How To Use Protein Powder For Muscle Growth

Protein powder is by far the most consumed supplement within the fitness industry, and for good reason. It is a convenient source of protein. It is a good quality source of protein. It is also one of the most cost efficient sources of protein on the market.

Protein powder is one of the few supplements that is heavily backed by scientific research in terms of its safety, muscle building properties and can even improve your immune function.

However, despite the popularity of protein powder. Most people are left clueless when it comes to how to choose the best type of protein powder. Even more so when it comes to how use protein powder to build muscle.

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Unfortunately, asking the sales person at your local supplements store will probably leave you more confused than you were before. In this post I will tell you, how is best to use protein powder.

Best Type Of Protein Powder

When it comes to choosing the right type of protein powder the amount of options available can be overwhelming. To keep it simple, Research indicates that in the case of protein powder, whey and casein have the highest essential amino acid content. They are also the best at stimulating muscle protein synthesis. This means that these two types are going to be your best options for muscle building.

The difference between these two, (Whey and Casein) is mainly the difference between there digestive properties.

Whey is a faster digesting protein, that rapidly spikes protein synthesis for a short period of time. Where as casein is a slower digesting protein. This will gradually increase protein synthesis over a long period of time.

For vegan users that can’t take in whey or casein. Research indicates that plant based proteins don’t stimulate muscle protein synthesis as well as whey and casein.

This can be compensated more by ingesting a greater amount of plant based protein and/or enduring that you intake adequate essential amino acids through food sources.

When should you take it?

Although most people are firm believers that protein shakes are suppose to be taken straight after you workout. Science does not actually fully support this idea. Ingesting protein immediately post workout isn’t necessary if you have already had a pre-workout meal with a sufficient protein content.

Research studies support the idea that this one hour post workout anabolic window may only apply to fasted training where there is no pre ingested protein before a workout. This means that if you have ingested protein at some point before your workout will essentially render the time between your workout and your post workout shake as useless. This all means that your post workout shake is not quite as important as we thought is was if you are in a fed state.

Even if you have not had a protein rich meal before your workout then having your shake before you workout may be more beneficial then after.

Therefore when it comes to the timing of your protein shake, I would suggest the following.

If you have ingested protein at some point before your workout then a post workout shake may not be necessary. You can have your shake at any time of the day. It still can be a good idea to have your post workout shakes as this is a convenient to takes at this point of the day.

If you haven’t ingested any protein prior to your workout then having your shake shortly before your workout is likely the better option.

If you are planning to workout in a fasted state. Then having your protein shake shortly after your workout is the ideal time.

In addition to this to maximize your results then ingest casein powder shake shortly before bed. This is because taking at least 40g of slow digesting protein before bed helps to improve overnight muscle protein synthesis is likely to lead to slightly better muscle recovery and growth over time.

How Much And How Often

As for how much protein to take at a time. A dose of around 20-25g of whey protein is sufficient to maximize muscle protein synthesis. This is therefore a good minimum that you should try and aim for when taking it.

It might be worth noting that if you use more than the 20-25g of protein it may have some slight additional benefit. Taking 40g of whey protein stimulated muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent than a 20g dose. This is regardless of muscle size and body type.

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