Many athletes and health enthusiasts use protein supplements. The best time to drink a protein shake depends on your fitness goals and what you are trying to accomplish. This article examines the best times to drink protein shakes, and the benefits of adding protein supplements to your diet.
There are several different types of protein supplements available on the market. Whey protein is commonly used right after an exercise session, because it is a fast-acting protein and provides your muscles with the nutrition they need immediately. Casein protein is a slower-acting protein that takes the body longer to digest, making it better to take right before going to bed. Some of the more popular brands of protein powders are a mixture of whey and casein proteins.
The purpose of taking in protein immediately after a workout and throughout the day, is to maximize recovery time, increase muscle size and keep a good balance of nitrogen levels in your bloodstream. Protein should be consumed every three hours during the day. It is most effective as part of a healthy diet. For muscle growth, you should consume carbohydrates and fat, in conjunction with protein, to achieve your fitness goals.
The best time to have a whey protein shake is the first thing in the morning. After sleeping for 8 hours or so, protein gives your body the fuel it needs to stop muscle breakdown. Ideally, your protein shake should include a simple carbohydrate, like fruit. Another good time to drink whey protein is immediately after a workout, especially after working out with weights. A slower-acting protein like casein is a good choice to have right before bed.
Protein supplements are not meant to be used as a substitute for whole foods. They are meant to enhance your diet, and are a convenient way to get adequate protein. The key to building muscle, muscle recovery and lean muscle mass is a diet supplemented throughout the day with protein.
Protein powder supplements can be difficult to digest if you are lactose intolerant. Whey protein isolate is the best choice for someone with this condition. Protein supplements, however, are not recommended for someone who has poor kidney health. Consuming excessive amounts of protein can damage the kidneys or cause kidney stones. Consult a dietician to determine the appropriate level of protein to reach your fitness goals.