Protein is critical for muscle growth and repair. It is because of this and many other reasons that fitness enthusiasts consume protein powders, shakes, and bars.
While some believe it is best to consume a protein shake before an intense workout, others argue that the best time to consume protein shakes is after a workout.
In this article, we will explain whether it is best to have a protein shake before or after your workout.
Why Consume Proteins Before Or After Workouts?
The recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.8 grams/kilogram (0.36 grams/pound) of body weight. It is worthwhile to note here that the RDA quantity is the minimum threshold to avoid a deficiency.
In fact, research suggests that people who routinely engage in resistance training requires double the RDA, or 1.6 grams/kilogram or 0.72 grams/pound every day to support muscle growth and recovery.
To optimize results, people should spread this RDA quantity over 3-4 meals a day that are consumed every 3-4 hours. This is where protein shakes emerge as a good source of protein as each scoop of protein shakes generally includes 25-30 grams of protein.
What is the “Anabolic Window”?
A majority of people are of the view that consuming a drink shake within 30 minutes of a scheduled workout will maximize their gym performance. Commonly known as the “anabolic window,” this 30-minute window is a short time duration in which our muscles act as a "sponge" for protein.
Moreover, the anabolic window is not just limited to after exercise. In fact, it does not matter whether you consume a protein shake before or after a workout as far as muscle growth and repair are concerned.
During a study, 21 resistance-trained men with more than one year of resistance training experienced were recruited from a university population. One group consumed a supplement containing 25g protein and 1g carbohydrate immediately before exercise and the other group consumed the same supplement immediately post-exercise.
The study results revealed that pre-and post-workout protein consumption had similar effects on all measures studied.
In short, it does not really matter whether you consume a protein shake such as whey protein before or after a workout. It all should always depend on your individual preferences.
Who Should Take Whey Protein?
Whey protein is popular, affordable, and highly bioavailable. All these and many more advantages such as improved strength and muscle mass gains surely make it an excellent choice for every fitness enthusiast who wants to safely and quickly increase protein consumption.
The fact that whey protein supplements can be easily and quickly mixed with pre-made shakes, water, or smoothies makes them an incredibly convenient way, especially for those who are "on the go" to explore a rich source of protein after an intense workout.
Ideally, you should consume whey protein supplements within a two-hour window (before or after a workout).
During this two-hour window, the body muscles are in a good shape and ready to embrace nutrients. whey protein supplements are taken during this duration also takes the body to a muscle-building state of positive nitrogen balance from a muscle-wasting state of negative nitrogen balance.