How and When To Take Protein Powder – For Muscle Gains Or Fat Burn


Protein powder is an excellent supplement for muscle gain, dropping fat and getting lean, or for getting additional nutrients in your diet.  No matter what your reasons, it is important to know how and when to take protein powder properly.

Our protein needs are all different depending on our body type and physical goals.  That’s why the amount of protein powder is important because it can vary.  There are also better times of the day when our bodies will utilize these nutrients more.


Benefits of Protein Powder

Protein is the most important nutrient that you can consume.  It’s necessary to run almost everything your body does on a daily basis.

A protein powder supplement will help ensure that you are getting your need met.  Not all of the benefits listed will be seen or felt by everyone.  There are other factors involved such as exercise and diet.

How and When To Take Protein Powder - man picking up tireHere are some of the most important benefits.

⇒ If you have any questions or comments about the benefits of protein powder, please leave a message at the bottom and I will respond.


Potential Negatives of Protein Powder

This is a short list, but just like anything, it’s important not to overdo your protein powder intake.  Always choose a well rounded, high protein meal over a protein supplement.

The biggest draw back when taking a protein powder can be bloating and gas.  Some “whey and casein” protein powders contain a good amount of lactose because this source is derived from dairy.  Many of us are lactose intolerant and don’t even realize it.

If this is the case, you may be better off with a whey “isolate” because much of the milk is processed out.  Whey isolate powder is a very popular product because it is high in amino acid protein content and has a very low percentage of lactose.

Plant based protein powder comes highly recommended.  However, gas and digestive issues could be a short term issue with plant proteins.

This is because most of our bodies don’t normally get the additional fiber that these contain.  However, your body should quickly get used to this.


How and When To Take Protein Powder - time clockProtein Powder Timing

Whether you are trying to build muscle or get toned, make a point of eating more high protein foods throughout the day.

Replace carbohydrates which proteins whenever possible.  BTW, anything with sugar is not helpful for either muscle gain or weight loss.

If your goal is simply muscle retention, protein is the number one food to help with this.  Try to be consistent with your protein intake and get it evenly all of the time.

That being said, there are certain times that protein consumption or supplementation is more beneficial.


Protein Timing for Muscle Mass and Recovery

There are is some conflict on the best time to consume protein for optimal muscle growthMany trainers feel that protein powder should be taken between 45-60 minutes after exercise.

This peak time is called the “anabolic window.  It’s where the body is able to absorb the most nutrients for use.

Other studies show the time of protein consumption doesn’t matter as much.  What matters is how hard you work out and to be sure to get plenty of protein eventually.

Personally, I feel more confident when taking my protein supplement about an hour after exercise.

Before bed may also be an effective time.  Protein powder during sleep is efficiently absorbed, making for the best muscle recovery being at night.  This can help to maximize muscle growth.


How and When To Take Protein Powder - man showing weight lossProtein Timing to Tone Up and Drop Weight

It is a well studied fact that protein can aid in weightloss, and protein is the most important nutrient when it comes to burning fat.

As far as getting more toned, it not only helps to burn more calories but maintains muscle at the same time.

Protein boosts energy expenditure and metabolism which helps to burn more calories than any other food.

It also reduces appetite at a molecular hormonal level, paired with the fact that it is so filling.  This significantly cuts down on snacking and larger meals.

As far as timing, the most beneficial times are between meals and in the morning for breakfast.  Small amount throughout the day are fine as well.

More protein at breakfast is shown to benefit muscle health and weight loss.  Protein gets your morning metabolism a boost and helps with energy expenditure first thing.  It will also keep you feeling satisfied for longer.

⇒ If you have any questions or comments about the best time to take protein powder, please leave a message at the bottom and I will respond.

Check Out the Best Protein Powder To Lose Weight


How Much Protein Powder Should I Take

I had mentioned some benefits of consuming more protein consistently throughout the day, but how much protein should you take and when?

Once again, much of this depends on your individual physical goals, but here are some general guidelines.


Quantity of Protein for Optimal Muscle Gain

How and When To Take Protein Powder - man flexing backThis a heavily studied topic and there are some mixed reviews on quantity.  I prefer one of the most consistent theories to get the biggest muscle gains.

A good rule of thumb for this is to consume approximately one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.  So if you are 200lbs, that would be approximately 200 grams.

This sounds easy, but this calculation can still be a bit vague because this quantity includes your daily intake of protein in your meals as well.  Then it gets almost like calorie counting.

An average scoop of protein powder is between 20-30 grams.  2 servings a day would get you well on your way.

Also, take into consideration how intense your workouts are and how active your lifestyle is.  Of course, the more physically active you are, the more protein you will need.


How and When To Take Protein Powder - man making protein shakeQuantity of Protein for Weight Loss

Plenty of protein in your diet is a sure way to lose body fat.  There is no exact science for this either because there are so many factors such as your level of activity and genetics that take part in this.

The number of calories consumed in your diet matter more than anything else.  Just be sure that a large majority of these calories are in the form of protein.  A sedentary adult will need a minimum of 50 grams of protein per day.

If you are actively and actively trying to lose weight, it is recommended to eat between .6-.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

Since one serving of protein powder ranges between 20-30 grams, one idea is to get a serving for breakfast and one as an afternoon snack.

Although protein powder is a great addition to speeding up metabolism, too much can lead to weight gain.

As I mentioned earlier, be sure to choose to eat a healthy, high protein meal over protein powder.  It is not recommended to use a protein supplement more than twice a day.

⇒ If you have any questions or comments about how much protein powder to take, please leave a message at the bottom and I will respond.


Best Sources of Protein Powder

The best way to get your healthy protein is from beef, poultry, eggs, dairy, seeds, grains, and legumes (nuts).  Protein powders contain the same amino acid nutrients as these foods.

Here are the most effective and widely used protein powder sources.  The two major categories are animal and plant based.

How and When To Take Protein Powder - ON whey protein powder serving cupWhey protein

This is the most popular protein because it is easily digested and its heavy in amino acid proteins.  It’s also fairly inexpensive.  Whey is a fast digesting protein that comes from dairy.  Whey proteins are excellent for both building muscle mass and can be used as a weight loss supplement.

Casein Protein

Another dairy based protein, this one is also has a high concentration of amino acids.  What sets this one apart is that this type is absorbed by your body more slowly and over a longer period of time.

Casein protein works well for muscle recovery and for weight loss because of it’s slow digestion.

Soy Protein

This source also provides all of the amino acid proteins and its the lowest in fat with no cholesterol.  Although soy is a very healthy protein source there is some controversy that surrounds it.

How and When To Take Protein Powder - egg shellsEgg Protein

Eggs are a complete protein source and egg protein is easily digestible and very filling.  This egg protein is not as well studied as of yet, but everything points to it being excellent for both muscle building and for weight loss.

Pea Protein

A healthy plant based protein, it’s easily digested and heavy in fiber.  Pea has all of the essential amino acids but in low their quantities.  This makes it better to be used as a weight loss supplement than for building muscle.

Rice Protein

Rice may be the healthiest source of protein because of its high in fiber, easily digested, and low in calories.  However, it has low levels of the amino acid, lysine.  Rice protein is best when used as a weightloss supplement and for getting lean.

Hemp Protein

Protein sources from the hemp plant are becoming more popular.  Hemp protein source comes from the seed and is high in fiber and omega-3s’.  This is a healthy alternative but is also low in the amino acid, lysine.

How and When To Take Protein Powder - plant based logoMixed Plant Proteins

These powders contain protein from several different plant sources.  They can include the plants listed above as well as pumpkin seed, chia seed, flaxseed, pomegranate seed, and quinoa.

Mixed plant sources ensure that you are getting the proper amount of all 21 amino acid proteins.  This is the best “vegan” pick for both building muscle and for weight loss.


Orgain Organic is a Great Mixed Plant Protein


The Best Protein Powders


What Is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss for Men - ON gold standard whey proteinProduct:   Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

Price:      $
Container size:  29 servings
Protein Per Serving:   24 grams
Rating:  4.5 out of 5
Optimum Nutrition at
Guarantee:  30 day satisfaction guarantee

This is one of my favorites and it gets excellent ratings as well.  The fact that it is made out of whey and is high in protein, makes it a good powder for weight loss and for muscle gain.  Whey isolate is the purest and most concentrated form of protein.

Gold Standard is packed with 24 grams per serving and only 120 calories.  Whey is an efficient protein source, so it has a great Amino Acid ratio.  4 grams of Glutamine are added to increase muscle strength along with 5 grams of BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids).

Gold Standard doesn’t contain any additives or fillers.  It is gluten-free but does contain milk products.  There is an “all natural” Gold Standard Whey as well.  See My full Gold Standard Whey Protein Review

Gold Standard Positives

  • 24 grams of protein per serving
  • Added Glutamine and BCAA’s
  • Low in fat and carbohydrates
  • Whey isolate digests well
  • Only 120 calories
  • Gluten-free

Potential Negatives

  • Sucralose sweeteners in certain flavors
  • Natural and artificial flavoring

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What Is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss for Men - Orgain organic protein powder containerProduct:   Orgain Organic Protein Powder

Price:      $$
Container size:  20 servings
Protein Per Serving:   21 grams
Rating:  4.2 out of 5
Orgain Organic at
Guarantee:  30 day satisfaction guarantee

This is the best selling Organic plant based protein on the market.   It’s a mixed plant protein powder, so it includes a mix of pea, brown rice and chia seeds.

Plant source blends make a more well rounded than any singe plant protein.  Because of this, it contains all 21 essential Amino Acids.

Orgain comes with 6 grams of dietary fiber to help you feel fuller.  21 grams of protein is a great quantity for a plant protein.  It contains zero grams of sugar and is sweetened with Stevia.  It’s also low in calories and carbohydrates.

See My full Orgain Organic Protein Powder Review

Orgain Organic Positives:

  • 100% Organic
  • Mixed plant, so it contains all Aminos
  • 21 grams of protein
  • Low in calories and carbohydrates.
  • Vegan
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Zero sugar

Potential Negatives:

  • Must take 2 scoops per serving
  • Taste a bit bland
  • Sweetened with Stevia
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What Is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss for Men - BSN isoburn protein powderProduct:   BSN ISOBURN – Lean Whey Protein Powder

Price:      $
Container size:  20 servings
Protein Per Serving:   20 grams
Rating:  4 out of 5
BSN at
Guarantee:  30 day satisfaction guarantee

This is a great 100% whey isolate from the BSN product line.  ISOBURN is one of the only protein powders that are streamlined specifically for fat burn.  L-Carnine is an important Amino Acid and a thermogenic ingredient that is known to work for weight loss.

Although 20 grams of protein is on the low end for a whey protein, this is still sufficient enough for proper muscle growth.  There are other thermogenic properties added, including green coffee extract, pomegranate, and polysaccharides.

Even though this contains thermogenics, it is still considered to be stimulant free.  This is another low carb and calorie powder.

Here are my reviews on some other BSN Exercise Supplements

ISOBURN Positives

  • Fat burning support from L-Carnitine
  • Supports muscle recovery and weight loss
  • 300mg of green coffee extract
  • 300mg fat oxidation blend
  • Stimulant free fat burn
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • 120 calories

Potential Negatives

  • Lower protein concentration for whey
  • Contains artificial flavor and sweetener
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What Is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss for Men - Vegan one organic protein powderProduct:   Vega One Organic Protein Powder 

Price:      $$$
Container size:  17 servings
Protein Per Serving:   20 grams
Rating:  4.0 out of 5
Vega at
Guarantee:  30 day satisfaction guarantee

Vega One is the second Organic plant based protein powder in this review.  Vega is packed with more vitamins, minerals and Omega 3’s as well as probiotics and antioxidants.

The antioxidants come from the ingredients in cherry and carrot juice. This makes for a healthier and more well-rounded protein supplement.  These additional benefits account for the higher price.  Vega One has an average amount of protein per serving at 20 grams, but contains only 150 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates.

The protein sources in this Organic powder comes from pea protein, sunflower protein, and pumpkin seed protein.  This makes Vega a great protein for muscle growth as well since it contains all 21 Amino Acids.  Vega is USDA Organic certified, non-GMO, Vegan, and Gluten-free.

See my Vega One Protein Powder Reviews

Vega One Positives

  • 100% Organic
  • Vegan
  • 20 grams of protein
  • Mixed plant protein high in Aminos
  • High in fiber
  • Contains probiotics and antioxidants
  • No artificial ingredients
  • 1 gram of sugar

Potential Negatives

  • Cost more than average per serving
  • A little higher fat content
  • 7 flavors but some are bland tasting
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What Is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss for Men - Isopure protein powderProduct:   ISOPURE – Zero Carb Protein Powder 

Price:      $$
Container size:  44 servings – 3lbs
Protein Per Serving:   25 grams
Rating:  4.2 out of 5
Guarantee:  30 day satisfaction guarantee

Here is another whey protein designed for weight loss and muscle recovery.  It is designed to be Keto friendly with low carbohydrates and no disregard for fat content.  ISOPURE contains added Glutamine which is an Amino for adding muscle strength and performance.

This powder has one of the lowest amounts of calories at 110 per serving.  Although this is a dairy based protein, the 100% isolate makes it lactose free.  An added benefit to this powder is that it has a higher than normal quantity of vitamins and minerals added.

ISOPURE Positives

  • Zero carbohydrates
  • 25 grams of protein
  • Added Amino Glutamine
  • High quantity of vitamins and minerals
  • 100% whey isolate
  • Weight management support
  • 110 calories
  • Gluten and lactose free
  • Supports ketogenic macros

Potential Negatives

  • Low amount of fiber
  • Contains artificial sweetener
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what is the best protein powder for weight loss for men - garden of life whey protein powderProduct:  Garden of Life Sport Whey Protein Powder

Price:      $$
Container size:  20 servings
Protein Per Serving:  24 grams
Rating:  8 out of 10
 Garden of Life at
Guarantee:  30 day satisfaction guarantee

This is another great whey protein that is fortified with even more amino acid proteins.   It includes additional BCAA’s and glutamine.  All of this comes with only 120 calories per serving.

Even though this is not an Organic product, the dairy is isolated from grass fed, free range cows.  This means that there are no hormones, antibiotics, or GMO’s.  No artificial ingredients either.

Garden of life protein powder also contains probiotics for digestion and immune support.

See my full review of Garden Of Life Whey Protein Powder

Garden of Life Whey Positives

  • 24g grass-fed whey protein per serving
  • 6g of BCAAs
  • 4g of glutamine & glutamic acid
  • Includes probiotics to support immunity
  • No added hormones, no antibiotics, non-GMO, gluten-free
  • No artificial ingredients or preservatives
  • Only 120 calories per serving
  • No added sugars

Potential Negatives

  • Not Certified USDA Organic
  • Contains small amounts of Lactose
  • Sweetened with Sucralose
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How and When To Take Protein Powder

“The Payoff”

How and When To Take Protein Powder - man taking protein powderWhether you are trying to gain muscle mass or lose weight, protein powder is proven to help in reaching these goals.  It’s will be advantageous to up your protein quantity throughout the day.

For building muscle, how hard you work out, and getting large amounts of protein are the most important factors.  The timing may not be as vital.

If your goal is weight loss, a key take away is to use your protein powder in the morning and between meals to cut down on snacking.

A high protein, well balanced meal is always preferred over a protein supplement.  Too much protein powder is considered to be unhealthy.

⇒ If you have any comments or questions about how and when to take protein powder, please leave a message below and I will respond.


See the Best Supplements For Muscle Growth




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