Whey protein powder is a multi-purpose training supplement and has uses for people interested in a range of outcomes that include increasing lean muscle mass, reducing body fat and as an aid to recovery after training. It provides the body with an easily digestible and quickly absorbed source of high quality branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) that build new muscle tissue and prevent the body going into a catabolic state after working out, where it cannibalises muscle as a source of energy.
After a good nights sleep is one of the body’s most vulnerable periods. Not having eaten for a long period our readily available energy sources will have become depleted. Far from lying dormant during sleep the body uses this period of inactivity to perform vital regenerative processes, all of which require protein and energy. It is during sleep that all the vital body processes are recharged, enabling us to start the day with a fit immune system and healthy supply of hormones to regulate our essential functions. Without a fast replenishment of available protein entering the blood stream in the morning the body quickly reverts to a process that maintains our ability for fight or flight, and which uses muscle tissue as an energy source. This catabolic ability was essential for our caveman ancestor’s survival, but needs to be avoided when building new muscles. Therefore it is recommended to consume a quantity of whey protein powder soon after waking as this is easily digested and swiftly enters the blood stream, buffering the catabolic tendencies.
When whey protein is ingested one of the immediate effects is an increase in the positive balance of nitrogen in the body. This abundance of nitrogen is highly conducive to stimulating protein manufacture in the body and enabling an increase in muscle activity. The BCAAs from whey protein then provide the nutrients for the body to turn into new muscle fibre and repair any damage sustained during a hard physical session in the gym. Taking whey protein pre-workout provides the ideal conditions to maximise the effort that is being put into the training. Meanwhile, at the same time, as the body is expending energy and burning through its calorie reserves, there comes again the danger of dipping into a catabolic state and damaging existing muscle. At this point any further exercise becomes counter productive as muscle protein becomes fuel for the workout. By taking whey protein before training you are not only providing the body with the conditions and nutrients it requires to promote muscle growth, but also providing a nutritional buffer that enables you to productively train harder for longer.
Taking Whey Protein Post Workout
Since one of the crucial benefits of whey protein is the manner in which it is quickly digested and the nutrients become available to the body, the flip side is that the body will soon use them up. Taking whey protein immediately after finishing a concentrated workout can be the most important time to use the supplement. The muscles have been working at their optimum and are craving protein, their own reserves having been depleted, they need replenishment. Far from resting, the muscle fibres are now in a state of recovery, repairing any damage and in a period of growth as they attempt to match the demands that have been put on them. At this point they are highly receptive to an input of BCAAs, which become available shortly after taking whey protein. Replenishing the body with protein immediately after a training session helps the muscles to make the most of the hard work that has been put in and increase muscle bulk.
Whey protein has become such a popular supplement as it is a fast and effective protein source that can be taken at key periods to achieve a calculated effect on the body’s metabolism. It not only supplies the body with key nutrients for stimulating and developing muscle growth, it also provides a natural buffer to prevent muscles cannibalising themselves during the stresses induced during a heavy workout.