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Should You Take a Protein Shake Before or After a Workout? 

By  Jim Ken

Should You Take a Protein Shake Before or After a Workout?

One of the most mind-boggling questions are these:

“When should I take a protein shake?”

“Should I take it before or after an exercise

“How much should I take in?”

Exercise and diet should always go hand in hand if you want to achieve the desired goals you have. That is why health enthusiasts always recommend habitual protein intake to help build and repair body muscles after doing an exercise.

Let’s go to the best and simplest form of exercise - running. It is an effective cardiovascular exercise for everyone that requires the body with necessary fuel and repair in order to get through it.

And one of the pro-tips in running is to make sure you do not consume a heavy meal or skip a meal before running for you to be able to aim the distance you intended. However, you also need proper nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins to give you energy and stronger muscles. 

So, let us dig deeper to answer this question.

But before we do we have some great other posts on protein

Take Protein Shake After Workout

Many would say that do whatever works for your body. But, for the majority, it is always best to take a protein shake after your exercise or workout. Here’s why:

  • A protein shake after your exercise can repair your strained muscles and can preserve the biological value which is absorbed by the body directly.
  • It can help reduce the levels of stress your body gets after doing a strenuous exercise. 
  • It can also be used for aiding your muscles for quick energy after a tough exercise.
  • This can be consumed as a post-workout snack since it is easier to digest than a full-blown meal that can upset your stomach.
  • A protein shake can help replenish your lost fluids after sweating a lot in your exercise. 
  • The nutritional value in protein shake can stimulate the repair of tissues which can lead to proper muscle growth.
  • After you workout, the stimulated skeletal muscles opens up like a sponge and ready to absorb nutrients, especially all the amino acids, from the protein shake.
  • The sooner you take proper nutrients after your workout, the sooner your muscles will repair which is best to take withing thirty (30) minutes to two (2) hours after your physical exercise.
Pro-tip: Always listen to what your body prefers tin order to achieve your desired body weight and health.
protein for endurance runners

Why Not Take Protein Shake Before Workout

Research says that the amount of protein intake matters most than the time. But we know that it can be hard to do a cardio workout with having a heavy stomach, which leads to being upset. So, let us get more into details.

  •  Your digestion process will slow down temporarily if your body does a heavy movement or exercise. Because when you exercise, your body will automatically focus on supplying enough amount of blood in the heart, brain, and muscles, where it needs more priority.

  • If your stomach is full before hitting your hardcore running exercises, you would surely throw up.

  • Some protein shakes do not mix well with other pre-workout supplements, thus, it will cause you to go in and out of the bathroom during your exercise and you wouldn’t want that.

How Much Protein You Need to Take Everyday

As we have said earlier, consuming the right amount of protein is more important than the timing though it still has advantages. 

So, if you are not sure how much protein should you take, then we will give you details for that!

According to the experts, the body needs nutritional amounts differently according to sex, age, activity level, and health. But the current international Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.4g per pound of body weight per day (0.8kg per kilogram of body weight). But if you aim for muscle growth and you are an athlete, the American College of Sports Medicine suggests that the average intake of protein for athletes is 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight.

But if you are doing cardio exercises to aim for muscle repair and growth, high protein intake does not equate to low-calorie diet to like most people do. It is still important to maintain the right balance between calorie level and protein level to stay lean since the body uses protein to repair and grow muscles before using it to store fat from calories. 

So, in other words, a high protein diet is necessary after cardio exercise to allow your body to keep balance in eating all those post-workout meals or snacks which contains a high-calorie level.

Why is Muscle Recovery Very Important

As much as you enjoying the “pain is gain” line from working out, it is also very important to take into serious consideration the recovery process of your stressed muscles. 

Normally, sleep, rest, hydration, and proper nutrition should be top-priority when exercising. Giving your muscles 24 to 48 hours to rest and repair can help a lot. Your muscles actually grow while resting and respond better to stress and not while working out.

However, many people do not take this principle seriously. Running and other intense exercises can suppress the immune system and can decrease by 15-70% leading you to be stressed and prone to sickness. That is why experts always persist to take the proper amount of recovery. Protein shakes are one of the options for this since it gives complete amino acids that the body needs in order to make the immune cells fight infection properly aside from repairing and growing the damaged tissues.

Best Protein Powder for Runners

If you are new to this and are currently looking for protein powders, here are few things to take note and consider. 

  • How much protein does your body need in order to support your activity level?

  • What kind of protein shake fo do you plan to have?

  • Pick a flavor that you like. It could be either chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or just a plain or unflavored one.

  • Always look at the ingredients and label from manufacturers to make sure it goes well with your body.

  • Always do your research.

What’s the Best Protein Supplement to Buy?

There are different kinds of protein powder that you are gonna encounter as you buy it for your protein shake. Check it out!

  • Whey

Whey protein is a byproduct of cheesemaking that is water-soluble where tons of proteins that the body need are found. This is the most popular one since it is very useful in aiming for certain goals such as targeting the protein recommended daily allowance, limiting fat gain, limiting muscle loss, and improves body resistance during heavy exercises. Also, this the most affordable and commonly found in the market.

  • Casein

Casein has amino acids that are rich in glutamine which is responsible for speeding up the recovery of muscles after extensive workouts or activities. It is a slow-digesting dairy that is best taken every night and before you do your exercises. This is almost entirely made from cow's milk to provide enough nutrients needed for the repair and rebuilding of your muscles.

  • Egg

Egg protein from egg yolks would be the most convenient source since you can just easily get it out from the fridge. It can be a great alternative if you ran out of whatever protein supplements you had.

Here are some options if you are planning to purchase a plant-based protein powder:

  • Soy

Soy is a recommended alternative to whey or casein which are dairy products. This is made from soybeans. One ounce of soy powder is equivalent to 23 grams of protein. While it is a good source of protein, it also contains phytates that decrease mineral absorption.

  • Pea

Pea is another high-quality and unflavored plant-based supplement that is the best alternative for soy and dairy-based protein. This is the safest supplement you can take since it is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and does not contain allergens like eggs, nuts, cow's milk, wheat, soy, and shellfish. This is not a complete protein source but it can gradually release amino acids overnight. You can immediately get 21 grams of protein from a quarter cup of pea.

 

  • Hemp

Hemp seeds are another source of complete protein, which means that they give all essential BCAA that contain the important fatty acids that the body needs. This is usually used by vegans and lactose intolerant individuals. In fact, it contains many proteins as much as beef and lamb. Two to three tablespoons of hemp seeds are equivalent to eleven grams of proteins. Also, it doesn;t just provide you good amount of protein but also zinc, iron, and omega-3S.

  • Soy

Soy is a recommended alternative to whey or casein which are dairy products. This is made from soybeans. One ounce of soy powder is equivalent to 23 grams of protein. While it is a good source of protein, it also contains phytates that decrease mineral absorption.

 

What are The Best Recommended Protein Products?

Before you do your cardio workout, never forget to take carbohydrates with you since it is an important fuel for an intense workout. Eat an ample amount of wheat bread or bagels, bananas, yogurt, and peanut butter. A sourdough bread with avocados is also a good idea too!


Xwerks Grow - New Zealand Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder Isolate

X Grow protein is sourced from naturally raised grass-fed cows that naturally graze on the countryside of New Zealand, one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to dairy quality. Meaning no hormones, antibiotics or pesticides that can be passed on to you.

Whey isolate means our whey is "isolated" through micro filtration to almost totally pure protein powder at 25g of protein and over 6g of BCAA's per serving with no lactose, carbs or fats.

Pros:

  • Improves Muscle Strength 
  • Supports lean body mass
  •  Helps with overall health
  • Eseential amino acids

Cons:

  • Non Vegan

This is another flavor of whey powder from Vital Whey.

 It is processed in a way that it still has the active protein and immune-modulating benefits.

 It has a natural whey protein perfect for workout especially in building muscles because of its high concentration of branch-chain amino acids.

Pros:

  • Improves Muscle Strength 
  • Excellent source of branch-chain amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine
  •  Contains growth factors so support immune function

Cons:

  • Non Vegan


Jim Ken


I'm Jim, one of the passionate voices behind Daily Detox Hacks. My mission with Dailydetoxhacks.com is to bring you the latest trends in Healthy, Non-Toxic Living, and more. I bring a scientific approach to research.

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