The big debate: protein before or after a workout?

We. Love. Protein! It’s super important for a workout, everyone knows it. But when should you drink a protein smoothie? Some people say before, some people think afterwards is essential. Here’s why you should drink your protein shake before a workout rather than afterwards!

Fuel

While carbs are well known for fuelling your muscles during a workout, protein can also work wonders. The amino acids, specifically branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), enter your blood and straight to your muscles. Having BCAAs in your system while you work out is crucial because exercise breaks them down. By having the nutrients to replace BCAAs, your muscles won’t fatigue as quickly which increases your performance. Better performance = better results!

Recovery

By having protein in your system during your workout, the amino acids are already present to start repairing fatigued muscle – the protein synthesis starts during rather than after exercise. This can decrease the effect of DOMS and help you build more muscle. Your muscles are also most effective at using protein when it first needs it. If synthesised protein is readily available in your blood, it will be absorbed well. Wait until after your workout to ingest protein and your body will start finding other, less effective, ways to repair muscle.

Burning fat

Pre-workout protein is incredibly beneficial if you are looking to lose weight. If you are on a low-carb diet, glycogen levels are low. This can lower the rate at which you burn fat. By drinking protein before you workout, you can give your body the fuel it needs without compromising your low-carb diet. This will allow you to push yourself further and burn more calories in the long run.

Long lasting effect

When you eat protein, protein synthesise stays at a higher rate for up to 3 hours. This means that while you get the benefits from protein before your workout, you will also get them after. It has also been found that by drinking protein beforehand, the stress hormone, cortisol, is reduced for the next day. Long term effects = happier, healthier, you!

Conclusion…

If you’re serious about those lean gains, you might benefit most from pre and post workout protein smoothie. But want to choose either or? Pre-workout. You’ll set yourself up for a great workout, you’ll be able to push yourself further during and you’ll still reap the benefits afterwards – it’s a no brainer!

Want to know what kind of protein to drink?

Our delicious protein smoothies use hemp and pea protein so that you can get a full set of amino acids before you workout. They are also packed with other nutrients and vitamins so you can get the most out of exercise. Find them below!

Hey Hey! I’m Katie ~ the Content Editor here at Zaggora. I work with our incredible team to research health and fitness trends and working with our amazing experts and contributors. I have a passion for creative writing, going to the gym and doing home-based workouts. I also love hunting down the latest coffee houses!