What times of the day must a lifter or a bodybuilder take his whey protein shake – or any protein supplement he is taking?
Not so long ago I received that question from a colleague we are going to call Jerome. He’s not actually just a colleague, he’s one of the team leaders in our department; he’s a great guy, and I admire his will to change his body.
His body belongs to the “ectomorph” type so to speak. In short he’s skinny and I am impressed that he hasn’t gained a lot of body fat at all after years and years of being overworked and undertrained (with regards to lifting). This tells me that he can pretty much take in lots of calories without worrying too much about gaining fat – which is the last thing someone who lifts regularly should care about. Therefore my answer to his question shocked him quite a bit.
You see Jerome just bought a huge container of protein shake. Now contrary to my practice (I would just recommend consumption of whole foods and use eggs in place of protein shakes) protein shakes could also be quite good as one can use them as quick and easy source of quality protein – very convenient especially for people with busy lifestyles.
One thing with Whey proteins is that it tends to be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream therefore aids in faster recuperation of the micro tears. This is something that you must take advantage of since you decided to spend money on whey protein anyways – therefore you must at least leverage the wins.
Since Jerome just started lifting and he doesn’t gain fat easily – I can foresee a great progress on his way provided that he feeds his body the nutrients that it needs. In his case I advised him to cease worrying about being too picky on foods since his metabolism is high anyways. And when he asked me when should he take his whey proteins my answer went like this:
I have two points of advice
Point 1: Since you bought whey protein anyways you might as well get the most out of it; if you are not in any way trying to save it up or if you don’t mind buying shakes frequently – you must use it liberally in this manner:
1 – After waking up; on an empty stomach (whey protein or no whey protein; you must eat after sleeping (fasting) for 8 hours or more)
*2 – 1 hour before working out (to supply you energy and protein for the coming workout)
3 – during the workout
*4 – Immediately after the workout (whey protein can be absorbed faster since it’s molecules are smaller – and tissue damage (or shock) leads muscles to become more permeable to protein absorption).
5 – After dinner or before going to bed (because most bodily developments and repairs occur during sleep – so you might want to provide your body some building blocks for the muscle cells that are “under construction”)
On the other hand if you’re planning on going thrifty with your whey protein, the best time to consume that would be at 1 hour before working out and immediately afterwards then for the rest you just have to ramp up your meat and egg consumption.
Point 2: Whey protein is good, and it can bring you some gains if used wisely BUT one must always prioritize whole foods especially eggs – whole eggs and he must also increase his cholesterol intake. What shocked Jerome, by the way is the very high frequency of which he must take his shakes (as illustrated above – that is why I gave him the option of just taking it before and after workouts) and also the fact that I am suggesting that he should actually consume egg yolks and cholesterol; at that point I explained to him the scientific basis of consuming cholesterol.
I talked to him about considering taking sips of his whey protein at work since I don’t see him eating a lot during his 8 hours in the office since him working out plus the fact that he has a damn high metabolism he really must get himself stuffed with quality protein (and cholesterol!) every time and eat more to take advantage of his metabolic gift and the whey protein that he already has is one convenient way to do that.
If you are also an employee like Jerome you might also consider eating more during the half of the day you that are in your office and consider bringing for lunch home cooked meals instead of useless fast-food.
So just a take home advice: Whey proteins are great like what we said before; but all in all it’s just ANOTHER TOOL at your disposal. A diet cannot contain whey, whey, and whey alone. Most bodybuilders think that you cannot gain muscle without whey; they are DEAD WRONG! Whey is just convenient because it is 1) fast absorbing and 2) easy to prepare; but actually whole foods and eggs could do the job.
whole foods and eggs could do the job, you can gain muscle and strength even without the use of preotein shakes
By the way you can buy the Gold Standard Whey protein through these links:
Gold Standard – nice and simple, just plain ol’ high quality whey protein without claiming too much BS. That is what I like about Gold Standard:
And it goes in COFEE flavor as well:
By the way for people with slower metabolism or the ones who have high tendency to gain fat – there is no difference with the protein and cholesterol consumption – the only difference is that you must eliminate “bread” from your diet, and minimize carbs altogether. You can instead eat rice and sweet potatoes for carbohydrates. You must also take in more fiber-rich goods in place of the low-quality carbs and junk foods that you used to consume. This will facilitate a healthier motility and aid digestion. Studies also suggest that fiber in your colon can facilitate the growth of good bacteria – the ones that help metabolize fat.
Also for more fat burning tips please read this post to see why timing your meals can help in fat loss.
Enough about me, I want to hear you: please share with some of our readers your experience with whey protein shakes and how do you take it. If you haven’t taken any that is also interesting and we want to know why and how are you going about lifting without taking these protein shakes? Eat your eggs, people!