All proteins are not created equal. No surprise, right? Each protein powder has a different amino-acid profile and rate of digestion, which is why it’s a good idea to get in a range of different proteins, both whole food and supplemental, to make sure your body has all the aminos at all the right times to maximize muscle. Here’s a breakdown on what type of protein you should look for when …
Choose whey when … you need a fast-digesting protein.Whey is one of the best sources of protein for building muscle. It’s quickly absorbed by the body, so it’s most effective before and after workouts and at times, like first thing in the morning, when you’ve gone a long time without eating.
Choose casein when … you need a slow-digesting protein. Casein forms a gel in the stomach, slowly releasing its aminos over a long period. Take it right before bed, with your postworkout whey shake (when research shows it enhances muscle gains) or as a meal replacement when it’s going to be a while until your next whole-food meal.
Choose soy when … you need a preworkout boost. Research shows that mixing soy with whey before workouts is more effective for supporting muscle building than whey alone. Soy is rich in the amino acid arginine and has been shown to boost nitric-oxide and growth-hormone levels, making it ideal to take before workouts. Mix soy and whey in a 1:1 ratio within 30 minutes before you hit the gym.