The label of one protein supplement suggests to have a shake before the workout and one after. I understand having a couple of protein shakes during the day after the workout, but is there any actual benefit from taking it right before you start? Is this a marketing trick to finish your protein quicker?

These are is the ingredients on my current protein:

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


The theory that many body builders believe is that the body will absorb more of the protein if consumed within one hour of training. Having the shake before will also add to the queue of protein the body can absorb.

It is true that the body absorbs protein at different rates depending on the type of protein and whether you eat a regular meal close to when you take the protein. When you train, it does set many things in motion regarding your hormone balances. For instance your muscles are more sensitive to insulin, which having carbs after training helps recovery and minimizes the risk of turning those carbs into fat.

However, the studies in relation to protein timing are fairly inconclusive. As long as you have the protein you need throughout the day, you will be fine.

Perhaps a better alternative to a protein shake would be a dose of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) before and/or during training. These don't tax your body as much to digest because they are pretty much broken down already. However, they do help your recovery and energy levels while you lift.

  • @Berin-since obviously protein shakes have caloriees, should people thinking of starting protein shakes, just reduce food elsewhere throughout the day to counteract the additional calories in the shake?
    – Bee
    Jul 1, 2012 at 6:08
  • They should be accounted for just like anything else you eat. The only time this really becomes a serious concern is if you are trying to lose fat. However, in that case, protein shakes can be an effective way of getting the protein up while keeping the Calories down. Jul 2, 2012 at 13:06
  • @BerinLoritsch That may be true, and I have no experience with these issues, but I have heard cogent concerns raised about using liquid supplements during weight loss, since our bodies do not easily recognize the intake as satiating. Jul 27, 2012 at 14:32
  • @DaveLiepmann, whey protein, and easily absorbed protein isolates definitely are not satiating. Egg proteins, casein, and other slower absorption proteins are more so. Still not as good as an old fashioned steak, but better than whey. Jul 27, 2012 at 16:21
  • @BerinLoritsch I guess I need to read up on the relative satiety of protein types. I was only aware of the liquid aspect being an issue. I definitely don't think these are major determinants, but it's an interesting set of concepts to research. Jul 27, 2012 at 16:28

It could be an anti-catabolic cassein protein that is combined with other stimulating ingredients like creatine, caffein, etc.

But I would not advice you to eat right before a workout. It's not natural and your digestive system takes away a lot of your energy.

As long as you don't post the full ingredient list I can not give you a full and correct explenation for your question.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.