Morning, between meals, post workout, before bed time...what confusion, what is the best time to take your whey protein shake?
These are basically the preferred times for most of the bodybuilders that take whey protein shakes, and they're all good times, don't get me wrong.
But if you're like most people you need to decide when taking a whey protein shake is more effective.
Ideally we should constantly feed our body with proteins to ensure muscle growth and be in anabolic phase, but if you're used to protein shakes you know that it's not very easy to take more than one serving a day for these reasons:
- Whey protein shakes are expensive and maybe you can't afford it
- The taste of whey protein shakes can make you "sick of it" if you take multiple servings per day
- Too much protein can give you uncomfortable side effects
What we're trying to figure out here is the best time of the day based on the assumption that you can take only one serving a day.
Morning Whey Protein Shake
The best time I prefer to take my whey protein shake is in the morning, as breakfast or just after breakfast.
Because it's proven to be the most effective time to take it as your body has been fasting for hours when you wake up. If you sleep, let's say, 8 hours a night, when you wake up you've been fasting for at least 8 hours, and probably more if you didn't eat anything just before bedtime.
We all now that to ensure muscle recovery and muscle gains we should feed our body with proteins throughout the day. If you take whey protein shake for breakfast you interrupt the "protein fasting" and also give some energy to your body as the day starts.
Post Workout Whey Protein Shake
The second best time to take whey protein shake, for me, is after workout. If you can eat some lean meat, eggs, tuna fish or any high protein food after your workouts I encourage you to do so because you can provide fresh proteins for your body to start the recovery and repairing process of your muscles.
But we all know that drinking a whey protein shake is so much easier and quick, and we can take in pure proteins only (no fats, no carbs etc.) and this is why I take mine after a workout.
Between Meals Whey Protein Shake
Another good time to take protein shakes is between meals, always for the reason that smaller frequent meals are better than big meals several hours away. And if your smaller meals contain high protein, so much better!
I take my whey protein shake between meals only on those days when I know that I had high carbs and low protein lunch or dinner and I need extra protein to sustain my recommended daily intake.
This works well on those day where I can't really have enough protein in my meals.
Whey Protein Shake before Bedtime
Before bedtime...this could be an option but it's not my favorite. I did it several times because I was hungry and I had nothing better to eat at that time, or because I knew I didn't have enough protein during the day.
But the side effects were more than the advantages.
Protein before bedtime will most likely keep you awake for a long time, it's like having an energy shot when you try to sleep. Some people don't experience this, but on me...not a good idea.
Proteins side effects can keep you awake...and I am talking about need to use the bathroom or lots of gas in your stomach...not fun when you try to sleep.
But hey if you don't have problems forget about what I say and go ahead, lucky you!
Pre Workout Whey Protein Shake
Some people do it, but I wouldn't recommend it. Whatever you eat before a workout is going to be burnt during the workout. I prefer to burn my carbs and save proteins for later.
I don't want to burn my precious proteins during workout, that's the time I want to get rid of fats and carbs!
In conclusion, I would summarize this article with this advice...
Try to distribute the proteins that you take in during the day to constantly feed your body with the building blocks of muscle, therefore prefer:
- Whey protein shake in the morning (after several hours of fasting)
- After workout (to start the recovery process immediately)
- Between meals
- Before bed as last option
Don't try to get all your protein intake at once, thinking that you can take 6 scoops in the evening just because you didn't eat proteins during the day. Bodybuilding doesn't work like that, you have to constantly feed your body throughout the day!