Page 1 of 2

When to drink Protein Shakes

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:47 am
by bio_man
Hi everyone, first post so lets make it good. I recently started weightlifting after years of being lazy. Its nothing strenuous, just 3-4 days a week an hour a day. I was wondering is it better to drink my whey protein shakes before or after my workout. It seems like everyone has a different opinion.

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:53 am
by Stephen Johnson
Some people recommend drinking it before and after your workout, so your muscles are provided with amino acids throughout. Personally, I would choose after. Undigested food or drink have nasty consequences during a heavy workout

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:14 am
by Matt Z
The purpose of protien supplements is to aid recovery and growth. If your workouts aren't very strenuous at this point, you may not get any real benefit from taking them (at least not yet).

As for Stephen's comment, it's been my experience that because protien shakes are liquid they don't sit in my stomach very long. By the time I get changed and drive to the gym, I'm good to go.

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:23 am
by Matt Z
PS.) For the record, I usually have a whey protien shake before and after my workouts. I also drink whey protien on days I don't weight train, and occationally as a late night snack, although a slower digesting protien supplement would probably be better for this purpose.

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:26 am
by Ironman
I have mine before and after. Whey prtein has a lot of health benefits from what I understand. So it is probably ok any time you need to get some extra protein.

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:19 pm
by Blue_Nose
Here's what the 'expert' at the Sports Nutrition store said about the whey powder... he kept saying "studies show" like it was going out of style, so he must have got it from somewhere:
Mix half a scoop of whey powder and half a scoop of dextrose with 500mL of water/milk, drink half before the workout, and the other half during the workout. Afterwards, mix up another 500mL, but use the full scoop of both dextrose and whey powder.

I tend to follow this, except I drink all of the first shake beforehand, and stick to water during the workout.

I do notice that I have more energy and last longer when I have a protein shake beforehand. I'm not sure how much the dextrose (just bought a bag of corn sugar) helps, but buddy seemed to think it was just as important.

Matt Z

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:37 pm
by Matt Z
Supposedly consuming some fast carbs (white break, white rice, potatoe, etc.) immediately after a weight training restores glycogen levels and jump starts recovery. However, it was my understanding that resorting to simple sugars is less than ideal.

Also, I agree that sipping a protien shake durring a hard workout isn't such a good idea.

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:08 am
by Arsenal
I'm not so sure about dextrose. The added sugar can't be good for blood sugar level and I think is an open door invitation for diabetes later on in life.
If you're running a 20 mile marathon, then yeah, dextrose might be good. But if you're doing a moderate weight program or 20 minute on the treadmill, dextrose isn't a good idea, I feel.

Dextrose and Powerade and all those sports drinks are like SUV commercials where they show the SUV's going over mountain tops and snow glaciers and what not..they may do that, but how many people buy an SUV for doing that?
Similarly, dextrose may provide a marathon runner with extra energy, but how many people who consume such stuff are running 20 miles?

then again, I'm no expert :)

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:53 am
by elemental
During and for a period after intense training yuor body becomes "starved" for carbs and protein as your glycogen and amino acid levels are in a "crashed" state. ie. you just used them all busting a vein in the squat rack. At this time your body is primed, so to speak, to process carbs more effeciently that at any other time during the day. Dextrose, fructose, maltodextrose, carbs found in grains, high GI fruits, etc. are best processed in the post work out window.

Studies also show more stable insulin response during this time, to the point where Type II diabetics can, in some cases, eat like they don't have diabetes and not suffer from insulin response problems. Type II diabetes can also be cured, or forced into remission, through intense exercise and proper body comp. Type II Diabetes appears to be more closely related to body comp and excessive carb intake than simple sugars vs. complex carbs. Type I diabetes is whole other ball game tho.

A couple of nutrition experts, who's information is backed by science, suggests eating starchy carbs, simple sugars, etc. only in the 2-3hr post workout window. At other times your carbs should come from low-mid GI fruits and all the veggies you want.

Reguarding when to take protein powder, anytime you need more protein in your meal is fine. People talk about Whey being a fast protein and say you should use casein instead. Well, Whey is faster than casein, but it still takes a while to get into your system, like 1-1.5 hours after comsumption (I think I read). Personally I have a protein shake and some veggies for breakfast (6-8hrs before workout) and one immediately after my work out (this one has a butt load of carbs in it too). My shake will have 1-2 scoops of protein, some cottage cheese, natural peanut butter, flax seed, frozen fruit, etc etc. NOt just the protein powder. Make a meal out of your shake, it'll taste a hell of a lot better than whey and water.

Finally, NOT ALL SUGARS ARE CREATED EQUALLY, don't hate on sugar for sugars sake. Stay away from highly processed sugars, like refined white, high frutose corn syrup, etc etc. But natural sugars, like those found in fruits and the like are actually good for you in moderation. I use a combination of stevia and honey to sweeten my meals now and have noticed a more consistant energy level since doing this. I don't spike and crash like I used to...


Good luck!

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:24 am
by Ironman
Dextrose or not? It really depends on what you are trying to do. If you want to cut or tone (lose fat, gain muscle at slower rate), you really don't want to do that. You need to use your bodyfat. Now on the otherhand, if you are trying to bulk, it's probably a good idea. If you are trying to keep it real clean, maybe not such a good idea. You probably want some, but not a lot. Or you can have it with the work out and keep the sugars down at other times. Now if you are just trying to bulk as fast as you can and to hell with fat gain, it's a great idea. It's probably good for any ecto trying to gain. Where as endos might need to be more cautious. It depends so much on the body type and the goals, it is hard to just say yeah or nay.

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:36 am
by GoLdeN M 07
drink or eat protein 2 or 3 hours before workout out. I dont really eat that much protein sometimes before doing my favorite exercises because i feel its cheeting.

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:25 am
by Matt Z
Protien supplements are great for between meals. I like to eat 3 real meals a day plus 2 shakes. It's a lot more convinient than eating 5 whole-food meal a day, which pretty much the same benefits.

PS.) This might seem like a lot, but I actually consume fewer calories this way, since I eat less food per meal and don't eat a lot of junk between meals.

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:54 am
by Jhawk Fitness
Here is your answer without getting into anything too scientific. Within 1 hour post-workout (after). That comes straight from the mouth of Kansas Athletics Sports Nutritionist Randy Bird.

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:53 pm
by bio_man
thanks for all the input guys. It does seem like its one of those things that depends on the person body and metabolism. I think I'll stick to drinking it after, or maybe half before and half after. Drinking it during the workout doesnt seem to make much sense since I'm guessing your body is already working too hard to focus completely on protein synthesis.

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:45 am
by zeratum
I sip on one at the gym and gulp one down 5 minutes afterwards.