Protein Shake Before Or After A Workout?

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Protein shakes are best recommended after a workout. After an intense workout, your body is still in the anabolic window that facilitates muscle tissue recovery faster.

The role of protein shakes intake post-workout is emphasized particularly in the context of resistance exercise as mechanical stress additionally coupled with dietary protein or essential amino acids (EAA) alone, especially leucine, lead to significant increases in muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

Atherton PJ, Smith K
J Physiol. 2012 Mar 1; 590(5):1049-57.

Protein as a biological molecule holds so much importance to carry out vital processes in your body. Protein is essential for growth and muscle repair. That’s why people like to consume protein shakes for their workouts. But the ideal time for protein shakes always remains under discussion. 

If you are the one having confusion about what is the right time for a protein shake then read it thoroughly. This article will guide you with scientific evidence about the optimal time to have a protein shake before or after a workout so let’s begin.

Why Protein Shakes are used?

Protein shakes are protein-rich drinks available either in the form of protein powder or protein-packed liquids. Protein powder is consumed by mixing it with water or milk while liquid protein shakes are ready to consume around your workouts. 

The prime objective of protein shakes is to increase protein intake especially for individuals who used to do heavy workouts or want to increase their muscle mass and strength. Protein shakes serve as convenient drinks for people in their gym or during outdoor activities. 

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) Of Protein

The recommended daily allowance or RDA is generally the calculated amount of any nutrient required for a person to avoid deficiency. ho. However, it does not specify any body composition or health status. 

For protein, this RDA is 0.8 gram per kg of body weight. Of course, this value is too fat to fulfill the additional body requirements ( fitness) and unsupportive for growth and muscle recovery. 

Research suggests that individuals who routinely work out need the double amount of protein of RDA that is 1.6 grams per kg. So protein shake serves as a good source of protein between meals or as a snack to give you the required amount of protein as per body weight. 

Protein shake during the workout

Protein Shake Before Or After A Workout? 1 - Daily Medicos

They commonly believed that intake of protein shakes within 30 minutes of exercise will give maximum efficiency in the gym. This 30 minutes duration is known as an anabolic window in which your muscle acts like a sponge for protein. 

People that if you take protein shake outside the anabolic window that is before or after the workout then it won’t work. Now updated research suggests that the anabolic windows last longer than 30 minutes and are not restricted to solely exercise. 

When should you take a protein shake?

Since there is always a great debate about when we should take protein before or after the workout. Research is performed in which 21 men are selected and split into two groups. One group takes a protein shake before their workout and the other groups take a protein shake right after the workout. Members of both groups completed a full-body workout 3 times per week for 10 weeks. 

Surprisingly, the researchers do not find any significant difference in muscle size or strength between the groups. So the result suggests consuming protein shakes around your workout is not restricted to any time. It really does not matter if you take a protein shake before or after the workout. 

Importance of Daily Protein Intake

Some researchers confuse the importance of daily protein intake and intake of protein around workouts for maximizing muscle strength and size. 

Strong evidence favors the fact that daily protein intake is important for improving muscle size and strength, and it does not matter if you are consuming protein also around workouts.  

Protein may help increase performance, ameliorate muscle damage, promote euglycemia and facilitate glycogen re-synthesis.

International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Aug 29;14:33. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0189-4. PMID: 28919842; PMCID: PMC5596471.

In conclusion, daily intake of protein is more important than consuming protein close to exercise, especially when your objective is to increase muscle size and strength. 

Why Do We Prefer Protein Shakes?

Nature has reserved protein in various types of animals and plant sources. But protein shakes serve as an excellent alternative to a protein-rich diet. Especially healthy people can use protein shake before or after a workout without any hesitation. 

People usually like to drink a protein shake instead of taking it through meat or pulses. It is feasible to carry protein shakes on their way to the gym or office. Most importantly, a protein shake after a workout can replace the need for a meal. 

Summing up

Protein shake surrounding work out is important to increase muscle size and strength regardless of any specific time. People who are doubting whether to take a protein shake before or after a workout do not worry about it. As they can take tier protein shake any time suitable to them. Moreover, daily protein intake is also significant. You can say that daily protein intake matters more than the specific intake of protein in exercise. 

Healthy people with fully functional kidneys can take a high protein diet with no hesitation. However, people with impaired kidney function must ask their pharmacists or doctor before starting any high protein diet.