When Should You Drink Your Protein Shake?

Building the ultimate body takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and timing!

To have a strong and muscular body we all dream of, we need to have the right level of discipline with our nutrition and prioritize getting protein. Lots of protein!

This is why protein shakes are so exciting to the athletic world. They provide a healthy, fast, and efficient way to build muscle and control our recovery.

But there remains a bit of a debate around when the best time is to actually have your protein shake. You do want it to have a maximum impact after all! So we are here to explore whether the protein shake before or after a workout is most beneficial.

Why you should care:

Some of you may be wondering why we are even bothering exploring this topic at all! How can anyone really know the right time to have your protein shake and how is it even possible to know considering we are all so different from our workouts, diets, and body composition.

Well, the main form of evidence we know is that there are various types of protein and our body absorbs each one differently. Some proteins take forever for our body to digest and are best to consumers before bed so that your body has optimal time. But then there are other types of protein, like whey protein, that can be absorbed nearly instantaneously! This is where many argue protein shakes made of whey protein are the best pre or post-workout drink.

But when should you be drinking that whey protein shake? Pre or post workout?

Pre-workout benefits:

Drinking your protein shake before the workout is a great way to ensure that your body is well nourished and ready to push itself to the limit—especially if you are planning to hit the gym in the morning. Think about it, your body has slept the night away without eating anything. So you don’t want your body running on empty trying to get through a grueling workout. Drinking a protein shake in the morning is a great way to re-stock on the key nutrients your muscles need to work hard and ensures your time in the gym won’t be wasted!

While many have argued that drinking a protein shake before a workout does not maximize the benefits, your muscles can only benefit from getting a little bit of extra love. In fact, the protein shake may help you elevate your gym game altogether and take you to the next level of lifting weights.

Post-workout benefits:

But just because protein shakes can be beneficial before working out does not eliminate the argument that protein shakes are one of the best recovery drinks out there for your muscles. This is because the whey-protein can kick into action fast to absorb the protein needed to help recover from the breakdown and grow stronger and faster. Drinking protein shakes after the workout also helps you feel re-energized after pushing your body to the limit in the gym. The general rule of thumb is that if you are going to have a post-workout protein drink, wait no longer than thirty minutes from exercise before drinking it so that your body can reap all the benefits.

So which one do you choose?

There are clear benefits to drinking protein shakes both before and after the workout. Have you ever considered that both might actually work for you? This is because there are proven benefits to doing both! In fact, research is also showing that depending on what sort of workout you are doing and what your fitness goals are, drinking protein shakes during your workout might also help—but of course, the trick is to not overdo it.

In general, protein shakes make you feel full as there is a lot for your stomach to absorb. The real trick to getting the timing of the protein shake right is understanding how your body acts and knowing the limits.

The worst thing that could happen is that you drink a protein shake and then feel sick—that is a feeling we never want you to experience!

The key really is to play around with the timings and analyze how your own body feels and responds. For some people, the answer may be that they need to have a protein shake before working out to make it through the hard exercises. For others, their stomachs may be too sensitive and won’t benefit from drinking a protein shake beforehand. They may need to wait until after the workout and use the protein shake purely for recovery purposes.

Whatever timing works for you, the key is that you are doing the right thing by ensuring your hard working body is getting the protein it needs and deserves to function fully. And if in doubt, chat with a sports nutritionist around their recommendations for what might be best for you. 

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