I’m not here to tell you which brand to buy but I am going to tell you which types of protein to buy and which times to take them because I speak to so many people who get it wrong – and it makes huge differences in your results – which is what its all about, isn’t it?

Protein is an important part of your diet, whether your goals are to increase muscle or lose weight-lose fat- get/stay lean. Protein powders are a popular dietary supplement that are used by many people trying to achieve their weight loss or fitness goals, as well as athletes, weightlifters, bodybuilders. Some people cannot tolerate certain types of protein powders and they get an upset stomach.

Protein shakes do not create muscle by themselves, it takes a lot of effort in all areas - exercise, recovery and healthy clean eating, however protein shakes are in my opinion probably the most important supplement there is. Be mindful that it's a good idea to eat varied protein sources in your diet and don’t just rely on supplements. On the health side of things unless you are taking something like 800 grams of protein a day it is completely safe.

Protein powder offers a convenient way to get extra protein into your diet. They take two or three minutes to prepare. Each scoop usually has about 20 grams of protein (with basically low fat and no/low carbohydrates) and is much more convenient then eating the equivalent in food (medium chicken breast – tin of tuna). We should try to eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, it is VERY hard to eat so much regular food every day, which is where protein shakes do come in very handy.

Types – and the speed amino acids are released (it’s the important bit!)
• Casein protein powders – slow release
• Egg protein powders – medium release
• Soy protein isolate – medium release
• Whey (isolate & concentrate) protein powders – fast release

There are more types but these are the ones you need to know about.

Two Main Types of Protein Powder You Need

1. Whey Protein
Costs: around £30 for 60 servings of 20g

Whey Protein is derived from milk protein. Whey Protein can be made of concentrate, isolate or a combination of the two. Isolate is more expensive than concentrate and a better quality product. Beware of buying huge portions of protein powder for low prices unless you know what you’re buying. These types of products often leave you with no results. Quality is everything when trying to get lean. And when I say lean I mean 6-pack lean. If you just want to get into just good shape then you can make compromises here and there if you need to save the money but if you want to be in awesome shape then its all about dedication and quality - in all areas. Cheap whey protein can make you put weight on….
LEARN THIS TOP TIP ABOUT WHEY PROTEIN: Whey protein is a fast release protein - it increases amino acid levels in your blood for around 1.5-2hrs - after this your amino acid levels drop very quickly. So if you were to take whey protein before bed for example you will go into catabolism or ‘muscle wasting’ mode in your sleep!! Your amino acid levels will be lower when you wake up than if you did not take anything at all!! I know shocking as it is people I speak to even today are still taking whey protein before bed – and not getting the results they deserve – now you know why.
Therefore you should really only use whey protein directly after your workout. If possible you should also mix in some glucose powder or eat a piece of fruit. 45-60 minutes after this you need your post workout meal. There are lots of other things you can add to your post workout shake but I will leave these for another article.
The only other time I would use whey would be if I knew I would be eating a meal within the next hour or so.
2. Multi-Protein or Combination Protein Powder
Costs: around £45 for 60 servings of 20g

This type of protein is as it says a combination of different proteins. Usually it will be a mix of egg protein, whey proteins isolate and concentrate and casein protein powders.

This type of protein powder combination provides a slow release and it releases amino acids into the bloodstream for up to 8 hrs. This is the protein to have before bed as a snack or part of a main meal.

Three Tips on the Best Times to have a Protein Shake

ONE - First thing in the morning have a Combination Protein Shake. Your body has not eaten for the last 8 or so hours while you were sleeping, so a protein shake would be the perfect thing to have.

Two - Directly after your workout have a Whey Protein Shake. This is probably the most important time to have a shake. Since you just worked out, your muscles need to rebuild and repair themselves, and this is the most important time to give your body protein.

THREE - Before Bed have a Combination Protein Shake. Especially if you are trying to gain muscle, or eat bad late at night have a combination protein before bed.

You will also need a shaker bottle; they cost about £3-4 and make mixing easy for you. Put the required amount of powder in the shaker and add your choice of liquid. Most people mix it with milk or water; however some mix it with fruit juice or squash. I personally would not recommend mixing with milk as this is proven to limit the uptake of amino acids by the lactose blocking the protein receptors. Sorry this article was not meant to be this long; we are getting a bit deeper into the topic than I had planned. Lol!

I personally use CNP products which in my opinion are the best quality (they are the most expensive and work with GB pro cycling team, premier league soccer players, Ricky Hatton) however I must say no matter what brand you buy, none taste that great!

I will write more on this topic - maybe next time I will have a look at Creatine as there is a new type of Creatine (ethyl ester) which is getting some amazing results – I just started it myself – I will let you know how I get on and tell you all about it in the article.

Author's Bio: 

If you would like to receive weekly health and fitness updates on the top news in the industry along with several free gifts then follow this link: http://richard-clarke.co.uk/

Just enter your email address in the box on the right to receive a free 3 Day Detox Plan, an Easy Weight Loss Diet Sheet plus some free easy to do, exercise routines.

There are also many easy to read helpful articles and information which can inspire you to reach your fitness and exercise goals FASTER!

Thanks for reading.