For many (strength) athletes, the post-workout protein shake is simply part of it. It is best to fill the prepared shaker with water right in the locker room and drink it on the way home (or to work after your morning workout). “It’s not as tasty as a protein shake with milk, but it works much faster.” Such statements have surely been heard in every exercise.
Because of the rapid and increased protein intake, muscles must grow faster in the mass phase, or must be preserved as much as possible in a restorative diet. At first glance, it seems like it makes sense. After all, every athlete has an increased need for protein, and muscles are made up of these building blocks. Therefore, protein powder is also one of the few really beneficial supplements for athletes.
But is it really necessary to regularly consume protein shakes to get enough protein?
Does a protein shake directly provide such a huge post-workout benefit if you want to build muscle?
And very important: Which protein shake is right for you?
I wrote this article to answer similar questions and fix some bugs. Some of the answers may surprise you.
In this article, I want to explain to you
Clicking on the link will take you directly to the relevant section that interests you.
You will find that from time to time you can actually integrate a protein shake into your workout and nutrition plan. In fact, consuming protein shakes can make sense if you do little or no exercise. I certainly don’t recommend this, but people who don’t exercise are also protein deficient or want to lose weight without exercise. But I’ll come back to that later.
Why would you drink a protein shake?
Honestly: a protein shake (post workout) is not absolutely essential. Protein powder is one supplement and should always be a supplement to your diet if it benefits you personally.
Adequate protein intake can also be achieved through regular nutrition. You just need to take a closer look at what you are eating. A shake like this can make sense in different situations as it just makes it easier for you to reap the benefits of a high enough protein intake.
Why Muscle Building Protein Shake Makes sense
If you’re looking to build muscle, studies have shown that a daily protein intake of 1.3-1.8 grams per pound of body weight, evenly distributed throughout the day, makes sense for an athlete with normal strength. A little more is not harmful. In addition, of course, a proper muscle-building diet with a moderate excess of calories is required and a sufficiently large stimulus to growth through muscle-building training (hypertrophy training) is required.
A protein shake like this is certainly a practical source of protein that you can use to ensure a fast protein intake after workout or in between workouts. With a 50g serving of my favorite post-workout protein shake, I covered almost 30% of my daily needs during the build phase.
How Protein Shakes Can Help You Lose Weight
In a restorative diet, experts even recommend a significantly higher protein intake of 2.5-3 grams per kilogram of body weight to define muscles and maintain as much muscle as possible during the weight loss phase. Many natural protein foods are high in carbohydrates and / or fat in addition to protein. This makes it difficult to get enough protein while maintaining the planned calorie deficit.
One or the other protein shake can be a very good support for your diet. After all, most protein powders have a very good relationship between protein and other energy sources. However, you should definitely pay attention to the nutritional value of your protein powder in your diet.
Especially in my diet, I regularly use protein shakes to cover my protein needs as easily as possible. A positive side effect is that this protein shake is also a good, low-calorie and protein-rich satiety in between. This is especially true for casein shakes. My recommendation is Supplement Union CAS 90 Micellar Casein.
With skim milk, it actually tastes almost like a delicious milkshake and thus satisfies some sweet cravings.
When should you take a protein shake?
I’ve often come across the question of the correct timing for a protein shake. In most cases, timing of protein intake is not as important as some in the fitness industry would like. Target nutrient intake time is too high.
Yes, regular protein intake makes sense to maintain protein synthesis throughout the day. However, you don’t need to worry if you haven’t had high protein foods (or protein shakes) for several hours. Your body can easily compensate in half a day.
However, there are several times that are especially suitable for taking a protein shake.
Post Workout Protein Shake
When it comes to ideal shaking time, there is a lot to be said after training. You have a fast, tasty and high quality protein source that you cooked effortlessly (water, whisk, done). In addition, this protein shake briefly satisfies first hunger, which often occurs quickly after a workout and can lead to poor decisions about your diet (in the case of gummy bears or chocolate).
Pre-Workout Protein Shake
If you haven’t eaten for a long time before exercising and don’t want to exercise on an empty stomach, then a pre-workout protein shake might make sense. You are giving your body quality pre-workout nutrients and doing something to counteract the hunger that prevents you from achieving peak performance during your workout.
However, I would like to have about 30 minutes between shaking and starting the workout so that it doesn’t hit my stomach. This is especially true if you want to do intense strength training with hard core exercises.
Protein shake as a snack
As mentioned earlier, this protein shake is also very suitable as a healthy snack and candy substitute with a lot of protein and little fat and carbohydrates. Especially for stress eaters, such a small cocktail is often a good option. Of course, you must make sure your calorie intake is controlled if you eat protein shakes between meals.
There is probably no better remedy for a little hunger in the diet than shaking micellar casein. This filling is for a long time (about three hours for me), the taste is very tasty, it has a lot of protein and at the same time very few calories. For these reasons, I regularly drink this cocktail in the office.
Protein shake before bed
Have you ever heard of the catabolic devil? This term is often used by bodybuilders when they talk about loss of muscle mass due to lack of nutrients. What sounds like a scary tale and is overly exaggerated for the “normalos,” however, is not entirely unfounded.
For optimal muscle regeneration, the best possible gain or maximum muscle maintenance, it makes sense to provide protein through regular protein intake, even at night. Enough protein for dinner should be enough.
To be on the safe side, you can of course have a protein shake before bed. However, you can also eat most of the low-fat cottage cheese or some Harz cheese to provide protein during the night.
How often should you drink a protein shake?
There are no hard and fast rules regarding the number of protein shakes per day. As long as you don’t overdo it with shaking so that you (almost) don’t eat anything else and go into rabbit hunger (= protein poisoning), you don’t need to worry. In fact, the chances of you eating too much protein are very small, even if you do eat a lot of protein shakes.
Just always eat a balanced diet with enough fruits and vegetables, and remember that these protein shakes are always nutritional supplements and should not replace meals. Nothing can be said about post-workout jitters and as a snack.
Of course, you should always include each shake in your calorie balance and be careful not to disrupt your daily need for too many protein shakes.
Which protein shake is right for you?
Now that you’ve read a lot about why and when a protein shake can be good for you, now you probably want to know which shake is right for you. In this section, I would like to help you find the right protein powder for you.
Which protein shake is right for you depends on various factors. Therefore, below I will introduce you to some types of protein shakes with their features and benefits, so you can choose the best shakes for you.
1) Whey Concentrate Shake – Fast, Inexpensive Protein
The most common among athletes is whey or whey protein. Whey protein is a high quality protein with a high biological value, it can be absorbed quickly by the body and is usually very easily digested if you are lactose intolerant.
In whey concentrate form, protein powder is also relatively cheap to obtain. You can get a good whey protein concentrate with almost 80 g of protein per 100 g for only 15 euros per kilogram. But then it also brings in some more carbs and fats.
So if you’re looking for a high-quality yet affordable, quick-to-use post-workout or in-between-workout protein shake that doesn’t have to be too heavy and free of milk and / or lactose problems, you might feel good about whey concentrate. capture.
My recommendation is the aforementioned WPC Union Supplement 80. It is completely made in Germany and you can get it. There you will get another 5% extra discount as my reader with the Fitvolution5 code. You won’t get this high quality protein powder anywhere else at a comparable price!
2) Whey shake – high quality, fast and easy
Whey Isolate is a better and better quality whey protein option. Unlike whey concentrate, whey isolate protein shake contains more protein (90%) and less carbs and almost no fat. On the one hand, it improves nutritional value, and on the other hand, it accelerates absorption by the body.
The decisive factor in choosing the right whey isolate is the manufacturing process. There are various manufacturing processes that have a significant impact on protein quality. The best method is the CFM (= cross-flow microfiltration) method, in which, unlike chemical separation methods, a purely physical separation is carried out through filter membranes. The process is very gentle and the amino acids are not denatured.
Despite the gentle process, lactose can be largely removed by filtration. Therefore, most people with lactose intolerance have no problem with CFM Whey Isolate. If you already have problems with small amounts, the best alternative is an egg white powder, such as XXL Nutrition’s EGG protein *, which I will discuss later.
So if you are looking for a very low fat protein shake that is very quick to consume and is (almost) fat and lactose free, post workout or in between workouts, then you are looking for a protein like WPI 90 Whey Isolate made in Germany. from the Union addon at the correct address.
3) Casein – a high protein and low calorie satiated shake
Casein is the main component of milk for about 80%. Unlike whey (which makes up the remaining 20% of milk protein), it is absorbed much more slowly by the body. For this reason, high casein protein shakes are often touted as overnight protein. They must provide the body with protein overnight.
Micellar casein is commonly understood as “whole milk protein” in which casein and whey are naturally present. In this combination, the protein shake is very easy to digest, and the biological value of the protein is especially high. These protein shakes are really good and long enough to potentially make them a possible meal replacement.
There is also calcium caseinate, which is sold as pure whey-free casein protein. It makes you feel fuller for longer and has an even higher protein and therefore lower carbohydrate and fat content. Pure casein is the ideal dietary protein powder.
However, these products often use inexpensive manufacturing processes in which proteins are heavily denatured. However, this should not be the case. For example, the German manufacturer Supplement Union uses a gentle process, which means that their CAS 90 casein can achieve very good nutritional value with very high quality. Proteins do not denature and retain their high value. Most of the lactose is also filtered out during filtration. Allergy sufferers should still pay attention to the manufacturer’s information.
CAS 90 (like almost all S.U. products) is also manufactured in Germany and regularly tested by independent laboratories. This is my recommendation for your intermediate or overnight shake.
You won’t get this quality casein protein powder for a lower price!
4) Competitive Egg White & Lactose Intolerance
Another alternative is egg white. It has been extremely popular in strength and bodybuilding in the past, but in the past few years it has lagged somewhat behind the hugely popular whey protein, which is much cheaper. Egg white has several advantages over other protein powders, which should make it an interesting alternative for many.
Thus, good egg white contains no carbohydrates or fat without additives. The absorption rate sits between whey and casein, making it quick enough to shake after exercise, but you won’t get hungry again. It is also free of allergens, lactose and milk protein. In addition, this protein does not store water in the body. This, combined with its extremely good nutritional value, makes it very popular, especially with bodybuilders when preparing for a competition or shooting.
XXL-Nutrition Egg White Powder is pure egg albumin with no additives in a tasteless version. This means it contains no fat or carbohydrates.
6) Vegan Soy Protein Shake
As a vegetarian, it can sometimes be difficult to consume enough protein. This is especially true if you need to maintain a calorie deficit. Here, one protein shake or another is definitely a smart supplement. High quality animal protein sources, but good plant-based alternatives are available.
The best of all amino acid profiles is soy. Soy protein comes in the form of a soy isolate that is low in carbohydrates and fat, is well tolerated, readily available, and therefore can be considered an inexpensive herbal alternative to whey protein. As a vegetarian looking for the right protein shake, you can try a soy product like BBGenics’ Soy Isolate GOLD *.
5) Rice Protein Shake for Allergy Sufferers
It’s really not easy for allergy sufferers. You try this and that, and you really don’t get along. If you have problems with other sources of protein, try rice protein. Allergy sufferers usually get along best with this protein.
It’s important that you get carefully processed rice protein from organically grown rice without unnecessary additives. My recommendation for this is BIO rice protein from Erdschwalbe *.
How about multi-component protein shakes
Before, I didn’t think much about multicomponent cocktails. This is primarily due to the fact that many manufacturers are not transparent about ingredients. Several years ago even more secrets were made from the compositions here. Many manufacturers still do not disclose their compositions. This always gives me some skepticism.
Also, in my opinion, many of these multicomponent proteins are overly complex. Six or more, sometimes worse, components are used, and suddenly it becomes a “great” universal protein. Often, you don’t know exactly how much it contains, and often the mixture is even blended with selected essential amino acids to customize the protein profile. However, this alone does not increase the absorption capacity, as some manufacturers claim.
To make matters worse, these blends tend to be significantly more expensive as well, and their advantages over previously presented single proteins are usually (if at all) very manageable.
However, there is also a reason for multi-component protein shakes. Next, I would like to briefly introduce you to what it is and under what circumstances I believe that such combination products make sense.
1) a blend of whey, casein and egg white
Whey protein, casein, and eggs have their own specific benefits in certain situations. So if you’re serious about your topic, you probably have all three homes. After all, in every situation there is something a little better. Even if I think this is a bit exaggerated, at least I always have whey and casein in my house.
However, I can understand that unless you want to have dozens of different buckets, cans and bags of protein powder and other nutritional supplements around you. In this case, a solution might be a good mixture. Now you can of course pour casein, whey (and egg) together to get the best, time-delayed mixed protein. However, you can also buy ready-made and evenly blended protein powder.
Supplement Union Professional Protein is a ready-to-use multi-component protein powder made from whey, casein and eggs. This protein from S.U. made entirely in Germany from German raw materials. It is composed of 60% casein, 20% egg white and 20% whey protein. It has been specifically formulated as a versatile protein for bodybuilders.
2) Vegan Multicomponent Shakes
I really think multi-protein proteins do make sense, especially for vegans. This is because soy is the only protein source with an (almost) complete amino acid profile. As a vegetarian and athletic person, you will still consume large amounts of soy.
So it certainly makes sense to consider other high quality plant proteins. In particular, rice, peas and lupine are also used to obtain high quality plant proteins. Unfortunately, these protein sources alone do not have a particularly high biological value. They often lack some essential and semi-substituted amino acids.
It therefore makes sense to combine these various vegan proteins in reasonable amounts. Collectively, some manufacturers can now achieve really good bioavailability and thus create viable alternatives to animal protein sources. The taste is no longer getting used to, as it was several years ago. A very good example of such a combination product is Vegan protein from VegiFEEL .
3) An individual cocktail for you ?!
I recently came across a pretty cool concept that I would like to briefly tell you about here. Imagine being able to get a protein shake that is tailored to your goals and needs, and contains everything you need right after your workout to optimally support your regeneration?
Brandl Nutrition is taking this approach with its new range. Based on a few notes about yourself, your training, and your goals, an all-in-one is compiled for you. For this, animal and plant protein sources are scientifically combined and supplemented with minerals and plant substances.
Thus, up to 40 ingredients are collected in individual doses for your personal protein shake. If you want a light-hearted all-in-one shake, give it a try. I know some athletes who are very happy with this, even though taste shouldn’t be the top priority here.
Protein Shake Shop Recommendation
For now, I would like to link to my partner store Bodybuilding-Depot. If you are looking for a protein powder or other nutritional supplement, take a look. I have been using the products for many years and I am absolutely confident in their quality.
At BB-Depot you order directly from a German quality manufacturer that handles virtually all products from Germany. Neutral protein powders do not contain any additives, and the quality is confirmed by regular checks by independent laboratories. The exact composition and test reports of the products are also published on the site again and again.
I am proud to be one of the few bloggers and influencers Bodybuilding-Depot works with. With my Fitvolution5 discount code, you still get 5% off all prices that are already very cheap (even for promotions). There are no big discount codes for bodybuilding.
I wrote a follow-up article where you can read more about my collaboration with Bodybuilding-Depot and the history.
Your conclusion on protein shakes
As you can see, there are several good reasons to make a delicious protein shake every now and then if you want to eat more protein. In this way, you can support your muscle building or diet very well. There are relatively many choices, but after reading my explanations of the most important types of protein, you should be able to find the protein that’s right for you.
Since the article was relatively long, I want to summarize the most important messages for you once again:
- A protein shake is a nutritional supplement, not a substitute.
- It can help you get enough protein during the main phase and during the diet.
- There is no right time to take it; Before and after your workout, as a snack or before bed, a protein shake can be very helpful if it supports your goals.
- Which cocktail is right for you depends on the intended use, your goals and potential impatience.
I hope I was able to answer your questions about protein shakes. If you still have question marks above your head, just drop me a comment or email.
BTW: If you are interested in building muscle, I would like to refer you to my book The Basics of Building Muscle. This is the first true “Don’t bullshit” guide to effective muscle building. This is for everyone who doesn’t want to waste time on unnecessary details and wants to build muscle with minimal effort.
I’m going to make a delicious chocolate coconut protein shake!
And don’t forget: your health is your health.