The timing of your whey protein consumption can have a big impact on its effectiveness. Today you will find out when is the best time to take your whey protein supplement.
While I’m not super big on using lots of supplements, there is one supplement that I think has a merit to be in your cabinet. Whey protein supplement can be a great ally in your fitness journey. It’s the most popular supplement in the fitness industry and although it’s overhyped to the max, it’s a very useful supplement to add to your stack for better results in the gym.
Whey Protein Is Not For Everyone
Why you should supplement with protein if you can, you don’t need to and the difference in results if you don’t take any whey won’t be that noticeable if you maintain a good diet.
Some people don’t respond well to whey protein and the side effects sometimes far outweigh the benefits. If you’re lactose intolerant, if you suffer from high histamine and gut diseases like GERD than taking dairy based supplements like whey protein will cause you too much discomfort to be worth trouble.
The discomfort can affect your workout negatively enough to negate any benefits you would get from ingesting powdered whey protein. If your stomach is in a knot, if you’re sweating profusely, if you’re nauseous then you won’t be able to train at your full potential. Having the energy to train at high intensity is more important than any supplement you can take.
So if you don’t feel good when you take whey, then you likely suffer from some kind of intolerance to lactose or some other nutrients in the whey. It’s not worth it, trust me. In that case, just have a high protein meal close to your workout.
Why the time you take your whey protein is important
The biggest and only advantage of whey over more eating natural wholesome foods is its fast digestion. You’re able to feed your muscles with good protein quickly. After a workout, your muscles are hungry for extra protein and whey makes the feeding easy.
Whey is nothing but a food, it’s not some kind of super-powerful supplement that will turn you into the next hulk. The reason why it is chosen over eating for say a piece of chicken after your workout is because the chicken would take much longer to digest and break down to get into muscle tissues.
So the timing really only matters on days you work out. That’s because after exerting the muscles, they need protein more than anything else to grow bigger and the faster you’re able to give them that, the better it is for muscle hypertrophy. But your body always a protein storage since it’s the building block of muscle so don’t worry too much if you don’t take a protein supplement right after. You will still get results.
On days you don’t work out, it doesn’t matter. As a matter of fact, on off days, I would advice you to not even take any whey supplement and to instead just eat real high protein foods like chicken breasts, fish, steak, eggs etc. Whey should not replace your meals, but supplement them just like the name says.
So when is the best time to consume whey protein?
The best time and only time you should even bother taking whey protein is right after your workout session. There is no better way to get your protein fix then a few scoops of your favorite whey powder mixed in cold water in your shaker. Don’t mix it with milk or you will slow down the digestion and defeat the whole purpose of consuming whey in the first place.
Anywhere from immediately after you finish your workout session to up to 2 hours after is a good time window to try consuming your whey protein. Taking it before your workout is not nearly as helpful and taking on off days is pretty much the same as consuming regular food or even worse because it lacks most of the nutrients consuming whole foods would provide.
Whey is fast digesting, convenient and an easy way to get your much needed protein fuel after a rigorous workout. Your muscles will make good use of it. While the scientific research is not very strong on whether the effect of consuming whey has any real impact on muscle mass, evidence, although mostly anecdotal has shown that it can help you put on more muscle mass.
It won’t be difference between having a great body and and average one, that mostly relies on your workout and nutrition. But it will help you get a slight edge and speed up the muscle building process.
There are a lot of whey supplements on the market and since this industry is not really regulated , you should be careful and do your due diligence when picking a whey supplement. Stick with reputable brands to minimize risks and do not over-consume any supplement.
Always get the bulk of your protein from eating natural wholesome foods and minimize the consumption of highly processed foods in powdered forms. They are just supplements, never a replacement for the real thing.