Protein Shake Before or After Workout for Weight Loss

For those who want to gain muscle and lose fat, there's no piece of the puzzle more elusive than figuring out when to drink a protein shake. While some preach drinking it immediately after a workout to help jumpstart muscle growth, others insist that drinking one right before bed is better

So which is it? If you want to be leaner and more muscular, should you drink a protein shake before or after your workout?

First things first, let's look at the study—researchers from McMaster University in Canada for muscle recovery.

The study was done on 12 young men who were experienced weightlifters. All of them did four separate workouts consisting of leg presses and leg extensions. After each session, the researchers gave half the men a protein shake containing whey protein and carbs and gave the other half a placebo drink that contained no protein or carbs.

should you drink a protein shake before or after your workout?

Then they measured how much muscle the men were able to build.

The findings?

The researchers found that those who had drunk the protein shake before working out built more muscle than those who drank it after.

"Drinking carbohydrates and protein before exercise is even better for promoting muscle growth than taking these supplements after exercise, as long as the same total amount of carbohydrate and protein is ingested," lead researcher Dr Stuart Phillips said in a release

What is a Protein Shake?

Protein shake is a drik that contains pure protein in powder or concentrate and can also include other nutrients such as carbohydrates. The key thing to understand when using a protein shake for weight loss is this: it should always be combined with a workout program and used as a meal replacement.

What is a Protein Shake

Your best choice is to replace one or two of your meals per day with protein shakes, pre-workout or post-workout. The idea behind substituting one or two meals per day is so the body could go an extended period without food between when you last ate and when you next eat (5-6 hours).

Why should I drink a protein shake?

Let's say you're trying to lose weight. It might seem intuitive that the best time to take protein would be right after or before your workout when the muscles are primed for protein intake and, therefore, building/rebuilding themselves. But this is based on the now-debunked idea of "anabolic windows" -- that you have a small window of time after training in which your muscles are immediately primed for rebuilding. If you don't get nutrients at this exact moment, then no muscle recovery or growth will occur.

Should i drink your protein shake before or after your workout?

Well, the researchers made it clear that they don't know why drinking a shake before exercising was more effective for building muscle. It could be because the carbs gave the men more fuel to train with or because downing a shake before exercise helped raise insulin levels, which has been shown to help with muscle growth.

Should i drink your protein shake before or after your workout

Or it could simply be that drinking one thing before working out was better than drinking another after. We don't know for sure. We also don't know if the results would have differed if the exercises were done on separate days.

It's also worth noting that the researchers used a fast-acting protein powder containing whey and simple carbs. Not everyone uses these types of supplements so it's possible that different shakes would have yielded different results. Finally, they only looked at how drinking a shake affected muscle growth in one sitting. We don't know if drinking one before working out gives you more muscle than drinking one after, say at lunch.

Benefits of drinking a protein shake before and after your workout for weight loss

Drinking a shake before a workout has a ton of benefits, including:

More energy during your workout. This means greater fat burning and more muscle-building Sexier muscles. Getting an extra dose of protein before and after your workout could help you lose unwanted body fat and increase muscle size or tone. Better strength gains. If you're trying to get stronger (and what self-respecting weightlifter isn't?), adding protein into your pre-or post-workout diet can help you to recover faster so you can work out more

Frequently. Some research has found that consuming whey protein before lifting weights helps increase muscle strength by 16% for beginners and 24% for advanced lifters. This is thought to be partly because protein contains branched-chain amino acids, which may stimulate the release of muscle building hormones like growth hormone and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor). Some studies suggest that taking whey protein before working out also helps to raise workout intensity so you get more in a shorter amount of time.

A protein shake before and after your workout for weight loss is a great idea. Not only can it help you to build muscle, tone up, and improve strength gains, but it can also increase fat loss during training sessions.

Now if you are going to drink a protein shake pre-workout, make sure you don't overdo it. You should take around 20-40g of whey protein about 30-60 minutes before training to ensure your muscles are getting enough amino acids they need for growth and recovery.

You may want to avoid egg proteins if this is your first time drinking a shake pre-workout because egg protein can be difficult to digest and cause stomach discomfort.

How much protein do you need? Studies show that active people require more protein than their inactive counterparts, which is why athletes and gym-goers need to drink a protein shake before and after the workout .

If you're wondering how much protein I should take, we suggest that you aim for around 1.5-2g per kg of lean bodyweight, which works out at about 0.68-0.91g of protein per pound .

If you are doing workout to build muscle, it might be worth taking more than this, but if you're just looking to maintain what you've got, this should be fine.

If you're looking to lose fat and build muscle, we recommend drinking a whey protein shake before and after working out because it's really effective at helping the body make the most of every minute spent in the gym.

A whey protein supplement can help speed up recovery and repair, which means you can exercise more frequently, making it a great way to increase fat loss results.

Protein shakes are not just for bodybuilders

As you can see, protein shakes are not just for bodybuilders looking to build muscles. They're an absolute must for anyone who is active or wants to lose weight because they help with everything from performance and recovery to fat loss and building lean muscle.

The best time according to experts to drink a protein shake is 30-60 minutes before your workout because it gives your body enough time to digest and metabolize the nutrients so that they're readily available when you need them.

Since protein takes longer than carbs or fats to be digested, it's best not to drink a shake immediately before exercising since this may cause stomach discomfort.

The bottom line:

There's nothing wrong with sipping on a post-workout shake if you're an experienced weightlifter looking for a boost in muscle growth. But if you're a beginner and haven't seen much progress, drinking one before working out might be more beneficial.

One last thing: If the idea of downing a shake right after exercising makes you want to gag (because pre-workout shakes tend to taste better), then consider having it before your workout instead. This way, you won't have to drink something disgusting, and it will still give your muscles the nutrients they need for growth.