Whey Protein Isolate Before Or After Workout?

Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate has plenty of unique benefits that make it a favourite supplement among bodybuilders and casual gym-goers alike. But obviously, like any kind of supplement, taking whey protein isolate requires attention to timing.

In fact, timing applies a lot to muscle building because it often determines the rate of progress in muscle growth.

In short, it dictates how fast and how effectively you’ll be getting the kind of results you want, assuming you are taking whey protein isolate for the purpose most people take them, which is to build muscles.

Why Timing Is Important When Taking Whey Protein Isolate

Fundamentally, being mindful of the time you take this supplement only means you’ll be making sure that it will bring about its associated benefits.

You’re probably already aware that this kind of whey protein has more protein than others of its kind. In the process, you’ll also be making the most out of it in the long run.

Pure protein supplements like whey protein isolate also tend to be quickly digested by the body. As much as possible, you should be taking it when the body’s protein synthesis is at its highest.

Why is protein synthesis important? It facilitates muscle growth and recovery, along with a number of other long-term benefits for the body.

The time when protein synthesis is at its peak varies from person to person. But, in general, it is high after a workout. Does that mean that you should take whey protein isolate only within that time frame?

Technically, it’s recommended to take this supplement after a workout, but it’s certainly not limited to that. In fact, there’s plenty of rationale for taking it before a workout as well.

When Is the Best Time to Take Whey Protein Isolate?

Ultimately, there is more than one answer to this question, and that there’s plenty of reasons that back up pre- and post-workout intake of this supplement. We also considered other factors, after all, which can more or less affect the intake schedule of an individual.

For instance, one sound recommendation is to simply divide your portions before and after a workout. But obviously, this can’t be done by everyone. And certain studies have actually proven that it’s best to drink whey protein all at once because it actually leads to a better increase in protein synthesis.

In the end, the decision rests solely in your hands as you know what habit you can easily adapt to or are most comfortable with. That said, we have opted to just outline the reasons why it’s best to take in whey protein isolates before and after a workout.

The Case for Pre-Workout Intake

A lot of experts recommend taking whey protein isolate before hitting the gym because it’s a way to “prime” your muscles for future muscle growth. And there’s actually a lot of science that backs this up. Here are the findings of studies about pre-workout whey protein isolate supplementation:

  • Whey protein isolates also contain BCAAs. BCAAs not only directly contribute to muscle growth, but they also provide energy and fuel for muscles.
  • This is energy that you can use to push yourself harder and prolong training sessions, which only leads to better gains and more physical health benefits.
  • Another case for taking whey protein isolates with BCAAs before a workout is that it prevents the catabolization of the muscles. Technically, it safeguards your muscles from being broken down as you conduct any kind of strength or endurance training.
  • Whey protein isolates have been found to trigger protein synthesis as well. Amino acid transmission and delivery throughout the body is boosted as well. Such effects are nothing short of crucial for continuous muscle development.
  • Amino acid levels will remain high during and after a workout this way as well.

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The Case for Post-Workout Supplementation

It’s difficult to ignore the benefits of taking whey isolates after a workout, too. Especially if we look at the following facts:

  • Whey protein isolates can fill the protein shortage that might result from your body using up more protein to repair muscles.
  • Studies have also revealed that consuming a fast-digesting protein like whey isolates after an intense training session can lead to a boost in the body’s muscle building. This post-workout window lasts from 2 hours up to a lengthy 48 hours.
  • The BCAA leucine actively aids in muscle recovery.
  • Other General Guidelines to Follow to Optimally Take Protein Supplements
  • To maximize increasing muscle strength and mass, you may want to consider taking both whey protein isolate and creatine.
  • You may also want to find out the exact protein you need to take on a regular basis. This is obviously not the same for everyone, and you might need to rely on a protein calculator to get exact figures.
  • If you’re older, you might need to up your protein supplementation more because your anabolic responses to the proteins you ingest may not be as good as they once were. This means it’s harder for you to build muscle but certainly not impossible.
  • Should you decide, to buy whey protein online, be sure to look at the features of each one. Look at the sources of the ingredients. As much as possible, prefer local ingredients. If you’re looking for the best whey protein isolate in Canada, for instance, don’t skimp on learning about the product, purported benefits, the ingredients’ sources, and lab test results. Going for locally-sourced products often means getting higher quality ingredients.


It’s important to keep in mind that whey protein is no magic bullet. Yes, it might have excellent properties that make it tower over other types of protein supplements, but you still have to practice timely intakes to get the best results.

The silver lining, of course, lies in the fact that pre- and post-workout windows both provide favourable benefits as a whole.

Hopefully, with this guide, it would be easier for you to form a schedule for supplementation that is the most suitable in the long run.