Whether to drink protein shake before or after workout?

Whether to drink protein shake before or after workout?

Planning your meals and nutrition along with working out is extremely important to gain the actual benefits that you are looking for. Protein is an important nutrient that should be consumed through food everyday whether you work out or not.

It repairs our tissues, builds bones, muscles and cartilage in our body. Other than building and repairing it is also known for aiding the digestion process and oxygenate.

The recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8 grams per kg of body weight. However, some experts say this is less for people who strength train regularly. They need around 1.6 gram protein per kg.

It is difficult to meet protein RDA through regular food and hence we have protein shakes to optimize the results.

But do you think there is an apt time to drink your protein shake? Whether to have protein shakes before or after work out is the question

Let us find out!

The PROS of having protein shake BEFORE workout

There is a specific time we have our protein shakes before or after lockdown; it is called Anabolic Window. Many say that having protein shake 30 minutes before workout has beneficial effects of it. This 30 minute anabolic window is where your muscles absorb maximum of protein consumed through any forms.

The pros are that if you drink it a couple of hours after your meal and few minutes before your workout it isn’t going to harm you in any ways. It is good to go full throttle with your workout session when you are full. Protein will curb your hunger pangs even when you are working out moderate to high intensity.

Your daily intake of protein is going to meet and you can ramp up your muscle building.

The CONS of having protein shake BEFORE workout

Well, you are full when you have protein shake before workout and that may cause a little problem if you have a sensitive stomach. Protein powder can be difficult to digest at times and working out with an upset stomach may cause some uneasiness or gut issues.

For this you may choose hydrolyzed protein powder as this one is broken down in small chain of amino acids which are building blocks of protein. It is easier for you to digest with this one.

Now moving towards having protein shakes after workout

The PROS of having protein shakes AFTER workout

Your muscles are worked up and tore when you strength train or perform your exercises. Protein when had after your sweat session will repair and rebuild muscles. Some say it is best to have protein shake around 30 minutes after working out but it can be extended till two hours; it is equally effective as well.

It is good that you have something after workout as you may be hungry from all the exercising. Just make it healthy and in good amounts of protein.

Again, your daily intake of protein is meeting and there is not much of a difference how.

The CONS of having protein shake AFTER workout

There aren’t any cons of having protein shake after working out. Make sure you choose the correct type of protein powder that suits you best. Experts say it is best to pick those from milk such as whey and casein. These are high quality ones in regards of bioavailability of amino acids.

It is clearly seen and some studies prove this too that the timing of protein intake doesn’t affect much. Yet protein intake is important to meet daily protein needs.

What exactly protein does is…

Protein is a significant molecule comprised of chain of amino acid (an organic compound) that performs vast array functions in our body.

Certain enzymes need proteins to perform biochemical reactions in our body. These enzymes are needed for digestion, energy production, muscle contraction.

Protein provide structure in your skin, hair and nails. Keratin is one protein that structures your hair nails. Elastin is a protein that aids your tissues to come back in shape after stretching or contracting. Hence, we need protein before or after working out.

Protein helps regulating pH levels in our body. pH levels are extremely important to be balanced. On pH scale of 0 to 14, 0 is the most acidic, 14 is most alkaline while 7 is neutral. Hemoglobin is a protein that makes red blood cells which bounds acids to maintain a constant pH value of our blood.

Protein powders

Whether to drink protein shake before or after workout?

Protein powders are needed when you cannot consume enough protein through your meals. The different kinds of protein powders are

  • Whey protein; is milk based which has bioactive proteins that promotes muscle growth, aids reducing inflammation and is highly satiating.
  • Egg protein, protein powders that are made of egg whites. These powders provide all nine amino acids.
  • Soy protein powders are made of soybean flakes that are washed in either water or alcohol to remove the sugar in it. This is a good alternative for animal based protein powder. This one is plant based.
  • Casein protein is another milk based protein that contain all essential amino acids. Casein protein is absorbed slower by your body than whey. That’s a major difference amongst these two.


Protein is significant for body to build and repair tissues and muscles. There are no huge differences in taking protein shakes before or after working out. It completely depends on individuals what suits them best and how. Many times everyday food cannot give you the required amounts of protein and hence protein powders and supplements are consumed to meet the needs.

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Anjali Patel

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