Professionals often recommend to consume protein following your workout. While this is a great opportunity to get some high quality protein in, are there better times to consume protein?
One study set out to examine whether or not consuming protein during training is effective for gains. These researchers split participants into three groups: one group consumed 45g of carbs during training, another group consumed 22g whey protein while they workout out, and the third group took 24g soy protein during their workout. All groups performed the same training program for 9-months and had similar dietary intake throughout the 9-month period. Which group made the best gains?
The group that consumed whey protein during training made significantly better gains than the other two groups. This is no surprise, really – protein is going to be more anabolic than carbs, and whey protein is a much higher quality protein than soy. So, is intraworkout protein consumption more beneficial than post-workout?
In short, no. The gains reported in this study are not astounding by any means and are pretty similar, if not less, to gains reported in studies using protein consumption following training. The main takeaway is that you can consume protein either during or after your workout and can probably expect similar results – as long as your total daily protein intake is the same. We still recommend consuming protein after training since chugging a protein shake during your workout isn’t the most appetizing idea.
Volek, J. S., Volk, B. M., Gómez, A. L., Kunces, L. J., Kupchak, B. R., Freidenreich, D. J., … & Quann, E. E. (2013). Whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 32(2), 122-135.
From being a mediocre athlete, to professional powerlifter and strength coach, and now to researcher and writer, Charlie combines education and experience in the effort to help Bridge the Gap Between Science and Application. Charlie performs double duty by being the Content Manager for The Muscle PhD as well as the Director of Human Performance at the Applied Science and Performance Institute in Tampa, FL. To appease the nerds, Charlie is a PhD candidate in Human Performance with a master’s degree in Kinesiology and a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. For more alphabet soup, Charlie is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), an ACSM-certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP), and a USA Weightlifting-certified performance coach (USAW).