Is It Healthier to Drink a Protein Shake Before or After a Workout?

You have probably seen people drinking protein shakes for breakfast, adding scoops of powder to their meals, and chugging them before and after workouts in the gym, but you might be wondering when you should really be drinking these shakes.

Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer as this question is quite a hot topic in the fitness community. Some people argue that before is better, while others think that the only way is after. However, it could just come down to how you personally feel about protein shakes and what you want to get from them.

Why Drink The Shake?

First of all, why drink a shake at all? Some people argue that your overall protein intake in a day is far more important than drinking a shake. On average, the suggested daily amount of protein for an adult is about 0.8g per kg of body weight. When you are exercising a lot, or are looking to build muscle, you may be wanting to increase this depending on your goals.

For some people, drinking a protein shake is a good way to increase their daily intake when they are not getting enough protein from their other meals. It can be a smart choice to make sure that you are maintaining your body properly when working out – but be sure to do your research and understand your protein intake before adding them into your diet.

The Argument For Before

When you work out you are placing your body under stress and your muscles become damaged from the exercises that you do. Protein helps to build muscle and aid in muscle recovery, and therefore having protein in your system when working out can aid this process. Therefore, some people like to drink a shake before they workout as it will help their muscles during their workout.

Unlike a meal, a protein shake only takes a short time to break down into the necessary amino acids, and therefore it is a great option. If you are someone who likes to work out in the morning and don’t have time for breakfast, a shake can be a useful way for your body to maintain itself through a workout without you having to eat a full meal beforehand.

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The Argument For After

Some people prefer to drink their shakes after completing a workout. Although, in previous years, there was a belief that there was a small window after working out in which protein needed to be consumed in order to be absorbed, this is now considered to be not necessarily true. However, there are still benefits to be gained from having a protein shake after a workout, as you will help to repair the damage from the workout right away and help your body to recover quickly.

As you can see, both sides of the argument tend to agree on one thing – protein shakes will help you to recover from your workout. However, studies suggest that there is not much difference between having them before or after exercise – it is more a matter of preference. If you prefer to work out on an empty stomach, then save it for afterwards, but if you would like to have something before then do it – either way you will assisting your body to repair and recovery.

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