Should I Drink A Protein Shake Before Or After A Workout?
Protein is essential for muscle growth, no doubt about it. But what about protein timing? Is it more beneficial to consume it before or after a workout? Or does that matter at all?
If you’re looking to maximize your results, you’ll likely get more benefit out of post-workout protein consumption. But even more important than that is the total amount of protein in your daily diet.
You should aim for about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Someone who weighs 150 pounds would need about 54 grams a day, and that amount increases when you add in exercise.
It can sometimes be tough to get all the protein you need, especially if you don’t have total control over all of your meals. That’s why a protein shake can be an important addition to your daily routine: It’s a convenient way to help give your body the protein it needs, so your can function at your best and support muscle growth.
Eating Protein After a Workout
Your body needs a consistent supply of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to repair and maintain muscle tissue — and that need spikes after a tough workout.
When you challenge your muscles, you damage them on a microscopic level. (Don’t worry, that’s also how you build muscle!) When that happens, your body needs protein to repair that micro-damage and make your muscles stronger.
Without sufficient protein in your system, your tissues and muscles can’t repair themselves as efficiently and effectively. Consuming a post-workout protein shake, like Openfit’s Recovery Powder, is an easy and quick way to get your muscles the nutrients they need.
Eating Protein Before a Workout
Be cautious about eating or drinking too much protein too close to a workout. “The body will need to digest it and that can affect your workout performance,” cautions Ginger Hultin, RDN, a Seattle-based registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Your body needs energy to digest protein, but if you have to divert some of that energy toward exercise, it may cause bloating and indigestion. Similarly, you don’t want to sacrifice energy to digestion that you might need for working out. Ideally, you’ll give yourself a few hours between eating and working out.
Data shows that getting a protein boost anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours before your workout will keep your levels elevated enough to benefit muscle repair and growth. But it’s still a good idea to hedge your bets by consuming a protein shake after you work out, because that’s one of the times when you need protein the most. Without sufficient levels of it in your system, you compromise your muscles’ ability to repair themselves and grow stronger.
What Kind of Protein Should I Consume?
After your workout, you want to get protein into you system ASAP, and whey protein is perfect for that. Openfit Recovery packs in 20 grams of easily digestible whey protein to fuel your muscles, and it also includes some tart cherry powder that can help reduce post workout soreness.
If you’re just looking to hit your target protein goal, you likely want to opt for a slightly slower absorbing protein, as it will help keep you feeling fuller for longer. The Openfit Plant-Based Protein Shake contains 20 grams of pea protein, which takes a bit more time to digest. It also has seven grams of fiber to help you stay satisfied. Have it as part of a balanced meal or snack, or simply as a tasty chocolate treat whenever you like!
- Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window? jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-5
- Muscle full effect after oral protein: time-dependent concordance and discordance between human muscle protein synthesis and mTORC1 signaling pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20844073/
- Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on an acute bout of intense lower body strength exercise in resistance trained males pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26578852/