Which type of protein is best for you?
You only have to look on our site to see how many varieties of protein there are, a bit of a mine field right? Factors to consider when selecting the best protein for you include first and foremost allergies and/ or intolerances.
Safety and well being takes precedence of course, so it’s useful to know which proteins market themselves as ‘free from gluten’ or ‘lactose free’ (to name two of the most common forms).
Good examples of a lactose free protein is any plant based or vegan form of protein such as pea, hemp or soy protein, and then you have the whey proteins that are either lactose free and/ or contain lactase, the enzyme needed to support the digestion of lactose. Maybe try Pulsin Pea Protein, this is an isolate protein and is of a very high quality, or MuscleMeds Carnivor (always check with manufacture however).
If you’re fortunate and have no intolerances etc then simply opt for a whey protein, these are your bodies preferred sources of protein with one of the best being USN Pure Protein GF-1.
How much protein do you need?
Remember this refers to your TOTAL protein requirements per day, not just your protein supplement. As a rule of thumb take that golden figure of 1-2g protein per kg bodyweight and go from there e.g. for a 70kg male that would be 70 x 1 = 70g per day, and 70 x 2 = 140g per day. This is your range for the day, now consider that you should be aiming to consume approx. 80g of that protein requirement via whole food e.g. chicken, fish, pulses etc. This leaves around 60g of protein to be made up via your supplement, which is basically 1 shake in the morning and 1 shake after exercise/ weight training.
When to take it?
There are 2-3 ideal windows of opportunity to make the most of your protein shake, although anytime is good, there are some ‘anabolic windows’ that you should aim for.
First thing in the morning is an absolute MUST, if there is any time that your body is lowest in protein (amino acid) stores it’s in the morning after an overnight fast of 6-8 hours. Your body is in a catabolic and stressed state after sleep so it is crucial to GAAAIIINNNSS that you get approx. 25-30g of protein in, ideally in a liquid form for rapid replenishment.
You should then have a whey protein after exercise (whenever that may be relative to your day), ideally this should be within 30-60mins after exercise whilst muscle damage and stress hormones are highest, and whilst insulin is low (whey protein is a precursor to insulin release, add some carbs for optimal results).
Finally you may wish to get some protein in you before bed, ideally around 1 hour before. Your best option is casein protein as this is a slower releasing protein and will keep your muscles drip fed overnight. Alternatively you could consume a whey protein, the amino acid profile of this will also keep your muscles fed during the night.