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How To Make Protein Powders Their Most Effective

Mike Nutrition

Timing Whey And Casein Protein Intake

Will protein powder be the single ingredient that drastically changes your physique and turn you into a powerhouse of athletic performance?  No.  Not even close.  But using protein powders effectively overtime can make a significant difference.  This is especially true for competitive athletes.  Both whey and casein are animal products that are the most efficient protein sources for transformation into human protein.  Meaning, your body can easily convert it into muscle.  And in the case of whey protein, it does so very quickly.  Both whey and casein are useful tools for the maintaining and also increasing muscle mass during two time periods:  training and sleep.  Outside of training and sleep, it’s better to get your protein from animal sources so that you get volume along with the protein.  It’ll keep you full for longer, blunting the urge to overeat.

Whey Protein (Training)

To maintain a steady source of protein for muscle synthesis during a workout you need to continue to ingest protein.   Especially while resistance training, your body will release anabolic (muscle building) hormones and your pre-workout meal (2-3 hours prior) may provide the building blocks of protein that you need.  This is the perfect time for whey protein.  Other sources of protein, like chicken or beef, are not as easily broken down during intense exertion and may cause GI discomfort.  Can you picture yourself stopping between each set to eat a piece of chicken from a tupperware container?  That doesn’t sound very good to me.  And the other gym goers wouldn’t exactly enjoy the experience either.

Along with a quickly digestible source of protein it’s a good idea to include a quick digesting carbohydrate.  Dextrose is a great example of a carbohydrate that won’t cause GI discomfort and has a high glycemic index.  Bottom line, you want to continue to fuel your body even as you are training so that you can optimize muscle synthesis.

 Casein Protein (Sleep)

Casein is the solution to the problem you may not have been thinking about.  How do you continue to feed your body the necessary protein for muscle maintenance and muscle growth while you’re trying to get your uninterrupted quality sleep?  The answer is casein because it’s a slow digesting protein source that takes upwards of 7 hours to fully digest.  To maximize the slow digestive properties of casein you should also eat a fat source that meets your macronutrient requirements.  The addition of fat to any meal slows down the digestion process and in this case it’s essential to effective casein use.

Other Concerns

Outside of timing your intake of whey and casein to optimize training, quality is the most important aspect.  So many products are filled with chemicals and way too much sugar.  The best source for protein powders that I’ve found is Truenutrition.  They have several protein sources available, to include plant based for vegetarians and vegans.  I also buy my dextrose (fast metabolizing carbohydrate) from them and it’s all shipped right to my door.

If you liked this post on protein, share it with a friend.  Also, send me an email with any feedback on the topic or other ways to optimize your training through the use of whey or casein protein.  Stay Strong!