The best time to take your protein drink is after your workouts for a quick supply of protein and nutrients. But other then that it really does not matter when you take your protein drinks. Your body's protein levels become depleted through workouts and strenuous activities. Whey protein supplies essential amino acids and is a precursor to building muscle. It builds muscles, enhances your endurance, and reduces muscle deterioration. Whey supplements supply a good amount of branched-chain amino acids that are important to bodybuilders since they are metabolized directly into the muscle instead of the liver like other amino acids.
Personally the time when I take my protein shake can change depending on what and when I eat, I try to supply my body with protein every 3-4 hours. If I don't have time to cook up "meat and potatoes" type of meal, then I will have more than one protein drink or protein bar throughout the day to make up for the protein intake my body needs.
For example, during the weekdays, for breakfast I usually have a bowl of oatmeal with milk and a protein drink. But on the weekends when I have more time I will cook a real breakfast such as steak and eggs.
The main thing is to try and get 1 - 1.5 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day spaced out over several meals or snacks. If you can't eat this much protein is solid food, then have protein drinks and bars to make up for the extra protein.
Why should I take Whey Protein?
"Whey has an excess of essential amino acids,'' according to a key U.S. whey protein supplier. Essential amino acids make up over 60% of whey's total protein content. As a result, there are no limiting essential amino acids in whey proteins, as is the case with some vegetable proteins, to detract from protein quality. Whey protein isolates (WPIs) provide the excellent balance needed for a sports nutrition product. WPIs are extremely low in lactose, less than 1%. In addition, their bland flavor allows their formulation with products not normally associated with dairy products, like a fruit-bar or fruit-juice application.
What are the Benefits of Taking Protein?
- Protein provides quick energy
- Taking protein supplements will increase muscle weight
- Protein is used by athletes to repair and build muscles after a tough workout
Whey Compared To Other Protein Supplements
So how do we know that whey protein is better than other types of protein?
Whey proteins score a 1.14 on the "Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score", but the reported score is 1.0 - the max value allowed by USDA. What this means is that whey scored higher than allowed! It's simply that good.
Biological value is another measure for protein quality. It measure the amount of protein retained from the absorbed protein, and guess what? Whey protein scored 100 on this, higher than all other types of protein, even soy protein. Another quality measure for protein is the "Protein Efficiency Ratio", which whey scored near top of all proteins at 3.2 - just below that of egg protein at 3.9. The highest the score, the better the quality.
Whey Proteins, Muscle Growth and Fatigue Prevention
Whey proteins are rich in arginine and lysine. Arginine and lysine are among the amino acids thought to possibly stimulate growth hormone, a potentially beneficial response for bodybuilders. Proteins may stimulate release of growth hormone, which is an anabolic hormone or stimulator of muscle growth. Since the use of anabolic drugs was banned from competition, strength/power athletes have sought legal, natural substances to help build bigger muscles. Whey proteins offer natural alternatives to anabolic-androgenic steroids for bodybuilders.
Whey contains glutamine, a conditionally essential amino acid. Glutamine has been studied for its role in preventing fatigue and over-training in athletes. It is conditionally essential because in certain situations, it may be needed in the diet. It acts as a fuel for dividing cells. It makes up 60% of the amino acid pool in skeletal muscle, so athletes are cautious not to allow any shortage in the belief its absence would reduce muscle growth and increase muscle breakdown. Glutamine plays an important role in binding ammonia, which is a molecule produced by muscles in exhaustive conditions. While under stress, the body's glutamine requirements can increase considerably. Adding glutamine provides opportunities for whey product line extensions. Glutamine can also be used in sports drinks, bars and instant drink mixes. Formulators may enhance their formulas by adding glutamine into products.