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Is it better to drink a protein shake before or after workout?

Protein plays an important role in repairing and rebuilding your muscles after exercise, and many people use protein shakes after their workouts to aid this process. However, research suggests it doesn't matter whether you drink a protein shake before or after your workout.

Protein is necessary for muscle repair and growth.

For this reason, many people consume protein supplements in the form of shakes along with their workouts.

However, the optimal time to have a protein shake is a hotly debated topic.

Some believe it’s best to drink a protein shake before a workout, whereas others argue that after a workout is ideal.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.36 grams per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of body weight. In fact, research suggests that people who routinely strength train may need double the RDA, or 0.72 grams per pound (1.6 grams per kg), to support muscle recovery and growth.

For a person weighing 150 pounds (68 kg), this equals a minimum of 109 grams of protein per day.

To optimize your results, spread this amount over 3–4 meals that are consumed every 3–4 hours.

A protein shake is a good option between meals, either as a snack or around your workout. Protein powders typically contain 25–30 grams of protein per scoop.

 

Written by Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD and Daniel Preiato, RD, CSCS