The best time to take your whey protein shake often throws up differing opinions. Most people swear by the post workout method while others are adamant that a pre workout serving before exercise is also beneficial. There is a number of theories that people can offer to argue their case one way or the other. When all is said and done, like many supplements, different things work for different people.
Whey protein pre workout – Some athletes like to use a whey protein drink just prior to their workouts. The theory is it will help the muscles during the period of intense exercise and breakdown. In addition, it also speeds up the metabolism. Of course, this liquid nutrition is much easier to digest than normal foods. Hence, the feeling of bloating or training on a full stomach is not an issue. In fact, some people even consume whey protein during their workouts. A specific pre workout serving may not be necessary assuming that protein consumption is already at the required level. It is surely worth a try but is probably not for everyone and is down to personal preference.
Whey protein post workout – This is by far the most important time to give your body some quality nutrition. After your muscle fibres have been broken down in the gym, this is when they need repairing. In other words, you have a window of opportunity to complete the job by consuming a decent amount of protein. If you take a serving of whey protein immediately after your workout, it will speed up the repair of muscle tissue and assist with the creation of new growth. Furthermore, your recovery times will also improve. You should definitely see the results from this method in a short space of time.
Whey protein pre and post workout – Some hardcore athletes will consume whey protein both immediately before and after a workout.
Whey concentrate vs isolate - Typically, whey protein concentrate is approximately 80% protein while whey protein isolate is more along the lines of 90% protein. That said, whey protein concentrate undergoes less processing than isolate and is thought to contain more whey peptides. Concentrate also stays in the system for longer periods compared to isolate. Most quality protein powders contain a combination of concentrate and isolate anyway so both angles are covered. That said, some athletes prefer using a whey isolate product for pre or post workout.
If you had to choose between taking whey protein pre and post workout, then most would go with the post workout option. This is a tried and tested method that has produced results over a long period of time.