Protein Shake Before or After Workout?

Protein Shake Before or After Workout?


Most people know that you need enough protein in your diet to build muscle, lose fat, and get into shape. What many people don’t know is how important it is to drink your protein shake within 30 minutes of your workouts.

Protein Shake Before Workout

Drinking a protein shake before your workout will give you the necessary amino acids so that your body can replace whats being used up by your muscles. You will be able to workout longer and harder if your body has a fresh supply of protein to work with. I would recommend drinking a protein shake made of just water and protein powder because you don’t want a bunch of carbs and fat before your workout.

Your body won’t have time to digest all those calories, which can cause side aches. Also, you will have to burn though those calories before you start burning fat, which means your workouts are less effective, if you’re trying to burn fat.

Protein Shake After Workout

It is very important to drink a protein shake immediately after your workout because your body is in a state of recovery and it needs protein to help it rebuild muscle. Try to drink it within 30 minutes of the end of your workout. If you don’t get protein in your system fast enough, your body’s cortisol levels will remain high.

What’s Cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone that will break down muscle tissue and use it for energy. Cortisol will counteract your workouts. When you leave the gym your job is not done. If you don’t get the protein and carbohydrates you need, your body will not recover properly and your workouts will be far less effective.

Your Body Needs Carbohydrates Post Workout

Many people don’t eat or drink after workouts because they think that they can lose more weight by doing this. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Eating and re-hydrating are the best things you can do after any workout no matter what your goals are. For your post workout shake you should include carbohydrates with your protein. Protein is not sufficient post workout nutrition by itself. You need carbohydrates to help your body restore muscle glycogen.

You can mix milk with your protein powder to get carbs and/or you can take a protein shake like Muscle Milk which has carbs in it and it tastes great. If you have a commute to your gym, I would recommend keeping a bottle of protein powder and a protein shaker in your car; that’s how important it is! Yes, drinking protein at other times of the day will still help you recover and build muscle, but it is significantly more effective when ingested within 30 minutes before or after exercise.

Drink a Protein Shake Before AND After Your Workouts!

I recommend drinking a protein shake before and after workouts for maximum benefits. Why pick one when you can double the benefit by drinking protein both of these times? You don’t need to drink a big shake, your body can only absorb about 40-50 grams of protein at once so don’t waste your protein by drinking more than that in one sitting.

What Kind Of Protein is Best for Pre and Post Workout Nutrition?

The answer is, without question, whey protein isolate. Whey protein isolate is highest quality, fastest absorbing and the most bio-available form of protein, which makes it the best choice for drinking before and after workouts. You can mix this protein with milk and oats to get high quality carbs in your shake. Check out some great protein shake recipes!

  • Lily

    After reading this article, I have just a few questions. Me (27-female) & husband 30 just started working out about a little over a month ago, in our home gym. My question is, how long before we workout should we drink our shake. I have tried it about 30-45min before our workout with dinner, and it makes me feel so full and bloated. I do good drinking it after our workout. What do you suggest? If possible e-mailing me your response would be great, lilianamalagon@aol.com. Thanks!

Join our newsletter

Get free email updates! We value your privacy