't have.
That is it's digestibility rate. Whey protein isolate for example (the purest form of whey protein), is one of the fastest acting protein sources today.Once ingested, whey protein isolate can be in your system shortly thereafter.
As well as being one of the fastest acting proteins, whey protein isolate is rich in Branched Chain Amino Acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine).
These amino acids are very important since they help prevent muscle protein breakdown during exercise and appear to preserve muscle stores of glycogen. In other words, whey protein isolate contains the muscle building properties that most weight trainers are looking for. This is very important to understand.
So, let's get back to the question: when is the best time to take whey protein?
Alright, so now you know that whey protein is 1) easily and efficiently digested, and 2) high in muscle building branched chain amino acids. All we need to know now, is when to take whey protein for the best results.
I've done some research and done a lot of personal experiments to see what works best. I've come to the conclusion that there are 3 windows of opportunity to put the power of whey protein to it's best use. Here is what I think are the best times to take whey protein:
As soon as you wake up;
40 minutes prior to working out;
Immediately after working out.
Lets take a closer look at each point for the best times to take whey protein.
Remember, that as soon as you wake up, your body is pretty much in a starvation mode. Whether you realize it or not, your body is craving for nutrients and needs these nutrients in order to kick start its internal mechanisms to start building and working. Your body is weak and wants protein. The sooner you can get some protein into your body, the better.
Personally, Ive found that a whey protein isolate drink mixed with some yogurt and orange juice works best. This is one of the more important times of when to take whey protein.
Now this is very important and one that can really boost your weight training results, OVERNIGHT! Approximately 45 minutes after youve consumed your whey protein shake, you must have a full, muscle building breakfast. By doing this, you are jump starting your bodies ability to use the protein effectively and efficiently. Believe me, if you can follow this one little tip, you will soon see your results skyrocket.
If you have some pretty intense workouts, your going to stock up on some fast acting, high quality proteins. Whey protein is very high in branch chained amino acids which are your primary muscle builders. The more branch chained amino acids you have in your system, the better.
I would recommend you ingest a whey protein isolate drink mixed with some carbohydrates to supercharge your workouts.
Make no mistake about it, this is the most important time to take in a fast acting protein drink. If you were to only have one protein drink per day, this is the time of day to take it. I'm going to very honest here, by simply taking a protein/carb drink right after after your workouts, you will improve your results immediately.
I strongly suggest that after your workouts, you ingest a fast acting protein source such as whey protein isolate and some fast acting carbohydrates.
Why carbohydrates and protein? After an intense workout, your body is in dire need of carbohydrates and protein. The sooner you can shovel in these nutrients to your muscles, the sooner your body can kick start the recovery process. This is very, very important.
Here's a protein drink that you may want to use immediately after your workouts:
Blend all the ingredients in a blender. Remember, if you want more of a smoothie taste, add in 3 to 5 ice cubes.
Remember to adjust the ingredients to match that of your own nutritional needs. Now, like your breakfast, you will need to follow this up with a full muscle building meal approximately 1 hour later. I am very serious here, because if there is one element that will put you on the track to fast muscle growth, this is it. Have the above noted drink immediately after your workout, no later than 30 minutes and you MUST follow this up with a full muscle building meal 1 hour later.
There you have it. If you can manage to follow the above noted schedule, Im 100% positive that your gains will improve almost immediately.
Now, you can get whey protein isolate at most health food stores. Or if you want, you can order it online at www.bodybuilding.com, or www.musclesurf.com. Since I live in Canada, I order strictly from Supplements Canada. I usually get my order within two days and it's about 15% cheaper than GNC.
Also, if you want to know how to make your very own weight gain or meal replacement powders for 1/3 of the price of retail products, click here.
Good luck and remember to take your protein!
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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