Whether you like it or not, to perform at your best as an athlete whether body composition changes are the aim or strength increases you need adequate levels of protein. Of course the majority of your protein should come through meat, eggs and fish but I would recommend anywhere between 2-3 protein shakes a day. Whilst the vast majority of you will agree that protein shakes are important you may be struggling to recognise when the best time is to use them and what variety at these given times. To clear any confusion up, I am going to discuss protein powders on a generic level.
Ultra-fast digesting protein is a great way to describe whey isolate. In short, the reason that isolate is able to digest so quickly is because the particles are so small they can make their way into the cell very quickly. As a result you will find that whey isolate is able to increase your rate of protein synthesis. This effect is very beneficial especially during certain times of the day as is the ability of isolate to digest so rapidly.
Immediately post training is the time when you want to be downing a whey isolate shake. It will help replenish your depleted muscles with muscle building amino acids extremely quickly which is essential at this point of the day.
Mulit-blend formulas will have a cross-section of fast, medium and slow digesting proteins. The idea is to give the muscle a sustainable feed of anabolic amino acids for anywhere between 3-6 hours. This is very beneficial for you simply because you are preventing the effects of catabolism kicking in.
Throughout the day a multi-blend protein is a great option to take and even at breakfast.
Casein is known as a very slow digesting protein source. When you consume casein your protein synthesis levels won’t elevate as highly as with a fast digesting protein, but it will sustain your protein synthesis levels for a very long period of time. Typically speaking casein can help sustain your amino acid feed into the muscles for 5-8 hours.
Before bed is the perfect time to take casein where you will be very vulnerable to catabolism. Casein will also help sustain constant blood sugar levels throughout the night which can potentially increase insulin sensitivity.
Moving on, it would appear that having 3 different protein varieties would be ideal. When you consider the vast difference between protein supplements it does make sense to have the different variations. The mind-set that one protein supplement fits all is out dated and if you are serious about getting the best results you need to step your protein game up!