If you’re like most people, consuming protein shakes post workout is part of your normal daily routine. But if you’re looking to make the most of your workout, enhance your performance levels, and optimize your body sculpting or weight loss results, then you might want to start adding a pre workout shake to the mix. Blasphemy?… or is it?
Just think about the effectiveness of your last workout on an empty stomach. The built-up lactic acid, the starving muscles, the lack of oxygen to your tissues… You have to admit, maybe your workout could have been through the roof if you ingested some amino acid goodness prior to your exercise regime to compensate for the energy you’re expending. Besides, if you’re looking to melt away the fat and drop some heavy poundage, think about it as drinking away those undesirable pounds.
⇒ Read this: How To Lose Weight AND Gain Muscle Fast ⇐
What is Pre Workout Protein?
When it comes to the perfect time of day to take a protein shake, it’s all about making it into the right time windows. You have shakes for post workout, before bed, and even at the start of your day to all help anabolic processes ensure you’re burning as many calories as possible, keeping the appetite satiated, and building lean muscle as you go. Sounds ideal right? It is.
Pre workout protein powder is made up with more calorie punch than your typical carb-free post workout shake. Don’t shrink away at the mention of the word ‘calories’ just yet. Working out on an empty stomach can be extremely detrimental to your muscles and metabolism, especially if you’re working out first thing in the morning. It’s like asking a car to drive a road trip on the fumes of an empty tank: poor preparation equals poor results.
After your fasting period, that is during sleep, your muscles and metabolism require energy and fuel to get things burning hot, heavy, and fast again. And what does this better than some good, old-fashioned protein-enriched amino goodness? Commonly used protein pre workout powders are typically your soy and whey sources. They’re quickly digestible by the body and they provide fast support for the muscles during workouts. You’ll find that a lot of the pre workout powders contain higher amounts of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). It’s the kind of stuff that gets used in abundance by the muscles during exercise, and consuming BCAAs pre workout can help to provide a replenished store of them ready to use.
How Does it Work?
Studies are revealing exciting results that show that taking protein and carbs before your training and workout will give you higher metabolic rates the next day. Again, if you prepare well you’ll have better results and long-lasting benefits. There’s no need to be afraid of consuming the additional calories if you’re a bean counter. The natural and whole source of calories from the protein are used up during the workout to provide you with better performance, longer endurance, and higher intensity. The results? A more effective training session that helps you get that slim, rock-hard body you’re working really hard for.
In addition to this, research has revealed that supplementation with BCAAs both pre and post exercise can greatly improve muscle recovery, boost muscle-protein synthesis and assist immune regulation. Taking your protein shake before training should be done about 30 minutes before you’re ready to sweat buckets and move like lightening. The quick digestion process of the protein and the BCAAs enable them to bypass the liver and go directly to where you need it, the muscles. While you exercise, the additional BCAAs you ingested are being broken down. This prevents the body from having to catabolize existing muscle tissue to compensate for the energy used.
The Benefits of Pre Workout Protein Powder
The reasons you drink protein shakes post workout are the same reasons you should take it pre workout. Protein powder and exercise go hand-in-hand and provides you with a win-win situation. You’re looking at getting the most of your workout, enhancing the results, and getting a tasty snack to top it off. If you’re still not convinced, here’s the good stuff a protein powder pre workout can do for you.
Fuels Your Muscle Tissues
As mentioned above, BCAAs contained in the best pre workout protein powder bypass the liver and go straight to your muscles to be used up. In this way, it protects existing muscle tissue by preventing muscle breakdown and helps to replenish the energy stores for your muscles to continue to endure stress for longer periods of time. You get a longer, harder, and more effective workout.
Protein Synthesis is Increased
Because you’re consuming protein pre workout, you’re giving your body the lead and the thumbs up to start protein synthesis during your workout and not just after. This means that amino acids will be delivered to your muscles and tissues during your workout, right when you need it most.
Your Metabolism is Amped Up
Studies are showing that if you have at least one protein shake before exercise your metabolic rate is increased for the next 24 hours. This means that you’ll be burning an increased amount of calories, melting off more fat, and shedding the pounds all day long. See what we mean by drinking the pounds away?
There are Long-Lasting Effects
The pre workout period is also a very sensitive time that can have long-lasting and carryover effects, that if used correctly, can maximize your weight loss and body sculpting desires. Because taking the powder before you workout gives your body a heads up to start protein synthesis immediately, the workout session can actually catalyze your body to keep amino acid blood levels elevated for at least three hours after your workout. Also, the additional carbs that you’re consuming before the workout helps to keep cortisol at bay for about 24 hours, thus inhibiting further post workout muscle breakdown.
Many people use protein powder just to help maximize weight loss goals. Pre workout protein powder is diet friendly since it can contain very little to no carbs and sugars. Since those on low-carb diets tend to want to keep low glycogen levels, the BCAAs found in good protein powders can help to improve fat oxidation during intense workouts without compromising insulin activity.
Choosing the Right Protein
Because everyone’s goals and body’s are different, the amount of carbs and protein you’ll want to consume prior to your workouts will vary. But, typically you’ll fall into either one of two categories: lean muscle gainer (body sculpting/building) or weight loss and dietary reasons. Where you fall on this scale will depend what protein powder for pre workout you use and the appropriateness of additional carbs.
Muscle Gainer/Body Building
You already know that getting that tough, lean body requires that you get a good, high quality pre workout protein powder you can get your hands on. You’ll take your protein about 30 to 45 minutes before you training session. You’ll benefit the most from taking abut 30 to 40 grams of protein with a slightly higher carbohydrate count. You can always add these additional carbs by throwing in tasty and whole ingredients to your shake that can help you gain more muscle mass by fueling your body with the right foods to workout longer and harder.
⇒ Read this: How to Bulk up for Skinny Guys – Release Your Inner Beast ⇐
You’re looking to lose the flab by eating right and working out. Remember that preparing well will set you up for the best success possible. This means ensuring that you provide your body with the right fuel to activate weight loss and fat burning. You’ll want to consume about 10 to 20 grams of protein before your exercise regime. Perhaps even 5 to 10 grams might be appropriate if you’re only doing light and moderate exercise. A key in ensuring that you get the most carryover benefits is to consume a small amount of carbs with your protein. This can be half a banana or even some almond milk to help bulk up your protein shake. Consume at least 30 minutes before you get started.
Pre Exercise Protein Shake Recipes
Many throw their protein powder in a shaker with just plain water. Why not? It’s convenient, to-go, and way too easy. But if you’ve got a little bit of time on your hands and you enjoy a good tasting smoothie to start your day, then try a few of these Renegade ideas.
⇒ Get the Renegade Recipe Guide for more Protein Shake recipes ⇐
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 Tbsp Sugar-Free Butterscotch Pudding
2 scoops protein powder in chocolate*
1/2 cup cold brewed coffee, chilled
1 cup ice
*Use what protein powder you have and add raw cacao powder instead.
Mix milk and pudding first till thickened, then blend in the rest.
American’s Favorite – Chocolate Peanut Butter
2 scoops chocolate protein powder*
1 cup unsweetened almond milk, soy milk or skim milk
2 Tbsp peanut butter
*Use what protein powder you have and add raw cacao powder instead.
Banana and Oats
2 scoops vanilla protein powder*
2 Tbsp rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup cinnamon
*Use what protein powder you have and add extract of vanilla instead.
The Fat Burner
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 scoops protein powder
2 kiwi fruit
1 Tbsp raw almond butter or ground flaxseed
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 teaspoon shredded coconut or coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 scoop protein powder*
*Can add some extract of vanilla if you desire.
Making your shakes doesn’t have to be rocket science. If you’ve got a minute to throw in a banana, some skim milk, and even some frozen blueberries, you’ve got a recipe made for a winner.
Whether you’re a body builder, a health conscious zealot, or a dieter, consuming a protein shake before or after workout is an extremely important piece of the puzzle. Your physique and health goals are especially affected by whether or not you give your body the nutrition and support it needs to give you the best, hard, and slim body you want. If you’re ready to gain the muscle and lose the fat, then prepare well and drink the pounds away.