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What's The Best Time To Take Whey Protein

The benefits of whey protein are well known, but one question that has not been adequately addressed is the best time to take whey protein. Prior work had indicated that when free amino acids plus carbohydrate was taken before resistance exercise, it resulted in a more anabolic response compared to consumption after resistance exercise. A recently published study in the American Journal of Physiology examined whether the timing of whey protein was important in terms of promoting anabolism. Healthy subjects were placed into a group that received 20 g of whey protein immediately before, or a group that received the same whey protein immediately after a bout of resistance exercise. The anabolic response (muscle protein balance) was increased in both groups but was similar, indicating that timing of whey protein was not a factor. There was however a lot of variability among subjects, with some who did demonstrate a significantly greater anabolic response when whey protein was consumed before exercise. The researchers did not have a group who consumed whey protein at both time points (both pre and post-exercise) - one might guess that this would be better for increasing protein balance. To stimulate an ideal anabolic environment immediately post workout, athletes should consider including fast digesting whey hydrolysates, a high dose of L-Leucine, and carbohydrates to simultaneously elevate amino acids and insulin. This is precisely the idea behind the new  Myozene.

Tipton KD, Elliott TA, Cree MG, Aarsland AA, Sanford AP, Wolfe RR. Stimulation of Net Muscle Protein Synthesis by Whey Protein Ingestion Before and After Exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Aug 8; [Epub ahead of print]