Whey Protein: Before or After a Workout

Whey Protein and Workouts:

As everyone knows, whey protein is a huge and beneficial supplement for regular bodybuilding and fitness athletes.  It provides a tremendous supply of protein and essential amino acids that help to repair muscle tissue quickly, and long term energy and appetite suppression to improve the benefits of the workout.  But it is difficult to understand the best time for one to take whey protein, especially if considering both weight lifting and endurance athletes.

Whey Protein: Before a Workout

Taking whey protein prior to a workout results in numerous benefits.  For one, the whey protein is already present in your system by the time your muscles are being damaged by your athletic routine.  That means not only are you being provided a constant stream of energy to power your workout with now insulin or sugar spikes, but on top of that, the muscular regeneration benefits of whey protein are taking effect at the time of the muscular distress, not after.  Because of that, it is highly recommended that especially for bodybuilders, and other fast twitch muscle sports, that one consumes whey protein directly prior to a workout to improve recovery and provide consistent energy.

Whey Protein:  After a Workout

Taking whey protein after a workout also has benefits.  For one, whey protein is exceptionally slowly released, meaning that for hours and hours after your workout the ingredients in whey will continue to repair your muscular damage.  ON top of that for those more concerned with weight loss and toning, whey protein is excellent at appetite suppression, meaning that if taken after a long run or other endurance activity, not only will you derive the muscular benefits, but also will stay full longer.

So When is the Ideal Time to Supplement with Whey Protein?

Ideally you would take whey protein both before AND after your workout.  If concerned with calories I would recommend splitting the intake you want so you derive both benefits.  For those only wishing to take the one supplement per workout, i would recommend those wishing to gain muscle and size in fast twitch explosive muscles to take whey protein prior to working out, and those more concerned with endurance activities and weight loss to take whey protein directly after your workout.  However if at all possible, taking whey protein both before and after a workout will provide the absolute maximum benefit.

Casein Protein

There seems to be much confusion surrounding casein protein and what it is.  A lot of that is due to the fact that like whey, it is derived from milk.  Like whey it is often found in most cheeses, and contains BCAAs (Branch Chained Amino Acids) and calcium.

Differences between Casien and Whey Protein:

Unlike whey, casein protein has a number of uses outside of milk product additives and dietary supplement.  Casein is used in the production of certain types of paints, as well as due to its “sticky” properties, can be manufactured into fibers that can be used to make fabric.  In the past, casein protein was also used to manufacture glue.

Interestingly, despite the marked similarities between whey and casein, they do provide suprisingly different benefits for those who use the protein as a primarily workout supplement.

Also, Casein provides significantly less anti oxidants, and unlike whey protein which has been shown to have a correlation between a reduced incidence of cancer when taken daily, casein has actually been shown to increase the risk of cancer in rats.

So why would someone want to take Casein Protein?….

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Oh Yeah Protein Bars Review

Another excellent protein bar is the Oh Yeah! protein bar from protein bar manufacturer ISS Research.  ISS Research is one of the top protein bar companies and the Oh Yeah! protein bar is one of the best protein bars.

The Oh Yeah! bar comes in both 45 gram and 85 gram sizes and in a number of great flavours, including almond fudge brownie, chocolate & caramel, cookie caramel crunch, peanut butter & caramel, peanut butter & strawberry and vanilla toffee fudge.  With all of these delicious options, it is easy to see why many people feel that Oh Yeah! bars are the best tasting protein bar.

The Oh Yeah! bar is a healthy protein bar, but those looking for a low calorie protein bar or a low calorie high protein bar might want to look elsewhere.  Although each flavor is slightly different, the 45 gram bars contain around 190 calories while the 85 gram bars contain between 340 and 380 calories.  In terms of protein content, the 45 gram bars contain approximately 15 grams of protein while the 85 gram bars contain around 30 grams of protein.  It should be noted that the Oh Yeah! protein bar is not strictly a whey protein bar; in addition to whey protein, Oh Yeah! bars contain soy protein and other forms of protein.  People looking for the best low carb protein bar should also look elsewhere as the carb content of the Oh Yeah! bar is relatively high, which makes sense given that this it is not a low calorie protein bar.

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2:1 Protein Bars Review

Protein bars offer all the benefits of whey protein in a portable, economical, and convenient package. One of the most difficult aspects of a trying to consume a well rounded diet is the availability of quality sources of protein. 2:1 Protein Bars by Metragenix does a wonderful job at providing a readily available, and more importantly a delicious tasting option in the world meal replacements.

Most protein bar meal replacements suffer from the same issue – they all taste like some sort of chalky covered cement brick. Not the 2:1’s, they actually taste great. There are 9 flavors, however the the cookies and cream, peanut butter, and ice cream sandwich are my personal favorites. The cookies and cream actually has cookie bits that taste like real cookie, with a soft center that reminds you of what a chewy cookie should taste like. The names actually do the bar flavors justice. Continue reading

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

Whey hydrolysate is a third type of whey protein that is rarer to find in a day to day protein powder than isolate or concentrate.   From a specifically scientific definition, whey protein hydrolysate is a partially digested; as in the basic molecules in whey protein are broken down into its baser parts, essentially doing part of the work of regular digestion for you.

Generally whey protein hydrolysate is significantly more expensive to purchase compared to concentrate or isolate, however whey hydrolysate, due to its processed nature, also contains less lactose.  Also for anyone who has stomach issues, the body has a far easier time digesting hydrolysate than it does other forms of whey protein powder.

One of whey protein hydrolysate main uses is in baby milk for babies that are born severely lactose intolerant and unable to use regular high fat and protein milk sources.  Also due to its sterile nature after processing, it is often used as a high protein supplement for patients after digestive surgery to restore a proper PH balance in the digestive tract.  Continue reading

Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate

You may want to read back to our original post on whey protein concentrate, and then check out our post on whey protein types, which contains information on all three whey protein types: concentrate, isolate and hydrosylate.

Whey Protein Concentrate vs Isolate:

As noted in the above articles, concentrate and isolate have a few key differences and i’ll outline the key pros and cons of each:

Whey Protein Concentrate:


  • Cheaper than isolate
  • Contains carbohydrates, great for energy for a morning shake or longer endurance workout
  • Slower release into blood stream so better at appetite suppression for those looking to take advantage of the natural weight loss and fat burning benefits of whey protein powder
  • Less processed so generally higher levels of antioxidants and essential amino acids available


  • Higher caloric content
  • Lower protein by weight, ie. contains more carbohydrates and fat
  • Much higher levels of lactose

Elite Whey Protein

Dymatize Nutrition Elite Whey Protein is one of the most popular brands of protein powder sold today.  This all natural isolate formula means it is packed with extremely high quality ingredients and contains the highest protein by weight found in any major protein powder brand.  Not only that, but for those suffering from minor to moderate lactose allergies Elite Whey Protein contains a proprietary digestive enzyme that reduces the side effects while improving the absorption rates of protein during and right after your workout.

Despite all these great benefits Elite Whey Protein only cost slightly more than other big-name whey protein powders, and if you find it on sale it can cost equal or even slightly less. Its closest competitor in terms of quality  would likely be Optimum Nutritions 100% pure whey protein powder which is already being reviewed on this site.

Dymatize Nutrition Elite Natural Whey Protein Isolate, Rich Chocolate, 5-Pounds

Due to the all-natural and low calorie ingredients, it does taste a bit bitter, however you can add sugar or fruits to improve the sweetness if bitter tastes bother you.  Some other benefits of its high whey isolate formula include less calories as isolate contains less carbohydrates and fat


  • all-natural ingredients
  • uses primarily whey protein isolates
  • proprietary digestive enzyme works with lactose intolerant individuals
  • extremely low calorie per serving
  • high rate of absorption for workout warriors Continue reading

What is the Best Protein?

What is the best protein?

A lot of people ask me this question.  I get it emailed to me, left in comments, and dropped into conversations.  Its generally asked by people who are unsure what type and how much protein to take.   After all there is a lot of information out there that is incorrect, and its tough to know what the best supplement for you is.   There are a ton of products that while being helpful to some, could be the totally wrong choice for your health or fitness goals.  Luckily for you, this site is here to help. Some of the major questions you may have:

  • Isolate, Hydrosylsate or Concentrate?
  • Best Protein Powder for Muscle Building?
  • Best Protein for Weight Loss?
  • Whey or Soy?

In a future article i’ll delve into each of these more, but for now i can provide a general overview over the best protein to take.

To the first question whey or soy, bluntly, the answer is whey.  Despite sharing some benefits, and soy providing essential amino acids like whey, soy protein has shown itself to have some side effects that one should be wary of (like increases in levels of estrogen linked to soy intake).  I’m not saying one will develop breasts simply from taking soy protein, but ideally whey protein is a better choice.

Secondly, with whey you have 3 types of protein, Isolate, Hydrolysate and Concentrate. Which type is the best?  Interestingly enough, all three.  Ideally a whey protein powder that contains all 3 forms of whey protein powder is the best. The reason?  Each type is digested and used by the body at a different rate, meaning that absorption lasts longer, and that the benefits of the whey protein powder last longer, and peak at the ideal time.

For muscle growth, one can’t get much better than Optimum Nutrition’s Pure Whey powder.  It tastes great, and contains all three types of whey protein powder.  On top of that it contains almost 0 additives, tastes great, and includes a special formula created by Optimum Nutrition to delay the absorption rate of the essential amino acids present in whey to provide the greatest benefits before, during and after a workout.

Optimum Nutrition Whey can be found at Amazon here: Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard, Double Rich Chocolate, 5 Pound

For weight loss, the question becomes a bit more tricky and is one we will leave to a future post.  The reason for that is that with weight loss you are looking for a few things that are outside the realm of normal whey protein supplementation.  For one, Isolate is the protein type of choice, as it contains the highest protein by weight, meaning the lowest amount of fat and carbohydrates present.  Secondly it will ideally use a natural sweetener such as Stevia instead of sugar to keep the caloric density low.  Lastly you would want a slow release formula to take full advantage of the natural appetite suppressing ability that whey protein powder offers on its own.

A lot of the questions i touched on above are explored in other posts on this site, but I’ll leave you to discover them for yourself.  Whey protein powder is a fantastic daily supplement that offers numerous health benefits beyond simple muscle building and weight loss.

Protein Shakes for Women

Before reading up on the best protein shakes for the fairer sex, be sure to read about the numerous whey protein benefits, and how whey protein can effect weight loss, fat burning and how you build and maintain lean muscle mass.

A lot of women out there seem to think that protein is “just for bodybuilders”, and that only those looking to bulk up and put on muscle should be taking it.  They think that protein is going to add muscle at a time when they are trying to drop weight.  They think protein shakes for women are ridiculous. News flash:

***These Women Are Wrong***

Whey protein is not some crazy supplement filled with additives.  It is essentially protein skimmed from milk, with vitamins and minerals generally added to it to improve its nutritional content.  In babies formula, whey protein is one of the main ingredients, as whey protein contains many of the same ingredients found in human breast milk.

Quite simply, whey protein is a extremely safe and effective dietary supplement that every women should be taking daily regardless of fitness level.

You may be asking yourself, but why should i take whey protein.  What will it do for me?

Protein, and whey protein especially, has shown itself to be a significant contributor to increased weight loss, and higher fat burning for those who take it on a regular basis. Protein shakes for women, are especially important as they get older, due to the high levels of calcium found in whey protein  that boost bone strength and

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Whey Protein Concentrate

You can read more about whey protein types, however this post is going to focus solely on whey protein concentrate, and its benefits and side effects.

As mentioned in the above post, whey protein concentrate is the cheapest form of whey protein, and is the easiest for companies to mass produce.  It is by far the most common type of whey protein when looking to purchase any powder, however because it is cheap does not necessarily mean that it isn’t good.  Althouth the lowest type of protein by weight, concentrate is still exceptionally high in protein as it is, well, a protein concentrate.

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Whey Protein Powder Benefits – Part II

Check out our original overview of whey protein benefits.  In this post we’re going to delve a little more into how whey protein effects the growth of lean muscle mass, as well as fat burning and weight loss, specifically with the use of whey protein powder.

To read more about how much protein to consume for optimal fat burning, check out our post on whey protein and fat burning.  If you’re more concerned about how whey protein suppresses appetite and the science behind it, make sure you read our post on whey protein weight loss.

How Whey Protein Powder Increases Fat Loss and Lean Muscle Mass:

In a recent study from the Minnesota Applied Research Centre, they evaluated how a high quality whey protein source used as a daily dietary supplement enhanced the rate of fat burning and subsequently weight loss by comparing subjects consuming whey protein on a daily basis with a control group, both on a reduced caloric intake diet.  They found the following:

  • Over 12 weeks, the whey protein powder using group lost a substantial amount of fat compared to the control group, specifically 1.2 kg of fat.  While not sounding like a significant amount of weight, the supporting tissue and blood supply adds much more. Continue reading

Organic Whey Protein

A lot of people today are concerned with finding organic and natural food products, because they generally include higher quality ingredients, less processing, and have a higher nutritional value.  Whey protein is no exception to that rule, and generally organic protein sources are the highest quality one can buy.

When looking for an organic whey protein, one needs to ensure that they look for a few specific things:

  1. Read the actual product materials and don’t focus on a name that says “Natural” or “Organic.”  Many products state they are all natural or organic, however they aren’t actually as there is currently no regulations in place that state what is or isn’t organic.
  2. In an organic whey protein, you are primarily looking for a whey protein isolate, which generally is the highest quality form of whey protein, with the lowest amount of fat, lactose and cholesterol present, which can negate even some of whey protein isolate side effects.
  3. Because all ingredients must be organic, any product you purchase should be free of all artificial flavors and sweeteners.  They should contain very basic ingredients, ie. whey protein isolate, sugar, natural flavor.   Continue reading

CytoSport Muscle Milk Review

CytoSport Muscle Milk is one of the cheapest and most popular protein powders available.  It contains both whey concentrate and whey isolate as part of its ingredients, meaning you are getting some of the highest quality type of whey protein in every serving.

CytoSport Muscle Milk as is the case with many of the cheaper brands of whey protein powder, has a high caloric content, due to the amount of sugar they put in the product. However for those going through a “bulk” cycle, having a slightly higher calorie protein powder may be a great thing to put on weight and muscle.  For regular users, using it less as a fitness supplement, there may be better alternatives available.

Due to the higher caloric content of CytoSport Muscle Milk, it tastes absolutely fantastic.  It has a slightly higher fat and sugar content than both Continue reading

Soy Protein Isolate

One major question that often gets asked is what is the difference between soy protein isolate powder and whey protein?  Are there any differences, or are they essentially similar as both a fitness and health supplement?  Is soy protein powder bad?  Where do i even find soy isolate protein powder?  What are the dangers of soy products?

Soy protein is a far different protein from whey protein, as it is derived from soybeans as opposed to the milk/cheese that whey protein is produced from.  Soy protein isolate powder(like whey protein isolate) is the highest quality type of soy protein.  It has the largest amount of protein by weight compared to concentrate, which is the same as whey.

However soy, especially as a fitness supplement can have some detrimental effects.

Extensive testing has suggested that the high levels of isoflavones present in soy proteins results in a decreased production of testosterone in the human body; the hormone required to build lean muscle mass.

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Whey Protein Side Effects

Make sure you check out our information on organic whey protein if concerned about the quality of your protein powder.

Also for those allergic or looking to mix a secondary quality protein that contains different branched chain amino acids, soy protein isolate might be a good bet.

Although this site primarily focuses on the many benefits of whey protein, one of the major things I’m often asked are what are some potential whey protein side effects? It’s an important question that needs answering, especially before making it regular part of your daily diet. Afterall, despite its many positive benefits, whey protein does have a few known side effects that everyone should be aware of:

Whey Protein Powder Side Effects

Lactose intolerance – As whey is derived from milk and cheese, anyone who is allergic to lactose will also be allergic to whey protein powder. Most whey protein powders contain about 5% lactose, which although less than most milk products, can still cause concern to those extra sensitive. The lowest levels of lactose are present in whey isolate, so it is recommended that those with lactose allergies avoid concentrate if possible. Read more on whey protein types.  Specifically whey protein isolate side effects are far reduced due to lower lactose concentrations for those allergic.

For those concerned about lactose allergies please check out our review of Elite Whey Protein a digestive enzyme that reduces the effect of lactose.   You can also purchase it at Amazon here:Dymatize Nutrition Elite Natural Whey Protein Isolate, Rich Chocolate, 5-Pounds


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BSN Syntha-6 Protein Powder Review

You can read more about the BSN Syntha-6 protein bar review here.  This protein powder is made by the same manufacturer.

BSN Syntha-6 is another great product to use that provides access to many different whey protein benefits.  Although Syntha-6 contains a variety of other types of protein (6 in total), whey protein and whey protein direct derivatives makes up the bulk of the mixture.  Each scoop of Syntha-6 also contains 10 grams of essential amino acids and 5 grams of BCAAs along with 13 grams of carbohydrates This combination of nutrients along with the 22 grams of total protein contained in each serving make Syntha-6 the perfect choice for a post-workout shake, especially when mixed with milk to add in some additional carbohydrates.  However, Syntha-6 is also a great option for a pre-workout shake or a snack at any other time.  The product is marketed primarily towards athletes and bodybuilders, but its balanced combination of nutrients make it a product that anyone can enjoy and benefit from.  Also its mixture of protein types is supposed to result in a slow-release formula, however for those taking it as a pure health supplement as opposed to a workout supplement, Optimum Nutrition protein powder may be a better choice.

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Whey Protein Benefits – An Overview

Check out our new post on how whey protein powder benefits and improves the growth of lean muscle mass and weight loss here!!

Also make sure you read whey protein side effects if you’re concerned about the health aspects of taking whey protein daily, check out organic whey protein if wanting to reduce those potential side effects.

Whey is a liquid by-product left over during the creating of dairy products, in particular cheese.  Whey is primarily made up of protein, some fat, and minute amounts of other minerals.  The liquid whey is skimmed of fat, processed for human consumption and dried to create whey protein powder.

Whey protein powder is one of the most nutritious and widely used supplements available today.  It has an extremely high protein efficiency level, is quickly absorbed by the body foruse, and a very high source of glutamine, a power anti-oxidant.  It is used today by most athletes, due to its terrific fitness related benefits. However many of these athletes are unaware of the whey protein benefits that are less well known.

Whey Protein Benefits:

As you can see, whey protein is a healthy and delicious daily supplement that everyone should be using.  It is safe to take, has minimal risk of any potential allergies, its delicious, and best of all, whey protein has numerous health benefits. There is absolutely no reason why a healthy protein shake should not be part of your daily routine.  The benefits above are well established and researched, and additional benefits are being found on a consistent basis.

Check back soon as we break down each of these benefits into easy to understand articles, or if you’re already convinced of all the whey protein benefits that you’re missing out on, please check out our protein power reviews for some great reviews of the most popular protein powders available today.

You can return to the homepage of whey protein benefits here.

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Protein Powder Reviews – BSN Syntha-6 Decadence Bar

Meal replacements can be both cost and time effective methods in which to obtain a readily available source of whey protein in one’s diet. In this review I am going to discuss a whey protein bar made by BSN and the benefits of integrating it into your diet. Firstly the macronutrient breakdown each bar contains 350 calories, 44 grams of carbohydrate, 9 grams of fat, and 30 grams of protein. This follows a 40:25:35 split respectively for percentage of calories derived. Thus a bar like this is good for a pre or post workout meal and should have enough fuel to supply the average person for a good 60 minute workout.

The bar comes in 3 flavors: chocolate caramel pretzel, cookies and cream, and peanut butter chocolate. I have to say that the pretzel is probably my favorite followed by the peanut butter. Both closely resemble what the label says they should taste like. After trying numerous protein bars one will notice that trying to find a good tasting bar with over 25 grams of whey protein per serving is nearly impossible. Most taste like some variation

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Whey Protein Benefits – Ready to Buy Whey Protein?

When going to buy whey protein you need to first determine why you are purchasing whey protein. Is it primarily for diet, fitness, health benefits, or something else entirely? Are you primarily concerned with the flavor of the whey protein you are buying, or are sugar, fat and carb content of extreme importance to you. Determining the answer to each of these is a big first step in finding what product is going to fit you and your lifestyle the best.

As noted in a previous post, there are 3 types of whey protein: isolate, concentrate and hydrolysate. Isolate and hydrolysate are the most pure; that is containing the most protein by weight and the least fat, however they also cost the most and generally the worst

tasting, unless they contain sweetener and other addititves. Concentrate is the cheapest, however contains the highest amount of fat and carbohydrates. Many of the products offered on the market today are blends, a combination of isolate and concentrate generally, to Continue reading

Whey Protein Types : Isolate, Concentrate, Hydrolysate

When going to buy whey protein, it is extremely important that you are selecting the right type of whey protein for whatever goals you have. These goals may be as a diet supplement, for the numerous health benefits of whey
protein, or as part of a fitness or muscle building regimen. In a future post we will also be examining the differences between whey, soy and casein protein, but for now, we will focus on the most popular.

The three basic “types” of whey protein that consumers need to be aware of are:

• Whey Concentrate
• Whey Isolate
• Whey Hydrolysate

Whey concentrate would be the most well known form of whey protein. It is the cheapest to manufacture, and has the lowest protein by weight of all 3 types. It is also the most common type used as Continue reading