This is a popular question with our FBO Fam. Knowing when to take your protein to maximise your results is SUPER important. Here are some times were you totally should be taking your protein!
Half an Hour Post Training:
During the 30 mins after exercise your body is deep in fat burning mode. If you can take a fast absorbing protein (eg. WPI) around 30 mins after you finish training you can take advantage of this fat burning period but also get great muscle recovery within the "anabolic window".
Immediatley After Training:
Having a fast digesting protein (eg. WPI) immediately after training is perfect for those looking to maximise recovery and lean muscle growth. If you have a fast metabolism and are looking to build lean muscle tone, you can also have a small amount of fast absorbing carbohydrates to maximise glycogen replenishment and muscle growth,
As PART of a Meal:
Unless you have a dedicated Meal Replacement Shake, we do not generally recommend replacing a main meal with a protein shake. However, you can still use it from time to time (1-2x Daily) as your "protein source" in a main meal instead of meat, lentils etc. If you are replacing your protein source with a supplement, make sure you still get in some healthy fats & carbs (plus fibre, micronutrients etc) to make it a "complete" meal. If you are doing this, we recommend using a protein with some medium length digesting protein (eg WPC, MPI) so that it fills you up for a bit longer.
As a Snack:
A protein shake makes the perfect snack when you are on the run. Again in this case we recommend using a medium length digesting protein so that is fills you up for a bit longer. Alternatively, if you have only a fast digesting protein, you can consume it with some healthy fats (nuts, avocado etc) to slow the digestion slightly.
If your goal is lean muscle growth taking a slow absorbing protein (eg. Casein) before bed is a great idea. Be sure to take it by itself with no carbs. Carbohydrates too close before bed may cause an insulin spike which can interrupt the bodies natural Human Growth Hormone pulse during the first hours of sleep. The Human Growth Hormone pulse the body releases in the first hours of sleep is the largest the body makes on a daily basis and is the catalyst for good muscle recovery and fat loss.
Avoid taking your protein too close before exercise as it may result in what is known as a "blood conflict" during your training. In this case a blood conflict occurs when the body is trying to send blood flow to the working muscles to fuel your training session but is also trying to send blood flow to your stomach to assist with the digestion process. If you are due to take protein before training, try taking it at least 1hr - 1.5hrs before you exercise. If you are forced to take it closer before training make sure the protein you are using is fast digesting (WPI) or even pre-digested (HWPI or Noway Protein).
We hope that you find some answers in this FAQ section! If you have any questions chat to us, or send us a message via the contact page!