Medical Articles

Protein - Before or After My Workout?

Protein is one of the major macronutrients and is a very important part of the body. Every cell and tissue in the body uses protein for its function and without it, we would not be able to create and repair our muscles, our skin and even our hair. However, what confuses people is whether they should have protein before or after workout to make it more effective. That might depend on a number of different factors.

Protein Before or After Workout for Strength Training

As a body builder or someone who is aspiring to become one, protein is even more important because it helps to build and repair those muscles. It is a common misconception that it is additional protein that adds the bulk to the muscles- but protein is vital as part of an overall, nutritious diet anyway.

For the serious athlete, one that is going to be in the gym lifting weights five to six days of the week, protein should be eaten both before and after the workout to make sure that you have the fuel to make it through the workout as well as making sure that you are replenishing the exhausted protein supplies when you are finished. If the workout is going to last more than two to three hours, then a small, protein based snack might be a good idea as well.

Protein Before or After Workout for Stamina

On the other hand, someone who is working on increasing their stamina might want to have a protein based snack before they get started and then a bigger protein meal after they have completed. A mid workout snack should be carbohydrate based because they are expending fuel so quickly and will need to replenish faster than what protein would be good for. Protein takes the longest to break down, so it is not meant for immediate use in the body.

Protein Before of After Workout for the Casual Exerciser

Every body had a different amount of protein that they need based on their age and health as well as their body size and composition. The casual exerciser, one that works out only a few times a week, for less than thirty minutes a day, does not have an increased need for protein over what they would normally be consuming. Once they start increasing their exercise levels, they might have a slight increase of protein needs, however, if they are losing weight at the same time, the amount of protein may very well stay the same.

Whether or not you consume protein before or after workout depends on the type of workout you are doing and the goals you have for that workout. It also depends on personal preferences. For instance, if you find yourself feeling heavy and bogged down or you get nausea from eating before or during your workout, hold off until the end. If you can get a small snack a few hours before your workout, you will be able to give it your all without any of the problems with upset stomach.

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