Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Michael Brockbank
You probably know a lot of people who swear by the power of whey protein to build muscle mass when power lifting. But is whey protein good for cardio and those looking to lose weight? That depends on how much effort you put into the process.
I have scoured the Internet once again to bring facts to light regarding the question, “is whey protein good for cardio.” In the end, it’s really up to you whether you want to give it a try or not.
Why Whey Protein Drinks are So Effective
Various brands of whey protein drinks are laden with amino acids, proteins and viable nutrients the human body needs to build muscle and maintain its structure. But that’s only part of the puzzle.
More can actually happen depending on the product you’re using.
Food can take up to 72 hours to move through your entire digestive tract. However, this time frame is greatly reduced when you drink water with your meals. In fact, one study suggested how drinking 16 ounces of water before each meal can greatly influence weight loss. [note]https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-to-digest-food[/note] [note]https://www.livestrong.com/article/493343-how-fast-is-water-digested/[/note]
In contrast, it can take between five minutes and two hours for water to absorb into your blood stream. This depends on several things such as the type of food in your stomach, volume and personal physiology. [note]https://explainedhealth.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-absorb-water-into-the-body/[/note]
Because most whey protein drinks consist primarily of water, it’s safe to assume that it will be absorbed at a much quicker rate than solids. This means those amino acids are available sooner to begin repairs and build mass.
Think about it. When you drink alcohol on an empty stomach compared to a full Thanksgiving dinner, do you feel “buzzed” much sooner? I know I do. It takes less cocktails to get you to a certain point of inebriation without food in the way. [note]https://accp1.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/00912700122012814[/note]
This is why I usually drink my proteins before morning workouts and before breakfast.
Replacing Fat Mass with Muscle Density
When you’re working out with cardio, the goal is to burn fat while creating density in muscle mass. Yes, even those who perform aerobics on a daily basis are technically “body building.” The only difference is one is aiming for bulk while the other just wants a lean frame.
It’s possible to have a lot of strength and stamina without looking like The Rock. As a result, those who perform cardio workouts may benefit from whey protein drinks.
The brand of drink is also important when replacing fat mass with muscle. For example, any drink containing the component serine assists in metabolizing fat for energy. [note]http://aminoacidstudies.org/serine/[/note]
Currently, I am giving the Maxpro Elite Whey Protein Powder a try. So far, I’ve lost three pounds more than my average. I’ll post the results of that study when I return from my son’s graduation.
My point is you don’t need to focus on trying to bench press a small car to benefit from certain whey protein powders.
When You Should Take Whey Protein
So, when is the best time to take whey protein? That is a widely debated question, actually. I’ve found experts saying both before and after workouts. There are solid arguments for both cases.
Personally, I tend to lean more towards post-workouts. But I have a few reasons behind why.
Let’s take the Maxpro product I mentioned earlier in this example. It’s full of components that promote muscle growth, but many of the ingredients also facility increasing and maintaining energy. Not to mention the fat burning properties.
In my mind, I would rather have the sustainable energy to do a 45 minute cardio workout in the morning. Which is why I drink the whey protein about 5 to 10 minutes before playing Tennis on the Xbox Kinect.
As it only takes a few minutes for drinks to move through the body, this means the proteins are working while I am. At about 10 minutes or so, I start to feel a bit tingly…which means the whey protein powder has moved into my blood stream.
Normally, I’ll have a light breakfast afterward – which helps in the muscle-repair process. For example, this morning I had:
- One egg
- One slice Sergento Colby Jack cheese
- 1/4 chopped onion
- 1 tbsp Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa
I fry up the egg while sauteeing the onions. Then, I melt the cheese on top. When the cheese starts to melt, I add the onions. After serving the egg on a plate, I then top it with the salsa. I call it my “omelet without the omelet.”
Now, I don’t know if this is the “best” time to have whey protein, but so far it seems to work for me. Like I said, I’m ahead of my weight loss schedule by three pounds.
Should You Try it For Yourself?
I can throw out a ton of science supporting the “whey protein good for cardio” claim. In reality, it depends on your effort and physiology.
See, not everyone is affected by the same products or exercises. What works exceptionally well for one person may not work for you. In other words, you need to discover for yourself whether something like whey protein powder is worth the money.
I usually try most things at least once because you really don’t know what’s going to work for you until you do. For instance, I hated the idea of doing planks until I actually started doing them. The exercise made a huge difference in abdominal strength for me.
But if you’re on the fence and not sure if you want to try whey protein while doing cardio, there is a ton of scientific evidence behind how it will help. In the long run, it all depends on the ingredients in the product.
So, is Whey Protein Good for Cardio?
In my experience, I would have to support the “whey protein good for cardio” idea. Not only do I feel good after my workouts in the morning, but I’ve lost more weight than I should have so far. So for me, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Even if I’m not planing on lifting a small house in the future.