protein shake: before or after?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2008 1:35 AM GMT
    i've been having my protein shake after my workout to replensih what i've lost i guess. but i've recently heard that men get more gains from having their shake before they workout.

    i have a high-fiber cereal before my workout for the record.

    which is best?
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    Jul 30, 2008 2:13 AM GMT
    well-balanced nutrition is best, because all the nutrients work together in their own ways... (e.g. taking huge amounts of vitamin c really doesn't help you if it isn't taken proportionally with vitamin e, which allows the body to metabolize vitamin c, and vitamin e won't work without folic acid [i think], etc. ad nauseum)...

    i'd suggest eating something small that is proportional in carbs/protein/fat about 45 minutes before and then a larger portion of something easily digestable within an hour of finishing.
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    Jul 30, 2008 2:15 AM GMT
    after.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Jul 30, 2008 2:50 AM GMT
    I would say after. If you have a high protein drink before lifting, I would expect that the blood that should be in your muscles would be drawn to your stomach instead.
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    Jul 30, 2008 3:23 AM GMT
    i have a shake before and after my workout.
  • silverfox

    Posts: 3178

    Jul 30, 2008 3:31 AM GMT

    I am with omgbrad...before and after.
  • MuslDrew

    Posts: 463

    Jul 30, 2008 4:12 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle said
    dancerjack saidwell-balanced nutrition is best, because all the nutrients work together in their own ways... (e.g. taking huge amounts of vitamin c really doesn't help you if it isn't taken proportionally with vitamin e, which allows the body to metabolize vitamin c, and vitamin e won't work without folic acid [i think], etc. ad nauseum)...

    i'd suggest eating something small that is proportional in carbs/protein/fat about 45 minutes before and then a larger portion of something easily digestable within an hour of finishing.



    I would skip the fat. But other then that I agree with dancerjack. Both before and after. Some dextrose with a fast absorbing protein helps to fuel the workout when taken beforehand. And one taken soon after a workout helps to replenish glycogen stores burned off from the workout. After a workout this is the best time to replenish glycogen stores and protein. I don't recommend fat consumption during this time. I also don't recommend fat consumption with foods that spike your insulin. Spiking your insulin with fat creates an express shuttle route for the fat you just consumed to go to your fat stores. This is what happens with the glycogen consumed. It goes to your muscles and helps them recover and gives them a fuller more pumped up look. The same goes with protein. When consumed with something like dextrose it more readily shuttles directly to muscles. Fat being the third macronutrient acts in the same way.
    When I consume fat I ideally do so with protein or with a fibrous low glycemic index carb like brown rice or veggies. This is a better time to consume fats.

    This is what I've always been taught and it works well for me. If I have time to eat food before, I'll eat a few hard boiled egg whites, lean ground sirloin and a small bowl of plain oatmeal. When I'm pressed for time I'll throw a few frozen strawberries into a protein shake for before and after workout shakes. At bedtime I'll replace the frozen strawberries with a spoonful of natural peanut butter.
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    Jul 30, 2008 4:14 AM GMT
    I try to eat at least 30 min prior to working out; else I feel stuffed. I think you need protein and carbs within 20-30 minutes after a workout to rebuild/replenish.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Jul 30, 2008 3:43 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle said
    dancerjack saidwell-balanced nutrition is best, because all the nutrients work together in their own ways... (e.g. taking huge amounts of vitamin c really doesn't help you if it isn't taken proportionally with vitamin e, which allows the body to metabolize vitamin c, and vitamin e won't work without folic acid [i think], etc. ad nauseum)...

    i'd suggest eating something small that is proportional in carbs/protein/fat about 45 minutes before and then a larger portion of something easily digestable within an hour of finishing.



    I would skip the fat. But other then that I agree with dancerjack. Both before and after. Some dextrose with a fast absorbing protein helps to fuel the workout when taken beforehand. And one taken soon after a workout helps to replenish glycogen stores burned off from the workout. After a workout this is the best time to replenish glycogen stores and protein. I don't recommend fat consumption during this time. I also don't recommend fat consumption with foods that spike your insulin. Spiking your insulin with fat creates an express shuttle route for the fat you just consumed to go to your fat stores. This is what happens with the glycogen consumed. It goes to your muscles and helps them recover and gives them a fuller more pumped up look. The same goes with protein. When consumed with something like dextrose it more readily shuttles directly to muscles. Fat being the third macronutrient acts in the same way.
    When I consume fat I ideally do so with protein or with a fibrous low glycemic index carb like brown rice or veggies. This is a better time to consume fats.


    DO you have anything to back up your claims of fat being shuttled to your fat stores? Honestly, that makes no sense and I have never read that anywhere.

    The reason fat is not recommended to eat post-workout is because it slows digestion. Same with fiber. You wouldn't get the same insulin spike with fat and fiber being present.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2008 3:52 PM GMT
    Small protein shake before, big one after (though not necessarily in a single gulp).

    I do stay away from lots of fiber in the 90-120 minutes before a workout, because if my digestive system is still busy I get enough nausea to limit my focus.

    All of this assumes an intense workout, of course. The protein and caloric requirements necessary for a moderate workout are much, much less.

    cowboyathlete saidI would say after. If you have a high protein drink before lifting, I would expect that the blood that should be in your muscles would be drawn to your stomach instead.


    Digesting a small protein shake ingested before a workout is not going to cause your circulatory system to go into triage, trying to decide whether to send more blood to the stomach (which won't be needed for a small liquid meal) or to muscles. This warning falls under the rubric of the old myth: "OMG don't go swimming, you just ate a potato chip!!"
  • neon4u

    Posts: 1152

    Jul 30, 2008 7:06 PM GMT
    Wow... it seems we do our own special thing when it comes to working out.

    I take a piece of fruit or bread about 30-45 min before the workout.

    After the workout, I try to do the same.

    This is to replenish the carbs and then within 30 min after the workout protein drink... around 40 grams.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2008 7:17 PM GMT
    eat lightly before a workout and then eat a full meal after a workout.
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    Jul 30, 2008 7:27 PM GMT
    I do a mix of Whey and Soy protein, like 10g of each before and then I double the dosage of each for post-workout.....
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Jul 30, 2008 9:02 PM GMT
    I have also read, in numerous places, that fat gets shuttled straight through if you spike your insulin with a high glycemic anything.

    For references, check out

    Fat Wars: http://www.fatwars.com/books/transform.html

    and I believe Scrawny to Brawny also touches on it:
    http://www.scrawnytobrawny.com

    Actually, something else of interest to this thread is that in Scrawny to Brawny, the authors say that studies have shown that a high-carb, high protein shake during a workout is shown to be beneficial to growth. I tried it, and didn't notice a big difference, but I don't think I was pushing myself intensely enough at the time.

    I have definitely read that it is crucial to muscle growth to consume an easily and quickly digestible protein source immediately following a workout (meaning within 75 minutes). Your body will absorb the highest amount of protein that it can during this window, period. Your body is actually quite inefficient at absorbing/using protein during all other times.
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    Jul 30, 2008 9:11 PM GMT
    Great question!!! There are tons of old repeated myths regarding these subjects that are continuously parroted with absolutely no understanding of the current state of science on these things. Let me destroy a few of these for you.

    MYTH: A single post workout shake is most effective. NO! A single post-workout meal will have minimal impact compared to what can happen if your nutrition is completely optimized. For example pre-workout meals can be 200% more effective for stimulating muscle growth compared to post-workout (Tipton et al., 2001).

    Even more important than the pre-workout meal is the old standard: breakfast. Being essentially fasted for 8-10 hours during sleep can be incredibly destructive for muscle. This is especially true in trained individuals, because we have higher rates of muscle breakdown (Phillips et al. 2002) The faster we can stop this catabolism upon waking, the better. The amount of muscle protein spared from this first meal would be equal to, or even greater, than that gained by a post workout meal. Also, consuming a high quality slow protein before bed, will largely mitigate the catabolic effect induced by nocturnal fasting. Taking this one step further, nighttime eating will actually put your muscle into anabolic overdrive, by supplying even more amino acids to stimulate this metabolic process. Nocturnal feedings, breakfast, preworkout meals, and multiple post workout meals can be more beneficial for muscle growth than a single post workout meal.

    Then there’s the suggestion that if we don’t replenish post exercise glycogen right away, we’ll miss a window of opportunity to do so. This is largely hyperbole, exploded from bits and pieces of endurance training studies. One study showed that consuming carbohydrates after strength training only increased muscle glycogen by 16% more than water. (Pascoe et al., 1993) With this information and the huge amount of carbs that we consume on a daily basis, we should have little doubt that glycogen levels will be maximized within 24 hours of the workout. Now these may be irrelevant points, because in the effort of keeping our focus where it ought to lie—on maximizing protein synthesis— we’re going to quickly stimulate our glycogen restoration anyway. This is because we consume rapidly absorbed carbohydrates along with our protein and amino acids, which has been shown to enhance muscle protein anabolism (Rasmussen et al., 2000). In other words, muscle glycogen will be restored whether we make it a priority or not.

    Pre workout Nutrition will divert blood flow away from muscles during the workout. This myth actually makes a lot of sense…until you become familiar with the physiology of hormones. Looking deeper, we can find that the insulin stimulated by food intake, actually enhances blood flow and subsequent nutrient delivery to muscles (Coggins et al., 2001).

    Applying this principle, liquid pre workout meal consumption dramatically increases muscle blood flow and protein synthesis (Tipton et al., 2001). This elevation in muscle growth is at least twice that observed with the same drink taken post workout (Tipton et al., 2001) This effect even lasts for an hour after the workout, so it’s like having 2 drinks for the price of 1!

    MYTH: There’s a one-hour window of opportunity for protein synthesis following a workout. It’s not surprising that with this type of inconsistency that this is probably the most pervasive myth in bodybuilding today! Worse yet, it stems directly from the scientific research itself. The most often cited research on the protein synthetic post workout window, used elderly subjects (Esmark et al., 2001) and cardio exercise findings (Levenhagen et al., 2001) to make their predictions. While this is a completely acceptable practice when these are the only data we have to go on, there are a couple noteworthy problems.
    Elderly individuals digest and absorb protein differently than healthy adults. In fact, they digest and absorb whey protein in a similar manner as they do casein (Dangin et al., 2003); in other words they have slow digestion and absorption for whey. Elderly also benefit from having 80% of their daily protein consumed at a single sitting (Arnal et al., 1999), in contrast to the benefits of our multiple feedings.

    Additionally, the traditionally referenced Esmark et al. (2001), study showed that consuming the post workout meal just 2 hours after working out actually prevented any improvements induced by the training!

    Secondly, with regards to cardio, there’s an obvious difference between how our muscles respond to the two forms of exercise. Bear in mind that with regard to carbohydrate metabolism following a workout, there might not be much of a difference—we just don’t know, but certainly the long-term protein metabolism differences can be seen.

    So now what are we supposed to base our nutrition on? Enter the most underrated scientific paper in the last 5 years. Tipton and colleagues (2003) examined responsiveness of protein synthesis for a day after a workout, and found it to reflect a 24 hour enhanced level. This means that having a morning shake will have the same impact on muscle protein synthesis as one consumed following the workout! We’ve known for over a decade that postworkout protein synthesis is jacked up for this long (MacDougall et al., 1995). Some research suggests that even 48 hours after the workout our protein synthesis levels can be elevated by ~33% (Phillips et al., 1997), giving us an even longer period during which we can maximize our muscle growth with protein drinks.

    Comparing research that used drinks consumed immediately after a workout (Tipton et al., 2001) versus those ingested an hour after training (Rasmussen et al., 2000), the results are surprising: it seems that post workout meal ingestion actually results in 30% lower protein synthesis rates than when we wait! While we know that our post workout window lasts for at least 24 hours, we can’t assume that the responses to repeated meals will all be the same.

    This is where research by Borsheim (2002) comes in. This landmark research shows that the best thing to consume after our post workout meal is… another protein shake! In fact, if we time it right, we’ll get the same huge increase in protein synthesis. Also, you’ll get an even bigger response from the second drink, compared to what you get from the first.


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    Jul 30, 2008 9:12 PM GMT
    I've always had mine before working out.
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Jul 30, 2008 9:28 PM GMT
    Wow! Thanks for all of the info (and citings) YngHung.
    Very informative.

    To paraphrase, and make sure I understood correctly, it sounds like:

    1) The most important meal in the day is always breakfast.
    2) It's good to eat some protein that takes awhile to digest before sleeping.
    3) You shouldn't have a protein drink immediately following your workout.
    4) You should have 2 protein drinks as the first meals after your workout.
    5) It may be beneficial to have a protein drink before a workout, as it will improve blood flow.

    Did I get all of that right?
    And does cassein whey, and/or cottage cheese, count as a good pre-sleep food, given the above?
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    Jul 30, 2008 9:45 PM GMT
    UncleverName saidWow! Thanks for all of the info (and citings) YngHung.
    Very informative.

    To paraphrase, and make sure I understood correctly, it sounds like:

    1) The most important meal in the day is always breakfast.
    2) It's good to eat some protein that takes awhile to digest before sleeping.
    3) You shouldn't have a protein drink immediately following your workout.
    4) You should have 2 protein drinks as the first meals after your workout.
    5) It may be beneficial to have a protein drink before a workout, as it will improve blood flow.

    Did I get all of that right?
    And does cassein whey, and/or cottage cheese, count as a good pre-sleep food, given the above?


    Ah yes the great evil...I forgot to paraphrase and summarize.

    1.) Yes.
    2.) Yes.
    3.) Immediately is not necessary nor beneficial.
    4.) Yes
    5.) Definitely have a protein drink prior to your workout, there are tremendous benefits to this.

    Casein or egg albumin proteins are excellent before bed protein choices. Just avoid any mixes with excessive carbs before bed. Know your body, know your supplement, be certain what you're putting in your body, simple protein mixes tend to be the best. Optimum Nutrition makes some great choices that have both medium and long digesting proteins in them with very low carbs, excellent taste and solubility, with an affordable price. I have no financial relationship with Optimum so I can tell you from unbiased experience, they are one of the best in my opinion.
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Jul 30, 2008 10:01 PM GMT
    Thanks for confirming.

    My own personal experience is that if I consume a protein shake just before an intense workout first thing in the morning, I get extremely nauseous. If I consume carbs, I don't get nauseous. So personally, I'm going to still avoid the protein shake first thing before an early morning workout. I may try to consume one if I am working out in the afternoon though.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Jul 31, 2008 2:02 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidBack to TexasMan82,

    After reading your post again I really didn't like your tone that you took with me. Makes no sense, eh? I would say training for 90 minutes with weights and only 10 minutes of cardio are two things I've never heard of before. This is what I gathered from your profile.
    First of all training for over an hour is counterproductive. And doing cardio for 10 minutes is not even considered a warm up for anyone.

    I don't know why you need studies. I mean, just look at the differences between our pics. I speak from personal experience and I have been working out since I was 18 which means I have nearly 20 years of experience.

    If you don't know how insulin affects the body from an athletic performance standpoint then you might want to educate yourself first. Just because you don't know or haven't made a point to read something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It demonstrates complete arrogance on your part to insinuate what I'm saying doesn't exist.


    Don't like the tone I took with you? OK, dad.

    Did you not notice in my post where I explicitly said that having fat and fiber post workout was not optimal? You even quoted it. So how can I not know anything about it if I just typed it?

    Yes, we all know about the manipulation of insulin. You didn't discover it, even within those 20 years of working out.

    My qualm was with the claim you made that the fat consumed would be shuttled directly to fat stores. THAT is what I believe to be erroneous. Unless, of course, you have a source to back that SPECIFIC statement up...then I'm all eyes.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Jul 31, 2008 2:06 AM GMT
    Nevermind----I'll be nice.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 31, 2008 5:44 AM GMT
    Alright girls.. stop measuring and just let it be.

    On the up side, this has been a stimulating, and informative thread. Bravo.
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    Jul 31, 2008 6:06 AM GMT
    I've gotta say, I tried both the before and after protein shake and neither did anything for me at all, apart from maintain the gut I had at the time. Try and just have some sort of light protein based meal after your workout. Tastes better and its cheaper as well.

  • gym_rat_7

    Posts: 25

    Jul 31, 2008 1:49 PM GMT
    This video has some good recipes for smoothie shakes;

    http://www.eatdrinkordie.com/videos/8cd803823e

    The "chef" is nice looking too. Check out all his smoothie recipes.
  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    Jul 31, 2008 2:27 PM GMT
    I'm with unclevername, if I drink a shake before working out I get nauseous, but right after working out (20-30 min's) is not a problem. I start the morning with a high fiber cereal, usually oatmeal, skim milk, and a little fruit and some fruit juice. If I'm doing my heavy lifting which is usually Tues/Th I also have a hard boiled egg. On the other days I skip the egg. I'm always at the gym at 9:00 am and always eat about 6:45 to 7:15. It took me a couple of month's to come up with a meal plan where I didn't run out of energy or get nauseous, this seems to work for me.