Benefits of Protein Shakes Before a Workout

Workout boosting using protein and carbsGoing for a workout on an empty or full stomach is never recommended. If the exercises are light and involve walking or a light jog, then have some easily digestible foods like a slice of toast, a banana or half a plain bagel and some water to provide the necessary energy before you start your workout. Your body needs sustenance after at least six hours of not eating; mainly because the stores of carbohydrates get depleted from the liver.

Now, if you are looking at a heavier workout, then you need more food to compensate the energy output you’ll be doing.

[Read: Protein Shake Recipe to Support Muscle Repair]

How Protein Works

Muscles are built up through resistance training and weights. Proteins are the raw materials that help build up muscles. The best and easiest way to get proteins into the muscles is through protein shakes. Be it through eggs, milk or whey shakes, the body doesn’t mind how the protein is ingested. These foods all contain ample amounts of amino acids, the building blocks of muscles.

The way you intake your proteins depends on the exercise and intensity of the routines. Before you start your cardio, drinking a protein shake can give you a boost of energy and will ensure that the protein goes right into the muscular tissues to limit tears and other damage and also to improve the recovery process. Remember to give ample time for recovery after each intense workout as those are the times when the muscles actually start building up.

When taking a protein shake before a workout, the drink is immediately converted into glucose and combines with the glycogen stored in the muscles to provide the energy. Whereas if you intake the shake after the workout, it is going to delay the carbohydrate delivery to the muscles.

Optimal Protein Shake Ingredients

Your protein shake should contain both simple carbohydrates that revitalise you in a short period of time and complex carbohydrates that take time to digest, are a slow burn. Proteins, along with complex carbohydrates, are what give you the energy to complete your workouts. If you plan on working out for more than 90 minutes, your body will need additional supplements before the workout is over.

There is often a glycemic response from some shakes which can be prevented by mixing in oat bran. This will delay release of the carbohydrates into the blood stream as glucose. Oat bran is a complex carbohydrate compared to the simple ones commonly found in protein shakes like sucrose.

If you intake higher amounts of carbohydrates before your workout session, you will subsequently use up lesser amounts of energy which results in preserving the proteins to do what it does best – build up muscle tissues. Hence, the more proteins left for building up muscles, the higher your metabolism rate and the better your workouts.

A good balanced pre-workout protein shake should contain a 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. For carbohydrates you need to add in grains and fruits. Women should have at least 200 to 300 calories per shake while men should aim for 300 to 400. For a heavy workout try having a diet combining proteins, carbohydrates and fat at least half an hour before the session to get the best results during your workout.

What Protein To Use

The two most popular proteins for a pre-workout are soy and whey. Soy digests fat and is used by people looking to shed weight. Whey proteins are excellent alternatives to limit consumption of carbohydrates, fats and fibre while still containing large doses of proteins. You can take them separately or combine them. Take approximately 20 grams of protein with 40 grams of carbohydrates at least 20-30 minutes before a workout.

Remember to stay hydrated throughout the session. Create your protein shake by mixing in your favorite ingredients with the above quantities of proteins and get pumping into your workout.

Once you’ve finished your workout, it’s important to stretch your muscles and make sure you allow enough recovery time between workouts. A great way to do this is through a sports or remedial massage.

Contact us today to set up your mobile massage on the Gold Coast.