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Maximizing muscle growth: When should I take a protein shake?

By Edited Jul 5, 2016 0 0

I'm a bit of an exercise fanatic.  I'm also a bit of a nutrition freak.  I love reading research papers and fitness magazines on how certain foods and supplements affect our physiology.

One area of research that interests me most is on protein, in particular protein shakes.

The two main types of protein powders available are:

  • Whey (a fast acting protein source)
  • Casein (a slow acting protein source)

Some nutritionists recommend that an intake of 1.5 - 2g of protein per pound of body weight is sufficient for a health individual wanting to build muscle to their frame.

Other schools of thought recommend more.  I lean to the side of more.  

There's only so much you can ingest from chicken breasts, eggs, turkey, fish and nuts, so to increase your protein you'll need to start gulping down a couple of protein shakes.

For me personally I have found the biggest muscle gain by downing a whey protein shake as soon as I get up in the morning, another one before a workout, one immediately after, and a casein shake before bed.

Sounds like a lot doesn't it?

And it is but if you're committed to building a bigger, stronger body then why not?  If it works then go for it.

If you're going to the gym at least three times a week and not seeing any results then give protein shakes a go.  If you cant afford knocking back 2-3 a day then at least take one straight after a workout.

This is when your muscles are in desperate need for fast acting protein for repair.  If you don't take at least some form of protein after a voracious workout then you're completely wasting your time and muscles.  Your torn muscle fibres need protein to heal and grow bigger and stronger.

The post workout shake is your most important shake of the day.  

The next most important is your casein shake before you drift off to sleep, and your body begins a 8 hour fast.  In order to preserve vital bodily functions over night a catabolic state of breakdown occurs, attacking the muscles (amino acids) for energy.

A slow digesting protein like casein wards off this process by providing amino acids to the body.

If you can't afford to take a casein protein shake at night then cottage cheese is a cheaper alternative.

Throughout my adult life I have experimented with various training methods and nutritional supplements and by far the best muscular response I have had is due to taking at least a post workout whey protein shake and a before bed casein protein shake.  For me that's all the evidence I need for supporting protein shake supplementation.


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