Proteins are not just the building blocks of the muscles, but life. From your toenails to your head hairs, everything has protein in it.
Protein helps the body repair cells, generate new ones, and help you recover after a strenuous workout. For this very reason, many people consume protein in the form of shakes.
However, there is so much debate among fitness professionals on whether you should take protein before or after a workout.
This article explains the best time for you to take a protein shake.
So, Should you take protein shake before or after a workout?
To be honest, there is no right or wrong answer. It really depends on your goals. It’s been a gold standard that you have to take in your protein as soon as you finish your workout or it won’t be effective.
But the recent research suggests that the anabolic window is much longer than 30 minutes and is not limited to just after the exercise.
When we work out, muscle tissues break down due to continuous lifting. If you drink protein just after that, your muscles may start the repairing process faster but that doesn’t mean it will repair in an hour. The body takes time to repair muscles, protein is not a magic powder that can help you repair it instantly.
Therefore, at the end of the day, all that matters is how much protein you’ve consumed throughout the day. The daily recommended protein intake is 0.8g per kilograms of the body weight. If you’re an athlete or a gym-goer, you may need 1-1.2 grams.
If you’re taking protein just before or after your workout that will be just as beneficial to you as eating protein throughout the day.
That said, if you’re still confused about when to take it, here are some of the best times to take your protein and why.
Protein in the Morning
Drinking your protein shake in the morning can be very effective. It ensures that you get all your amino acids to start the protein synthesis as soon as possible.
Muscle protein synthesis is a process of repair muscle damage caused by intense exercise and providing amino acids to the cells that need it.
Drinking protein first thing in the morning can also help prevent your muscle from breakdown after a night fast, helps with increasing muscle mass, lose weight, and satiety.
Protein Before Workout
When you work out intensely, you place your body under a lot of stress. This stress causes tiny tears in muscles, also known as micro-tears. These micro-tears then recover with the help of amino acids and grow your muscle in size & strength.
So when you take protein pre-workout, you have a circulating supply of amino acids in your body. That ensures that your body starts the recovery process during your workout.
If you have difficulty digesting protein, never take it before a workout. Instead, eat some egg whites.
Taking protein in post-workout nutrition has always been the gold standard. Protein at this time delivers amino acids right into your bloodstream when it’s needed the most. The faster you take it, the faster the recovery process will start.
The Bottom Line –
Protein plays a crucial role in recovering and rebuilding your muscles after an intense workout session, and most people use protein shakes after a workout to aid this process.
However, there is no clear evidence that drinking protein shake at a given time can benefit you the most. Research suggests it doesn’t matter if you’re drinking your protein shake before or after a workout. All that matters is your overall protein intake.