One of the most common questions from new and intermediate weightlifters and bodybuilders is about which protein is best for them to be using. And no wonder, given all the hype and noise from the supplement companies about their product being the only one that works – or at least that their protein works best.
So which protein IS best for weightlifters and bodybuilders? The question is more complicated than it appears on the surface and depends mostly on the time of day and your particular dietary regimen. For example, vegans will want to stay with soy protein – while it doesn’t have a great biological value (BV), it isn’t derived from animal sources. Vegetarians will be better using milk-based proteins and egg protein, but won’t want to include proteins from chicken, fish and beef.
The majority of weightlifters and bodybuilders are neither vegan nor vegetarian though, so for you the question of which protein is best depends entirely on timing. Getting your proteins from natural foods is preferable and can even be enough for some, but a whey protein supplement is a wise choice on the days you’re hitting the gym.
Whey protein is considered the gold standard for weightlifters and bodybuilders, and it is – but ONLY for your pre-workout and post-workout shakes. While whey is the fastest and most biologically available (highest BV) protein, it clears the bloodstream within 90 minutes or so and does cause a spike in blood sugars. Both of these traits are ideal before and after your exercises, as you want the protein into your bloodstream fast so that it’s available when needed, and the insulin release from the sugar spike helps transport the proteins and glucose to the muscles to build, and then replace, your muscle energy.
But because whey …