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What Happens If I Eat a Protein Shake Before a Workout?

author image Nicole Campbell
Nicole Campbell has been writing professionally since 2005. With an extensive medical background, a nursing degree and interest in medical- and health-related writing as well as experience with various lifestyle topics, she prides herself on her conversational, active voice and ability to relate to the average reader.
What Happens If I Eat a Protein Shake Before a Workout?
A protein shake before working out can give you the energy you need to give your workout your all. Photo Credit: ferlistockphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Protein shakes consist of protein powder mixed with water or milk. Usually prepared in a blender or a shake cup, protein shakes are an integral part of the pre-workout regimen for many people. Drinking a protein shake before exercising is supposed to improve your workout and aid in achieving fitness goals. While protein shakes aren't for everyone, drinking one before your workout may have benefits.

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Muscle Manufacturing

According to, drinking protein shakes before exercising is important for those who are looking to build muscle. Muscles are made up primarily of protein, and taking a protein shake before work helps provide your body with the protein it needs to become stronger and build muscle. Protein is also used to create enzymes and other hormones that your body needs to continue to build strength.

Muscle Healing

Working out causes intense contractions which lead to small tears in the fibers of your muscles. This minor damage to the muscles when you work out is one of the reasons why rest days are so important -- the muscles need time to recuperate and repair themselves. Protein helps deliver many of the vital nutrients that your body needs for this repair. Not getting enough protein can lead to over-training of your muscles, which can eventually lead to injury. Drinking a protein shake before working out can help your body heal more quickly and efficiently between workouts, reports

Protein for Energy

Protein shakes contain complex carbohydrates, which are an important source of energy for the body. Drinking a protein shake before your workout can help ensure that you have enough energy to put your all into your workout and get the most out of it. Take a protein shake before your workout on the days when you need a bit of an extra push to get you going.

Before Workout vs. After Workout

The benefits of a protein shake can be had by those who choose to take them after working out, as well, reports Straight Health. While there is no way to reap the energy-giving benefits of a protein shake during your workout as you would by taking it beforehand, taking a shake after working out can still help to provide the vital protein needed to repair the damage that working out can do to your muscles. Experiment with a protein shake before and after your workout and see which one works best for you.

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