Mike Roussell, MD
People believe that a post-workout shake is the holy grail of sports nutrition. What about a protein shake before training? Find out why you can’t neglect the pre-workout protein!
Protein or amino acids can be taken before and after the training session, however, if I had to choose only one option, I would choose a pre-workout. Blasphemy, many will say! Therefore, if you are more upset than the kitten that was kicked from the stairs, let me first explain everything before you scratch my face.
For a long time, post-workout shakes were considered the most important component of training nutrition. However, recent studies suggest that taking protein and amino acids before training can give you even more positive effects, and here's why:
Pre-workout protein, and especially Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), will help fuel your muscles during your workout. BCAAs are not processed by the liver, and after absorption into the bloodstream they are sent directly to the muscles.
This is a key point because training causes the breakdown and oxidation of BCAAs. Thus, providing trained muscles with these amino acids, you eliminate the need to catabolize these same muscles.
Stimulating protein synthesis
Protein intake before the training session improves pumping, and this stimulates protein synthesis during training, and not after it.
Also during training, pre-workout protein improves amino acid delivery and muscle uptake.
Taken alone or as part of a complete protein, BCAAs prevent muscle breakdown. Thus, the problem of protein synthesis is solved even more efficiently!
Faster Calorie Burning
In a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, it was discovered that one scoop of whey protein before exercise accelerates calorie burning over the next day.
The exact reason for this acceleration is unknown, however, this may be due to additional metabolic effects of elevated levels of amino acids in the blood and modifying substrates (energy sources) used during the training session.
At the same time, you should not wait until scientists figure it out, because in order to get the positive effects (accelerated calorie burning!) Of whey protein, it is not necessary to know their mechanisms (the exact metabolic cause).
In addition, there is a transmitting effect of nutrients taken before training. After protein absorption, muscle protein synthesis can be accelerated by 3 hours.
This means that pre-workout protein allows you to get double benefits: during the training session, you get the positive effects of increasing the level of amino acids in the blood and the continuation of these effects after training.
This increase in blood amino acid levels also helps to prevent excessive post-workout muscle breakdown.
This is partly due to a decrease in the level of the hormone cortisol, which catabolizes the muscles. In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it was found that consuming a protein and carbohydrate shake 30 minutes before a workout caused a significant decrease in cortisol levels that lasted for a day.
Taking protein alone (especially BCAA) before your training session is extremely beneficial when you are on a low-carb diet. The consumption of pre-workout BCAAs, especially when the body has a low glycogen level (which is actually observed with a low-carb diet), leads to increased fat oxidation (that is, to accelerate its burning) during high-intensity physical activities, such as interval training or metabolic training with weights.
Winner: Pre-Workout Protein
The nutrients that we consume before and after training are extremely important for the development and improvement of the figure. If you miss the pre-workout protein, then you will miss the chance to increase anabolism during the session (muscle growth and weakening of post-workout catabolism, that is, muscle breakdown).
Provided that during the day you receive an adequate amount of dietary protein, I recommend taking BCAA before training. Their free form provides faster absorption and assimilation, which means that when you start training, the level of amino acids in the blood will already be high.
The mechanism of action and benefits of protein drinks
Protein is an essential element for building muscle tissue. There are many unbalanced diets in which it is not ingested. As a result, along with the first lost kilograms, it is the muscles that burn and leave, the hated fat remains. This can not be allowed, you can add to the diet light protein foods: chicken, milk drinks, low-fat fish. But there is not always time to cook them, over time, the taste of a monotonous (path and healthy) food frankly bothers. Here and drinks with protein come to the rescue.
What are useful cocktails:
- give the body a protein
- satisfy hunger for a long time
- easy and quick to cook,
- give strength and energy
- have different tastes.
Another huge plus is a small calorie content. A protein shake for weight loss in terms of energy value will be much less than a full lunch or dinner, but it will saturate no worse.
Types of Finished Proteins
There are many types of dry protein for breeding smoothies. It is tasteless or already with additives. In any case, the product is prepared according to the instructions on the packaging. You can also notice the difference in price. Sometimes it reaches several thousand rubles. The cost depends on the base product, the concentration of amino acids, the manufacturer.
- Soya. Cheap protein, contains 50% amino acids, designed for vegetarians, allergy sufferers.
- Whey Isolate It is allocated by the high content of amino acids (up to 90%), high-quality cleaning.
- Whey hydrolyzate. Dear, it has a slight bitterness, but contains up to 98% amino acids.
- Whey Contains 60% amino acids, neutral taste, falls into the middle price category.
- Casein It contains 60% amino acids, is characterized by slow activity.
How and when to drink cocktails
Often, protein drinks replace breakfast. In this case, they are supplemented with grain bread, walnuts, fruits or berries, herbs. A good portion of protein will saturate until lunch, give strength and energy. It is advisable to use it two hours before a workout or an hour after it.
Protein shakes can be consumed instead of lunch or dinner. But no need to overdo it. Valuable food should be ingested. A healthy person needs 2 g of protein per 1 kg of weight. Calculating the norm is easy. An excess of cocktails will only harm, increase the burden on the kidneys, and provoke a shortage of other important substances.
Advice! You need to drink protein shakes slowly, through a tube, this will contribute to better absorption of protein, and a feeling of fullness comes only 15 minutes after eating.
Powder Protein Shake Recipes
For the preparation of drinks, powdered soy, whey or casein proteins are used. They can be without fragrances and flavors, or they may already contain something. For breeding, use non-fat milk or drinking, mineral water, juices, coffee. An additional mixer or blender is required. They will prevent the appearance of lumps, the mass will be uniform, light and tender.
Yogurt and fruit cocktail
Protein powder - 2 tbsp. l
Natural yogurt - 140 ml
Fruit - 100 g
You can take any fruit except bananas. Rinse, cut into slices, put in a blender, add yogurt, pour protein powder. Beat 2 minutes until smooth. If the fruit is not very juicy or the yogurt is too thick, you can add a small amount of purified water.
Chocolate Protein Shake
Skim milk - 300 ml
Powder - 2 tbsp. l
Cocoa without sugar - 1.5-2 tbsp. l
Combine the protein powder with cocoa, stir so that no lumps form. In small portions, introduce cool milk, continuing to stir. Lower the blender, beat the chocolate cocktail for two minutes.
Mocha Slimming Cocktail
Boiled coffee - 1 cup
Honey - 1 tbsp. l
Chocolate-flavored whey protein - 1 tbsp. l
Milk - 100 ml
In milk, add fresh honey and whey protein powder with chocolate flavor. But you can use a neutral product. Beat a minute. Combine with brewed coffee. Stir the slimming drink to combine tastes.
Chocolate Strawberry Slimming Cocktail
Skim milk - 260 ml
Protein powder - 2 tbsp. l
Strawberry - 100 g
Cocoa - 1 tbsp. l
Rinse the strawberries, dry, remove the leaves with twigs, pour into a blender or other convenient dish for chopping. Kill in mashed potatoes. Pour in cocktail powder mixed with cocoa, then dilute the mixture with milk. Stir until smooth for 2-3 minutes.
Homemade Protein Shake Recipes
In the preparation of protein shakes for weight loss, only natural protein products are used: milk, kefir, cottage cheese, raw eggs. Of course, such drinks contain less protein, but they are much cheaper. They are tasty and nutritious, give energy, are great for satisfying hunger, losing weight. Also, for cooking, you need a blender, dishes that are convenient for whipping a drink, a knife.
Important! Since eggs are used raw, it is very important to pay attention to their quality. Be sure to wash the shell with soap before cooking, it may be the causative agent of salmonellosis.
Pineapple Slimming Egg Shake
Fresh or canned pineapple - 3 slices
Fresh egg white - 2 pcs.
Yolk - 1 pc.
Water - 150 ml
Walnut - 1 pc.
In a blender place chopped pineapple, egg whites and one yolk, add water, beat the mixture until smooth. Pour the drink into a glass, add one chopped walnut. Stir, drink a protein shake immediately after preparation.
Milk Banana Protein Shake
Milk - 500 ml
Bananas - 300 g
Nuts - 30 g
Honey - 3 tbsp. l
Cottage cheese - 100 g
Combine honey, cottage cheese, add bananas broken into pieces, any nuts to your taste. Grind the mass into a smoothie. If the cottage cheese is liquid, you can take 200 g. Dilute the cocktail with whole milk of arbitrary fat content, whisk for another minute.
Strawberry Slimming Cocktail with Curd
Fresh or frozen strawberries - 150 g
Milk - 250 g
Curd - 150 g
Honey to taste
Combine the washed, peeled strawberry berries with cottage cheese, add honey to taste, grind with a blender to get a smoothie. Pour in milk. Beat a minute.
Protein Shake with Protein and Orange Juice
Sour cream 10% - 200 g
Egg white - 1 pc.
Orange juice - 160 ml
Honey - 1 tbsp. l
Lemon - 0.5 pcs.
Put sour cream, honey in a blender bowl, add raw egg white, squeeze the juice from one half of the lemon. Stir blender until smooth. Dilute smoothie with fresh orange juice. Pour the drink into a glass. To taste, add chopped nuts or a leaf of mint.
Spiced Slimming Cocktail with Ginger and Cinnamon
Kefir or natural yogurt - 250 ml
Fresh ginger - 5 g
Dry cinnamon - 0.3 tsp.
Dry red paprika - 0.3 tsp.
Peel the ginger root, cut the right amount, chop with a knife, pour into a blender. Add sweet paprika and cinnamon. You can cook this cocktail in an acute version with the addition of ground red pepper, which has a fat-burning effect. Pour kefir or natural yogurt, beat for 2 minutes. Drink chilled, for weight loss, this cocktail is useful to drink at night.
Protein Shake with Ice Cream
Whole milk - 300 ml
Creamy ice cream - 100 g
Powdered milk - 3 tsp.
Egg - 1 pc.
Shake the egg until smooth, add both types of milk. Beat together for about three minutes. Add ice cream. If desired, sweeten the drink with honey, for the aroma you can add a little vanillin. Stir again, literally a few seconds, pour into a glass, use immediately.
Protein powders contain a large portion of protein, you can not use it in excess of the norm specified in the instructions. It is forbidden to take drinks during breastfeeding, as well as during pregnancy, when the load on the kidneys is increased. You can not use protein products for weight loss in childhood and old age.
- respiratory system diseases
- problems with the kidneys and urinary tract,
- cardiovascular diseases.
Do not forget about individual intolerance. As additional ingredients, products with increased allergenicity are often used: honey, eggs, chocolate, coffee, citrus fruits, strawberries and other berries, fruits.
How to choose the right protein
The most popular type of protein is made from whey. It is well absorbed and does not cost as much as, for example, egg. Whey concentrate contains up to 60% protein, and isolate - up to 80%. Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein. It is preferable to drink it immediately after training, for an hour. It will stop the destruction of muscles that begins after power loads, and start the recovery process. With a long workout, you can drink protein between exercises. Some athletes consume protein shakes an hour before training. This helps the muscles work longer and increases their endurance. However, in this situation, it is better to replace the protein with amino acids.
Casein is a whey protein supplemented with curd enzymes. Casein is digested long enough and for a long time retains a feeling of satiety. This type of protein is drunk at night to suppress muscle breakdown while you sleep.
The natural analogue of casein is cottage cheese.
There are also gainers - a mixture of protein with carbohydrates and a small amount of fat. Gainers are designed for very fast mass gain. But they are suitable only for people who are not prone to fullness with a very low level of body fat. Otherwise, the gainer may cause fullness.
Protein is available in the form of a powder, from which a cocktail is prepared. Depending on your weight and intensity of training, 1-3 measured scoops are taken per serving. The powder is mixed with liquid in a special shaker. You can mix protein with any liquid - water, milk, juice, everyone chooses to his taste. The prepared drink should be drunk within 3-4 hours. Particularly sophisticated athletes make ice cream out of protein and even cook pastries using powder instead of flour.
How much do you need?
The athlete's body requires at least 2 grams of protein per kilogram of weight every day. To get better results, sometimes the dosage of protein can be increased, but there is also a limit to the absorption of protein.
One glass of protein shake can contain up to 40 grams of protein. Is it a lot or a little? For an athlete weighing 80 kg, the required daily intake of protein is 160 grams. Thus, one glass of protein can satisfy a quarter of the daily requirement. But protein is not the only protein worth consuming. Protein mixtures contribute to the rapid gain in muscle mass, but cannot completely replace the natural diet: soups, meat and dairy foods.
Time of receipt
It might be a good idea to take the protein mixture right after your workout. Enough muscle has ruptured and needs to be restored. To create new muscle cells and "patching" torn, protein is required. The protein mixture, drunk at this moment, can set the body to increase muscle mass.
Also, a good time for taking the mixture is dinner (preferably 2-3 hours before bedtime). If you drink a protein shake just before bedtime, then there will be an additional burden on the digestive system. Timely protein dinner can help increase muscle mass without the hassle of your body.
The assimilation of protein mixtures by the body is much more important than their intake. What is the use of drinking five servings of a protein shake if only one is digested, and the rest settles toxins in your digestive system. The absorption of protein (and the rest of the protein) can be increased through metabolism and improved overall health.
Metabolism (speeding up metabolic processes) can be enhanced by adding green tea extract, caffeine-based and chitosan-based preparations to your drinks. But be careful: most metabolics have contraindications due to their strong effects on pressure, heartbeat and brain function. Therefore, before using them, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
In addition, the absorption of protein is positively affected by the simultaneous use of the vitamin complex.It is not necessary to buy the most expensive drugs - you need enough multivitamins from a regular pharmacy. The absorption of protein is positively affected by the intake of amino acids (special dairy preparations). You can buy them in online stores or specialized departments of sports nutrition. If you do not want to buy amino acids in tablets, you can get the missing substances from nuts, dairy products or quail eggs.