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The Myth: Should You Take Your “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.

This article explains whether it’s best to have a protein shake before or after your workout.

People Who Exercise Need More Protein

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.36 grams per pound (0.8 g/kg) of body weight (1).

The RDA is the estimated amount of a nutrient a person needs to avoid a deficiency. It doesn’t specify the amount needed to optimize body composition or health (2Trusted Source).

For protein, it’s clear that the RDA is much too low to support muscle recovery and growth (3, 4, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

In fact, research suggests that people who routinely strength train may need double the RDA, or 0.72 grams per pound (1.6 g/kg), to support muscle recovery and growth (3, 7Trusted Source).

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

To optimize your results, spread this amount over three to four meals that are consumed every three to four hours (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

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

Summary

People who exercise regularly need more protein to support muscle recovery and growth. Consume your protein at equally spaced times throughout the day.

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