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Drink Protein Before and After a Workout

Drink Protein Before and After a Workout
March 31, 2015 Sprout Living
Protein Before or After Workout
Every serious athlete and gym rat knows that consuming protein after a workout is crucial for rebuilding and protecting muscle. But what if we told you that your pre-workout snack is just as (if not even more) important as the one you have post-sweat?

Although it is less commonly known, drinking protein before your workout will actually help fuel your muscles while you exercise. The protein that you consume pre-workout includes branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which do not need to be processed by the liver. After they are absorbed, they move quickly to the blood stream, where our muscles can utilize them. Drinking protein prior to training also jumpstarts the process of protein synthesis, and BCAAs help stop the breakdown of muscles.

What’s more, scientific studies show that when you ingest protein before working out, you will actually burn more calories. Although the reason for this phenomenon is still unknown, it is widely accepted that consuming protein before exercise equals increased calorie burning. Finally, the benefits of consuming pre-workout protein carry over to after you are done exercising, as the amino acid levels in your blood stay high and help prevent the breakdown of muscle post-workout.

And what about after you’re done at gym? Experts say that yes, you should drink protein after a workout as well as before. Resistance exercise breaks down muscle, and consuming protein will replenish the body’s store of amino acids to help repair and build those same muscles. Additionally, in order to properly fuel your body for your next workout session, your goal should be to minimize the breakdown of protein and maximize protein synthesis – all of which can be done through drinking protein.

Famous dietitian-scientist Dr. Jeff Volek recommends splitting your protein intake in two when training – half 30 minutes before you exercise, and half after the workout has finished. For most people, the proper amount of protein for each workout will be between 10 and 20 grams – although this amount may increase based on the level of athletic training being undertaken by the individual.

So, by now you know that it is absolutely crucial to drink protein both before and after you exercise. But where do you get that protein from? One of the easiest, most humane and most nutritionally pure forms is through an all-natural, raw, vegan protein powder with 15 or more grams of protein per serving. At these crucial moments (pre- and post-workout), your body is actively seeking replenishment. By giving your body a clean, natural source of protein, you make sure that the protein is absorbed quickly and properly, without forcing your body to deal with unhealthy chemicals and additives.

And you don’t have to stick to the old protein shake routine either – there are plenty of creative, awesome dishes that can be made using vegan protein powder. You can find recipes for everything from protein-packed oatmeal to delicious, nutritious protein bites on the Recipes Catalog of our website.

At the end of the day, the main reasons for fueling your body when you work out are simple – to enhance athletic performance, improve mental focus and help the body recover safely while minimizing damage to muscles. And the best way to do this is undoubtedly to drink or consume high-quality, clean protein before and after a workout.

Sources:

  • Adina Steiman, Men’s Health, “The Truth About Protein,”
    http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/guide-to-protein/protein-after-workout.php
  • Mike Roussell, BodyBuilding.Com, “Ask the Macro Manager: Should I Drink Protein Before or After a Workout?” http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-macro-manager-pre-post-workout-shakes.html
  • Peter Curcio, Breaking Muscle, “Pass the Protein Shake: Digging into Pre- and Post-workout Nutrition,” http://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/pass-the-protein-shake-digging-into-pre-and-post-workout-nutrition
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