A lot of people who buy supplements are sometimes unsure when and how to take them. The most common questions I hear are “when should I take them?”, “Can I add more water to them?”, and “how much should I take?”
Most supplements have basic instructions or guidelines on the label that indicate how to use them and take them, though these directions do not always suffice. For products like fat burners, pre workouts, creatine and energy enhancers, it is almost always best to follow the instructions that are written on the label as it is somewhat straight forward.
Most times you need to take a certain amount of the powder or pills some time before your workout. If you are new to supplementation it can also be a good idea to start with half the dosage as specified (sometimes this is recommended on the supplement label), just to see how your body reacts to it. Some people are more sensitive to stimulants than others so by taking half the dosage you may still get quite a dramatic effect.
When it comes to protein powders you can manipulate them a lot more to suit your schedule. It is most often recommended to use the powders straight after a workout or first thing in the morning. You can really have a protein shake whenever you like, whether it be first thing in the morning or between meals, after a workout or before bed. Just think of it as just another ‘convenient’ snack.
Depending how your daily schedule is, will depend when you have the shake. For instance if you have to wake up and leave for work very early, you can have the shake just to get your day started. Or if you cannot eat a meal after you train because it is still quite a distance from home, you can drink the shake after you train and then eat a decent meal when you get home.
When it comes to how much or how many scoops of the powder to use, try to aim for about 20 – 40 grams of protein per shake. What that means is, on the label it should tell you how many grams of protein the powder contains per 100 grams. E.g. 75 grams protein per 100 grams. You can then workout how many grams of the powder to use. In this case you could use 40 grams of the powder to give you 30 grams of protein. If you have a scale you can then weigh it to be exact, or you can go by the scoop measurement that is on the label. It should tell you how many grams a scoop is (though it is not always accurate as some supplement companies overstate the amounts).
With regards to dilution, it really is up to. The supplement label will give you a guideline such as mix 2 scoops with 350 ml water for example. If you try that and find that you do not like the taste feel free to add more or less. You can also use milk or anything other than water to mix it with, whatever tickles your tastebuds.