Whey Protein: When is the best time to take it to get results?

Key Takeaways

Optimal Timing for Whey Protein Intake

  • Morning Intake: Kickstart your day and metabolism, reduce cravings, and support weight loss efforts.
  • Post-Workout: Ideal for muscle repair, recovery, and to capitalize on the anabolic window for muscle growth.
  • Dosage: Ranges from 20-50 grams, depending on workout intensity and individual goals, ensuring muscle synthesis and aiding in recovery.


Whey protein supplements are one of the staple features of workout regimens. Whey protein has been shown to help you build muscle, lose weight and maintain all-around fitness. We know the benefits of whey protein, but maybe we do not know the best time to take whey protein for maximum results.

It’s one thing to put in the time training and supplementing with whey protein, but you should know when is the best time to take it to make sure you are getting the most out of the supplement. Understanding the best time to take whey protein will give you a much better chance of reaching your goals, and whether you are an athlete taking whey protein primarily to build muscle, or you are trying whey protein supplements to help with weight loss, the best time to take whey protein will determine your chances of success.

This guide will give you the facts on the types of whey protein, we will also explore the facts on what we get from taking whey protein at different times of the day; and ultimately, we will give the best information on the best time to take whey protein. 

The Three Types Of Whey Protein

Types Of Whey Protein

People take whey protein supplements to build lean muscle mass, to lose weight, and to maintain fitness. Taken with resistance exercise, whey protein is one of the most effective training supplements available.

There are three principal types of whey protein:

  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • The most inexpensive of the three whey protein supplements, WPC is a by-product of cheese production. It is made with a process of ultrafiltration that removes the non-nutritional components. Low-end WPC can have a protein concentration of 30 percent. The high end tops out at 90 percent protein. WPC is low in fats and carbohydrates. Pay attention to product labels with WPC. The low-end concentrations are generally used for food additives. It is the more highly concentrated form that works best as a protein supplement.

  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Contains more than 90 percent protein. It is low in fat and lactose. Isolate typically does not contain much nutrient value beyond the protein. Isolates are made by a complex biochemical process that can effectively purify (isolate) the proteins we are after for supplements. This type of whey protein is especially good for people who are lactose intolerant.

  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate
  • Often called hydrolyzed whey, this type of whey protein is digested first and gets absorbed into the body faster than the others. Named because the proteins are freed through the process of hydrolysis, hydrolysate whey protein contains free amino acids readily available for muscle development. Hydrolysate whey protein is effectively pre-digested and it is much easier for the body to assimilate the proteins.


    Mornings to Lose Weight and Crush Cravings

    It is a fact that a high-protein diet is one of the best ways to lose weight and build lean muscle in its place. The body uses more energy to metabolize protein than it does for fats and carbohydrates. For this reason, just starting the day with a whey protein supplement can help with weight loss. Studies have shown that a high protein diet reduces your appetite thereby cutting out your need for unnecessary snacks. 

    It has been scientifically proven that starting your day with a high protein breakfast reduces appetite and cravings for snacks throughout the day. Protein helps you feel full. Researchers believe a high protein breakfast inhibits a hormone that makes you feel hungry while it stimulates another hormone that makes you feel full. A simple whey protein supplement can crush those cravings for junk. Combine the whey protein supplement with resistance exercise, and you will shed pounds, build lean muscle, and find yourself more fit and trim than ever.


    Post-Workout to Build Muscle and Recover Faster

    Taking your whey protein supplement pre-workout or post-workout is a hotly contested question. You are likely to find just as many advocates on either side of the debate. During workouts, your body breaks down glycogen and protein to fuel the work of physical exertion. Even top athletes will experience muscle protein break-down from workouts. This leaves you depleted of protein. You need to replenish the protein since what you are after is the process of building and re-building muscle. The goal is to provide your body with enough protein and free amino acids to facilitate muscle protein synthesis post-workout.  A post-workout protein supplement makes it possible for your body to build the muscle you are after.

    Post-workout protein supplements provide free amino acids and proteins for muscle protein synthesis. Taking a whey protein supplement 15 minutes to one hour after a workout is an optimum time frame to take a protein supplement. This period is called the “anabolic window.” It is the period when muscle protein synthesis is at its peak. Recent research shows that taking a whey protein supplement within this anabolic window produces the highest gains in both muscle mass and strength. However, another study showed that taking a whey protein supplement at any point up to two hours after a workout produces the same results in muscle and strength gains.

    Although there are studies that claim to find no measurable difference between those who took whey protein supplements before or after workouts, most of the evidence seems to suggest that post-workout is your best bet.


    How Much Whey Protein Should I Take?

    How Much Whey Protein Should I Take?

    The baseline dose of whey protein supplements is 1-2 scoops or 25-50 grams per day. Athletes with highly rigorous and grueling training programs will obviously need to adjust the dose upward to meet the protein demand these workouts require.

    For highly active people or athletes, the general rule for dosage is 1.5-2.2 grams of protein per 2 kilograms of body weight. This translates to roughly 0.7-1 gram per pound of body weight.

    An active person who wants to maintain lean muscle and lose body fat, the dose is 1-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (5-7 g/lb body weight).

    There have been concerns about high protein supplements and links to osteoporosis and liver problems. These concerns are completely unfounded. As a matter of fact, recent studies have shown that whey protein supplements may help protect against osteoporosis and have no negative effect on liver function.  

    Some people experience nausea or gas with whey protein supplements. If you run into this issue, try taking a different type of whey protein supplement. If concentrate creates intestinal problems, try hydrolysate or isolate.

    The most reasonable thing to do when trying to determine a whey protein dose is to follow the product label guidelines. Since whey protein supplements can have varying concentrations of actual protein, the product label is usually your best guide.


    Whey Protein Dosage for Weight Loss

    Whey protein supplements help with weight loss in two important ways. First, a high protein diet generally helps to reduce hunger throughout the day, and second, high protein diets help reduce your cravings for snacks and junk food.

    Since protein tends to reduce hunger and cravings, a high protein breakfast is most effective for weight loss. Whey protein supplements can help with this type of diet. Combined with some level of exercise, people can lose weight and build the kind of lean muscle that keeps you fit and trim.

    The feeling of hunger comes from our brains through the work of specific hormones. A whey protein supplement reduces the production of hunger-inducing hormones. A whey protein supplement simply helps you feel fuller.

    Whey protein supplements also help reduce fat and build lean muscle even with a modest exercise program. A recent study found that people taking a minimum dose of whey protein supplements lost significant weight (as much as 5 percent over a few weeks) while their lean muscle became pronounced and defined.

    The basic recommended dose of whey protein is 1-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (5.-.7 g/lb body weight) can help you lose significant weight and maintain lean muscle.

    For moderate workouts, three times a week, the recommended dosage of 20 grams of whey protein should give you meaningful results. If your workouts are more intense, and you work out 4 or more times a week, 20-40 grams of protein per week will provide the added free amino acids and protein to build muscle and lose weight. 


    Whey Protein Dosage for Building Muscle

    Whey Protein Dosage for Building Muscle

    Taking a whey protein supplement in conjunction with resistance training is one of the most effective ways to build muscle. Athletes who require serious muscle mass and strength benefit most from whey protein supplements. Research shows that whey protein supplements combined with intense resistance training improve muscle mass and strength at a significantly higher rate when compared with those who engage in resistance training alone.

    Whey protein doses for moderate activity of 3 workouts per week or less should be around 20-25 grams of whey. This will provide the post-workout boost necessary for muscle recovery and to enhance muscle protein synthesis. A high activity workout schedule of 4 or more workouts per week demands up to 50 grams of whey protein to maintain protein levels and to facilitate recovery rates for these levels of exertion.

    Research shows that people who regularly engage in strength training require twice the recommended daily allowance of protein as a sedentary person. This means that for a person who weighs 150 pounds, they would require 110 grams of protein per day in order to maintain the protein requirements of intense training,


    Best Whey Protein Supplement Product

    The best whey protein supplements provide a combination of benefits for the maximum effect. Look for a supplement that contains the highest levels of protein to promote signaling for muscle repair. You also need concentrations of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) to promote muscle repair and growth post-workout.

    Ideally, you also want a whey protein supplement that tastes good and is easy to digest. NF Sports Nutriwhey Protein Powder combines all the elements you need for packing on muscle, for post-workout muscle repair, and it tastes good to make it just a little easier to take.



    We all know whey protein is a fantastic workout supplement for building muscle. Whey protein simply provides the high levels of protein needed for high-intensity training and recovery from workouts. It is also known that whey protein supplements can help you lose weight. Protein is filling and cuts down on cravings for junk and for carbs that pack on weight.

    As we can see, there is much more to taking a whey protein supplement than simply sprinkling some powder on a smoothie. There is some real science behind whey protein supplements, and we do well to take our time to understand this if we want to get the most out of a whey protein supplement.

    When taken correctly and at the right time, whey protein supplements help repair the damage to muscle tissue that leads to soreness and fatigue. This post-workout supplement process also facilitates muscle protein synthesis so that we are building muscle even after we are finished lifting weights. Taking a whey protein supplement within 2 hours after a workout seems to provide the most benefits.

    We can also see that properly taking protein supplements holds tremendous benefit even for those who are not necessarily looking to bulk up on muscle. Whey protein supplements actively help you lose weight by turning off the production of hormones that make you feel hungry. Whey protein supplements also help burn fat during moderate exercise—the type of exercise you are likely to do if you are just looking to stay fit and trim. There is much more to whey protein supplements than providing huge muscles to competitive athletes. Whey protein can benefit almost anyone active and involved in staying fit.


    Health and Safety Notice for Our Readers

    At NF Sports, we're dedicated to supporting your fitness journey with high-quality, natural supplements made in an FDA-registered facility. Our content and product recommendations are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice.

    Consult Your Doctor: Before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have health concerns or conditions, consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it's safe and right for you.

    FDA Disclaimer: Our products are designed to support your wellness journey but have not been evaluated by the FDA to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


    What's the best time to take whey protein for weight loss?

    Consuming whey protein in the morning can help reduce hunger throughout the day, making it an effective strategy for weight loss. It supports a high-protein diet, which is key for shedding pounds.


    How much whey protein should I take after a workout?

    For optimal muscle recovery and growth, it's recommended to consume 20-40 grams of whey protein within the "anabolic window," which is up to two hours after your workout.


    Can whey protein help with muscle soreness?

    Yes, taking whey protein post-workout can help reduce muscle soreness by providing essential amino acids for muscle repair and growth, speeding up the recovery process.


    Is there a difference in whey protein intake for building muscle vs. weight loss?

    While the primary goal differs, both scenarios benefit from whey protein. For muscle building, focus on post-workout intake. For weight loss, morning consumption may be more beneficial to reduce overall calorie intake by curbing hunger.


    Are there any side effects of taking whey protein?

    Whey protein is safe for most people when consumed within recommended amounts. However, some may experience digestive issues such as bloating or gas. If you're lactose intolerant, consider whey protein isolate, which has lower lactose content.



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