Protein Before or After Workout: 12 Interesting Facts To Know

Is the food we are consuming every day good for our health? Do we all get all the nutrition in our daily diet1? No, we are lagging behind in terms of balanced nutrition. Protein intake is lagging behind somewhere in India’s great population. Protein should be taken every day in a specified amount to live a healthy life. So should we take protein before or after a workout? Let’s learn about that in the article.

Physicians recommend a daily protein intake based on the weight of an individual. Every adult man or woman needs protein for muscles, bones, and the rest of the body.

Protein intake is not only important for normal people but also important for those interested in gymnastics or sports. In addition to intense exercise, people need more protein. Workouts performed by these people are generally heavy exercises and include those for strengthening muscles.2

During strength training or heavy exercises, muscles become damaged or broken. The protein is taken for muscle recovery and synthesis of muscle proteins. It doesn’t matter whether gymnastics or sports enthusiasts take protein before or after training.

This is not only important for individuals to build the body, but also for people who are on the fat loss journey. Fat loss consists of increasing protein intake and reducing the amount of carbohydrates and fats in your regular diet.

1. Before Workout Protein

Proteins before the workout should be taken at least 30 minutes before.

How do these people consume protein? They can take whey protein or plant-based protein by adding a scoop of protein powders to the person’s need in the water, juice, or milk making it a pre-workout shake. This protein drink must be taken 30 minutes prior to exercise.

This will increase the burning of calories while exercising. As a result, less muscle damage or degradation takes place during training. Consumption of protein drinks3 before training will increase strength, and improve muscle recovery and muscle growth.

During weight training, strength training, and endurance training in muscle building, muscle degradation takes place. Protein drinks are a great idea for maintaining muscle mass. To build muscle, repair muscle, and preserve muscle mass High amount of protein should be taken into the diet.

If someone will not take protein and do strength training or strength training. Muscle loss will keep in progress, which will make your body weak and even break down muscle cells. You can also consume protein fasting. Just mix it with milk, juice, or water this will boost your performance during the workout. It will fuel your muscles during the whole workout session.

2. After the Workout Protein

Should You Have a Protein Shake Before or After Your Workout?

After doing a workout within 30 minutes post-workout protein should be taken by some individuals.

A high-quality protein is to be taken after a workout. Whey or herbal protein shakes are taken to support muscular recovery. During strength training and weightlifting exercises, a lot of muscular ruptures take place. To build muscle and repair muscle tissue after exercise shakes the proteins taken to stimulate the synthesis of muscle proteins4.

If an individual is not able to do a workout for a longer period of time due to certain reasons. Protein consumption should not be reduced or stopped because if the person reduces or stops consuming protein, then the muscle begins to degrade over time as the skin begins to lose. All the weight gained will also begin to decline.

Some people say that you should eat or drink protein after training during an anabolic window5 or window of protein. Anabolic window refers to the short time after a workout when muscles are repaired and recovered. During that time, protein consumption should be higher.

3. Protein Supplementation

We derive a lot of protein from foods that we consume regularly. So before you start scooping the powders and mixture just see if your needs are covered or not.

The consumption of protein is recommended by gymnastics or sports coaches to their trainees with a specific diet and with a limit on the total quantity of protein consumed per day. Consuming more protein than recommended may become dangerous and affect the liver, kidneys, and bones. The total protein intake per day in a given quantity depends on the weight of people.

Most people take protein supplements that are very well known and most often recommended by coaches and trainers is “whey protein”.

When trainers or coaches think that protein intake by the person who is doing resistance exercise and strength training is not an adequate amount according to the needs of the body of an individual. Then they insist that the person pick up protein powders. The most often emphasized is whey protein.

4. Whey Protein shake

The by-product of cheese production is whey protein. When the casein protein is removed from the milk, the remaining substance is the whey protein. Whey protein is considered an integral protein supplement because it contains nine essential amino acids.

These essential amino acids are important for muscle cells and for the tissue of the body. However, whey protein contains branched amino acids that are important to health and physical fitness.

Whey protein
Image by Superficiat Asia /Flickr.Copyright2022

When the protein is consumed, it increases the supply of amino acids in the bloodstream. Protein intake increases muscle strength and gains weight as well as muscle gain and fat loss with the lean body. Higher protein intake will be stored as fat in the body, and the number of amino acids in the muscles will increase. It will result in weight gain over the period.

Whey proteins are used to enhance athletics and weightlifting performances. Drinking a protein shake may lead to intensive exercise with fat loss. The trainers or coaches insist the number of grams of protein in the liquid is dissolved according to the requirement of the body weight.

5. Plant-Based Protein Shake

Vegetable proteins are less caloric and greasy than animal proteins. There are a total of 20 amino acids, but vegetable proteins contain 9 essential amino acids, which are important and beneficial for weight loss.

This protein powder contains fibre along with an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals that will increase stool easily and reduce intestinal inflammation.

soya protein plant
Image by Swaminathan/ Flickr. Copyight2022

Plant protein is also known by the name “vegan protein”. Recent research suggests that this protein powder is scientifically proven and that it is appropriate for all types of individuals which include children, men, women, athletes, weight lifters as well as pregnant women.

It also contains healthy fats and omega-3s, which are useful. The protein consumed will help us to heal skin, hair, bone, and joint problems.

This protein powder is made from naturally occurring plant ingredients. On the back of the container substances like pea protein, Sacha inchi, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, and chia, are written out there. It contains vital amino acids that are not naturally formed by our body.

6. Whey Protein Versus Plant-Based Protein

It doesn’t matter whether it is animal-based or plant-based. What matters the most is whether it is beneficial to the individuals or not. Or, whether it caters to the needs of an individual or not according to the body weight.

whey v/s plant based protein
Image by Morten Skovgaard /Flickr. Copyright2022

Animal protein powders are the oldest used for stamina and performance. Therefore, people believe that these 9 essential amino acids are effective in building muscles. But there are also adverse impacts.

But plant proteins have turned out to be more beneficial than animal proteins. Protein powder builds muscles together with supports muscle recovery too. This herb also contains all the essential amino acids.6

7. Protein Shake

Protein Powder: How to Best Use It For Muscle Growth (4 Things You Need to Know)

The above are various types of protein powder that are available on the market with various brand names. This protein powder is taken up by making the protein shake or smoothie. These are drinks that are made by mixing the powder into a fluid or water. Now, how to use protein powder prior to or after training.

7.1. Before Workout

Having protein before training or before protein training will start the synthesis of muscle proteins during training and will continue for three or four hours. Taking a protein drink before will lead to an increase in amino acids in the bloodstream.

7.2. After Workout

It is the gold standard for the consumption of protein drinks after training. As we all know after practice, amino acids in the blood are very important. As a result, after training, protein intake increases the supply of amino acids. Thus, rapid absorption of protein will deliver amino acids to the blood.

After a workout, protein intake will help recover muscle tissue and tired muscles. Therefore, let them rebound even stronger and faster. Should have protein 30 minutes after the workout.

8. Muscle Protein Synthesis

Muscle protein synthesis is a naturally occurring process in which protein is given to the body after or before the breakdown or damage of muscles through a drink of protein shakes. During intensive training, the muscles are damaged and broken down.

The types of protein drinks mentioned above are included in the diet to increase overall daily protein intake. To overcome Muscle Protein Breakdown (MPB),7 protein supplements are taken in an individual’s diet. This allows them to consume enough protein to meet their needs.

9. Muscle Growth

Many people go to the gym or do intensive sports or workouts because of a person’s need in a specific area of interest. For muscle development and weight gain.

When people do intense exercise, there are a lot of muscles that break down or are damaged to regrow these muscles or to make sure that less amount of muscles break down. Protein intake should be increased by having protein supplementation in the diet8.

To maintain body composition, muscular growth is included in a person’s daily schedule.

Body composition refers to the proportion of bone, muscle, and fat in humans.

Many of us have a percentage of body composition in which fat cells are higher, and muscle cells are lower. There is a significant difference in the percentage of all three. Bones, muscles, and fat vary a great deal from the standard percentage.

Reduce this significant difference in a person’s body composition. These intense practices have to be done by them to meet the needs of their sports. Muscle growth is not only dependent on protein supplementation but also on dietary proteins.

10. Dietary Protein

The body should not depend on drinking protein shakes only, but an individual should have protein-rich food in his/her diet.

There are many protein shakes that we can make with natural substances like almonds and oats that can be made at home. Not only can we drink protein shakes as well, but we can also eat protein-rich diet food like egg whites, soybeans, chickpeas, and besan chilla.

Dietary food
Image by United Soybean Board /Flickr.Copyright2022

We include vegan and non-vegan food in our diet, along with pre-workout shakes or post-workout shakes.

A combination of protein-rich diet food and protein shakes (homemade or supplement protein shakes) will support muscle recovery.

10.1. Vegan Protein-Rich Food

Vegan protein-rich food includes –

  1. Lentils
  2. Green peas
  3. Chickpeas
  4. Quinoa
  5. Tofu
  6. Almond
  7. Broccoli
  8. Spinach
  9. Bean
  10. Chia seeds
  11. Legume

These are some of the vegan foods rich in protein that vegetarian individuals can use.

But by having this vegan protein-rich food, only protein is taken by the individual. In this diet, individuals lose fat easily as compared to non-vegan protein-rich food. So, most individuals lose fat by drinking protein shakes along with protein-rich vegan food.

10.2. Non-vegan Protein-Rich Food

Non-vegan protein-rich food includes-

  1. Salmon
  2. Crab
  3. Prawn
  4. Cottage cheese
  5. Milk
  6. Plain low-fat yoghurt
  7. Pork
  8. Eggs
  9. Beef
  10. Chicken

These are some of the non-vegan foods rich in protein that non-vegetarian individuals can use. But by consuming this protein-rich food, you will get fat as well.

11. Grams of Protein

Now the question is how much gram of protein is to be taken by an individual per day. An adult individual needs a minimum of 0.8- 1 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

grams of orotein
Image by ajay_suresh /Flickr.Copyright2022

For example, if the body weight of an individual is 70 kg then the grams of protein he/she will intake per day is  56- 70 grams not more than that. More protein will result in certain different health problems.

All these grams of protein should be covered with different types of protein-rich food. Along with the increased grams of protein, it is always necessary to have an adequate amount of water intake for the whole day. At least you should drink 7-8 glasses of water or 3-4 litres of water on a daily basis.

11.1. More Protein

The above-mentioned is an adequate amount of protein. Consuming a high amount of any nutrient for a longer period of time can lead to the risk of health complications. If more protein or consumed protein is more in amount then leads to certain health problems.

Some of the health problems are as follows-

  1. Constipation
  2. Weight gain
  3. Bad breath
  4. Dehydration
  5. Kidney damage
  6. Heart disease
  7. Calcium loss
  8. Increased cancer risk

All these health problems may lead to death sometimes, whenever the protein intake is in high amounts.

A protein shake not only increases the amount of protein in your diet but is a source of pure protein.

12. Protein Shake

There are two types of protein shakes.

12.1. Man-Made Protein Shake

The protein powder available in the market is man-made protein. When mixed with any liquid like milk, water or juice is then consumed. For example-

man made protein
Image by theimpulsivebuy /Flickr.Copyright2022
  1. Whey protein shakes
  2. Plant-based protein

12.2. Natural protein shakes

These types of protein shakes are made with naturally eatable plant-based products. For example-

  1. Banana protein shake
  2. Oats and a nut protein shake

These are some of the types of protein shakes that can be taken up before or after a workout depending upon your choice.

13. So, Should You Take Protein Before or After Workout?

To regenerate more muscles and gain muscle after or before a workout nutrition must be taken which will help in muscle synthesis.

It doesn’t really matter whether you drink a protein shake before or after a workout. Interestingly, daily protein intake is the most important.

This will help in muscle repair along with muscle gain for a lean body. A maximum of people in the form of a post-workout jolt prefer post-workout protein.

Click here to know more.

14. Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is It Better to Take Protein Before or After a Workout?

Taking protein powder after a workout is considered the gold standard. Fast-absorbing protein delivers amino acids into your bloodstream when you need them most. Eating protein powder after a workout will help your tired muscles recover faster and stronger.

Q2. What Should I Eat 30 Minutes Before a Workout?

The best things to eat 30 minutes before your workout include oatmeal, protein shakes, bananas, whole grains, yoghurt, fresh fruit, and more. An ideal pre-workout meal should be low in fat, moderate in protein and high in complex carbohydrates.

Q3. Is Banana Good for Pre-workout?

Bananas are one of the most popular pre-workout snacks. They are not only portable, versatile and tasty but also rich in carbohydrates and easy to digest. Also, they are highly nutritious and may provide other additional benefits for exercise performance due to their content of important nutrients such as potassium.

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  3. Ahern, Niamh, Elke K. Arendt, and Aylin W. Sahin. “Protein Soft Drinks: A Retail Market Analysis and Selected Product Characterization.” Beverages 9.3 (2023): 73. ↩︎
  4. Atherton, P. J., and K. Smith. “Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise.” The Journal of physiology 590.5 (2012): 1049-1057. ↩︎
  5. Aragon, Alan Albert, and Brad Jon Schoenfeld. “Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window?.” Journal of the international society of sports nutrition 10.1 (2013): 5. ↩︎
  6. Lopez, Michael J., and Shamim S. Mohiuddin. “Biochemistry, essential amino acids.” (2020). ↩︎
  7. Glynn, Erin L., et al. “Muscle protein breakdown has a minor role in the protein anabolic response to essential amino acid and carbohydrate intake following resistance exercise.” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 299.2 (2010): R533-R540. ↩︎
  8. Cermak, Naomi M., et al. “Protein supplementation augments the adaptive response of skeletal muscle to resistance-type exercise training: a meta-analysis.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 96.6 (2012): 1454-1464. ↩︎

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