• Casein Protein

80% of the protein that comes from milk is casein protein, the slow-acting type of protein that takes much longer for your body to break down and digest.

The best time to take protein powder made from casein protein is following a workout, as it will help your body have the nutrients needed to repair your muscles post-workout. 

If you drink a casein protein shake at night, it will help to restore your body overnight (when most of the repairs are made).

  • Egg

Egg protein powder is much lower in cholesterol than whey and casein powders, so it’s considered a healthier option–though not quite as effective. It doesn’t take as long to digest as casein protein, but it does take longer than whey protein.

The best time to have egg protein is as a midday snack, helping you get to your workout without snacking on the wrong foods. It will help you to stave off hunger pangs and cravings until dinner.

  • Whey

Whey protein is the perfect pre-workout drink, as it gives your muscles a quick shot of energy. It helps your body enter the anabolic (growth) phase, promoting the growth of muscle fiber size and count.

However, it’s also a great post-workout shake, as it contains the amino acids that will IMMEDIATELY get to work repairing your muscles. Drinking whey protein after a workout can help to prevent a lot of the soreness that follows a high intensity workout.

  • Soy

Soy protein is similar to egg protein, meaning it is a medium-acting protein. It is loaded with glutamine, which is important for thyroid and immune health.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding it due to the fact that some soy is GMO, but taking non-GMO soy protein powder as a midday snack can help you to push back your hunger pangs.

  • Blends

There are a number of protein powders made with a blend of two or more types of protein. A protein made with all three types of protein (slow, mid, and fast-acting proteins) are ideal for your post-workout shake. They will give you the protein needed for immediate repairs, and the mid and slow-acting proteins will keep your body repairing the muscles all afternoon long.

They’re not as good for overnight supplementing, but are best when your workout is earlier in the day (1 to 4 PM).

  • Creatine

Creatine is a protein supplement that is best taken half an hour before your workout, and then again immediately following the exercise. It promotes the anabolic state for your muscles, preventing muscle breakdown even after lots of cardio.

  • Glutamine

Glutamine is a supplement to take before bed  , as taking it will increase the production of Growth Hormone overnight. This will lead to serious muscle growth, as well as speeding up your body’s repair.

If you take it 30 to 60 minutes post-workout, it can help you recover  from a demanding workout while boosting your immune system (which is naturally suppressed post-exercise).

The Four Rules of Protein

Here are four rules to follow when supplementing with protein:

  1. Always supplement post-workout. That’s when your muscles are at their most needy, and taking protein immediately post-workout gives them the protein they need.
  2. Always supplement pre-workout. Your body needs energy before your workout, and taking a quick-acting protein supplement 30 to 60 minutes prior to exercise will give your muscles the energy to get through a training session.
  3. Take before bed. Slow-acting proteins taken before bed will do wonders for your body’s natural repairs.
  4. Have protein powder first thing in the morning. Your body needs a dose of protein after a night’s sleep with no nutrition. Starting your day with protein powder sets it on the right metabolic track for the day!