When to take soy protein for best effect depends upon your lifestyle and your goals. It is recommended that you consume between 2-5 servings of soy protein per day, dependent upon your own personal needs. A serving would be classed as 30g (one scoop) of Soy Protein Isolate 90. It is recommended that you take 1g of protein per pound of body weight, so adjust your intake accordingly. In general the optimal times to take soy protein are:
- When you wake up e.g. for breakfast
- 30 minutes pre workout
- Immediately after your workout
- Before you go to bed
Each of these serves a different purpose and will give you different benefits. You may not need to consume protein at all these times but you can of course take soy protein at any other time of the day when you need some additional protein intake.
Taking Soy Protein Pre-workout
Drinking a soy protein shake made with a product such as SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE 30 minutes before working out will give you greater energy, muscle recovery and growth. This is because soy protein, and in particular soy protein isolate, is digested quickly by the body. Soy protein is also rich in arginine, an amino acid that’s involved in a process which increases blood flow to the muscles by dilating blood vessels. By maximising the blood flow to the muscles you also maximise the amount of nutrients, oxygen and hormones available to your exercising muscles which gives you more energy and better recovery and growth post-workout.
Consuming a pure soy protein shake pre-workout is good but mixing 10 grams of soy protein isolate with 10 grams of whey protein isolate is even better. Whey provides peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow by a different mechanism, so using both whey and soy will maximize blood flow to your muscles.
Taking Soy Protein Post-workout
After you complete your workout there is a window of roughly three hours, known as the “anabolic window”. In this period, increased blood flow to the muscles caused by exercising speeds up the delivery of amino acids which stimulate additional muscle repair. Taking soy protein within this time period will provide the body with a good supply of amino acids and antioxidants with which to repair and build the muscles. Research has shown that failure to feed exercised muscles during the anabolic window can actually lead to muscle loss.
Taking Soy Protein at Other Times
You can take soy protein at any time that suits you, as a general supplement. Soy protein can improve your blood flow, temporarily boost your metabolism and help with weight loss. Taking soy protein in the morning can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer and curb cravings. Taking 40 grams of soy protein a day for three to four weeks should be sufficient to start seeing results, alongside a healthy diet and exercise regime.