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I've heard all kinds of things said about this. Is it more effective for muscle building if you take protein supplements before or after working out? Some say that it is better before; others say afterwards. I've even heard that some people take it during a long workout.

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migrated from skeptics.stackexchange.com Sep 6 '13 at 1:46

This question came from our site for scientific skepticism.

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Dan, would you mind referencing the claim(s) being made? –  Larian LeQuella Sep 5 '13 at 1:45

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

First my opinion about protein shakes is well resumed here:

I think heavy protein shakes directly before workout are not advisable, because you body needs to digest. If you necessarily want to take them, drink them at least 90 minutes before working out. Personally, I think taking BCAAs directly before a workout is the better choice.

If you are a beginner, don't worry too much about the fine-tuning, just drink 0.5 L of milk post workout.

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In my opinion both statements are correct.

Protein is best processed at it's peak during your workout. This means that you will have to take your supplements about 1h before working out. This protein can also be in the form of normal food.

Offcourse after your workout your muscles will still need to grow and recover and it won't harm to have some extra protein for this stage of muscle recovery.

I currently devide my supplements before and after training to gain maximal effect. And this seems to work for me.

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The time of day that you take your protein shake is really splitting hairs. The most importing thing is that you find the time to take it (Non supplement protein sources are preferable). I like Marc’s Answer about milk. If you are training hard milk will give you some simple carb to help your blood sugars from getting too low when you are done working out. If I don’t get some sugars in me after a hard work out I will get cranky.

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