The Best Way to Consume Whey Protein Powder

Are you pondering over the best way to consume whey protein powder? Unsure whether to drink it in milk or water? Do you really need to spend the time to blend a smoothie? Perhaps you’re confused as to which time of the day you should consume your shake. Before we tackle all the variables it is important to cover the basics.

How to drink protein powder?

The best way to consume whey protein powder is fairly simple. Grab your shaker and place a scoop into it, flavored whey protein powders can taste great with cold milk. If you are a little more conscious about consuming calories and want a faster absorption process you can choose to have it with water.

Unflavoured whey protein powders are difficult to gulp down as they can taste chalky or leave you feeling like you have a mouthful of flour. These are best added to shakes or in your dough to cook with. Alternatively, you can consume a shake of flavored whey protein, there are a variety of flavors to choose from that are sure to suit your palette.

When should you drink a protein shake?

Drinking a protein shake at various times in the day can slightly alter its impact. If you are someone taking just one scoop a day then it is wise to save it for post-workout timings. Drink a shake within 10 minutes of finishing your workout. This will flush your system with amino acids that boost recovery and create new muscle tissue.

If you are someone who is building muscle and losing fat, you can also start your day with a protein shake, after fasting for 6-8 hours (since you’ve been sleeping) your body may begin to break down muscle tissue in order to get the required amino acids. To avoid this, have a scoop of whey protein in the morning.

Ways to make a protein shake taste great

Making a smoothie or shake is your best bet. You can add some fresh fruit such as a banana. Consider throwing in some blueberries and apple slices too. Low-fat milk or skimmed milk—heck even regular milk—with a dollop of peanut butter. Adding ice while blending is a good idea and keeps your shake cool for longer. This is just one of the numerous blending options I use and serves as a great meal-replacement when time is short. Plus, it’s a great way to rack in the calories if you are on a weight gain program. You can try an avocado smoothie if you prefer creamier textures or even go wild and make an oreo protein smoothie, toss in some sugar-free vanilla ice cream as an alternative. (save this as a treat, as you don’t want to consume too much sugar)

risk of consuming whey protein that has expired

Does protein powder go bad?

As you know by now, whey comes from milk and so whey protein powder does have an expiration date. Not in the conventional manner that you see most milk products that curdle, become an alternate texture and really stink. Well, all that does happen to whey but not quite in the degree. Molds and other organisms may get into the bag, which is often the most common reason for ‘expiration’. The number of times you go through a 5lbs bag and the occasional damp scoop can allow moisture to get in. As a general rule, pay attention to your whey proteins consistency. If it appears wet and sticky instead of powdery it may be time to toss the bag with a heavy heart. This is also true if you can see mold formations or if it smells funny.

If you can notice a change in the taste of your protein powder you may not want to say goodbye just yet. This usually occurs when the low amounts of sugar break down the amino acid lysine. This means you are getting a lower amount of the essential amino acid. At this point, it’s a personal choice. To consume a product breaking itself down or buying a new stack.

Man consuming whey protein

Do you need to consume whey protein powder?

There are a bunch of myths and mixed views about protein powder. Right from it being a ‘drug’ to it only being used by gym rats and bodybuilders. Protein powders are dietary supplements that help you meet your required protein requirement for the day. Protein is the only macronutrient that contains nitrogen which is essential for your body. A positive nitrogen balance means you are getting enough protein and a negative nitrogen balance means you are consuming far too little. The amount of protein needed changes based on a variety of factors such as age, activity level, physical condition, exercise volume, diet, and more.

It is in light of this, that bodybuilders and people who work out require the added numbers of protein. The numbers can be achieved when they consume whey protein on a regular basis. However, if you are someone who lacks proper nutrition protein powder should be a staple in your diet. Health supplement protein powders come with a lower amount of protein per serving than those sporting bone-crushing muscles on the supplement covers.

Main reasons you need to consume whey protein powder.

1. You are in your growing years

As an adolescent, your body is going through multiple changes and requires the excess amount of protein to see it through. Your increased need can be met with the help of supplements or by simply eating more. As your grandma always says, ‘you’re a growing child, eat more’.

2. You are starting a training program

If you are new to exercise or taking up a new sport, then supplementing of protein is a good idea. Muscle recovery and development requires protein, which may not be enough from your current dietary habits. This is because you need less protein when you are living a sedentary life, the change necessitates the increased numbers. Resistance training is a sure-fire way to get your body to require more protein.

3. You are increasing the intensity of your workouts

If you’re going all-out on a new program, training for a sports meet or hitting the gym more often then you may need to supplement. The upped intensity, as seen with Tabata and MetCon workouts, puts added pressure on your body and demands greater protein synthesis. Not consuming enough protein can hamper your progress. It will slow down recovery and interfere with your next training session. If you want to perform optimally rest and nutrition are just as important as giving it your all.

4. You are recovering from a physical injury

If you are recovering from a physical injury be it on the skin, muscle, or bone then your body needs more protein. If you are an athlete, then you may be prone to sports injuries. Pulls and tears and muscle damage require an increased amount of protein for the body to recover. Consume whey protein on a regular basis anywhere between 2 to 3 times a day based on your requirements. When doing so ensure to drink a lot of water.

5. You’re adopting a vegan lifestyle

People who are vegan eliminate several protein sources from their diet. As we know, vegetarian sources of protein (for the most part) are incomplete and require combinations to give you all the essential amino acids. Additionally, without meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, and other animal-based protein sources, it can be difficult to meet your daily protein requirement. In such cases, you cannot consume whey protein but can supplement with pea protein powders and other vegan protein powder options.

two scoops of whey protein

What types of whey protein powders available?

There are a number of types of protein powders, which you can read in-depth on Protein 101. When it comes to whey protein there are 3 variants commercially available. Before we dive into it, know that whey comes from yogurt and milk. It is the substance you see at the top when you tear open a box of yogurt (the coagulation). It goes through a few processing steps and then becomes the powder we know as whey protein. From milk protein about 82% of it is casein and the remaining 18% is whey protein. Fun fact: milk contains only 3.3% total protein.

1. Whey protein concentrate

The most commonly available protein supplement. Whey protein can contain anywhere between 50% to 80% of protein. This is a wide range that impacts a lot of your development. It is, for this reason, it is recommended to buy supplements from a trusted brand. Whey protein does contain some lactose and fat but also has the best flavor. Unless you are a professional athlete whey protein should suffice for most health fanatics and fitness enthusiasts.

2. Whey protein isolate

Whey Isolate contains 90% to 95% protein or higher—contains less lactose and fat than standard whey. This is achieved through processing techniques to remove the fats and coagulation from the powder. It is smoother and gives you the most bang for your buck if you are a serious competitor. You may choose to include it during your prep-cycle. Using it all-year would not be the ideal choice due to its price.

3. Whey protein hydrolysate

Isolate can be further processed to remove virtually all existing coagulation and fat leaving almost nothing but pure protein behind. Commonly known as hydrolyzed whey and it contains up to 99% protein per serving. This warrants a much higher price and is used only by top-tier athletes that monitor every gram consumed. This segment of whey has been pre-digested, so it gets absorbed faster.

Whey is the way

These are answers to some of the most common questions even experienced lifters are not aware of. There is a difference between protein brands and quality, be sure to select the best. Take the time and ensure you buy only authentic goods.

If you are worried about muscle loss after waking up, due to the fasting period, or post-workout. Then consider adding BCAA’s to your list of supplements. Consume whey protein with BCAA’s for optimal results. They provide you with a burst of 3 essential amino acids that are absorbed and transported throughout your body instantly. It improves recovery and reduces muscle loss. However, this only holds true if you are not consuming enough protein throughout the day.

Above all, it is important to set realistic and measurable goals on your fitness journey. By measuring you can hold yourself accountable for every workout done and meal consumed. The best way to hold yourself accountable is by getting a weighing scale. Why buy the best digital weighing scale in UAE? Gives you all the components of crafting your ultimate physique in an organized, systematic and achievable fashion, while enabling you to hold yourself accountable.

Danesh Engineer
Danesh writes on a broad spectrum of topics such as financial health, consumer goods, health & fitness, and on best protein sources about protein and their impact upon the human body. His passion for lifting weights sees him in the gym before and after his professional life. No one loves a meathead so he works out his mind here. Research, experience, and factual data helps Danesh flex his Brain Gains.
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