If you’re going to hire a personal trainer or you’re going to start going to the gym, then you want to make sure you maximize all the time you spend exercising. This means eating properly before and after your gym sessions and knowing exactly what you need to consume to make sure you can last throughout a hard workout.
We all know that protein is a major component in keeping your muscles healthy and strong, but should you eat protein before or after your workout?
The short answer is both! Let’s talk about why.
- Benefits of protein before a workout. Protein is essential before your workout because if you don’t have protein, carbs, and fat inside your body already, then you will not be able to withstand a heavy, intense workout. You may be able to run on an empty stomach, but you won’t be able to lift weights and really push yourself without adding fuel first. There is a debate on how soon you should eat before you workout, and the best tip I can give is to test out different methods for yourself. For example, I perform the best if I eat at least 20 grams of protein about 30 minutes before I workout. That 20 grams of protein is usually in the form of a smoothie.
- Benefits of protein after a workout. Once you’ve worked out, it’s important to replenish your body’s nutrients. After a workout, I like to consume around 20 to 30 grams of protein within 45 minutes of my exercise. Because I am an on-the-go person, I usually combine a pack of jerky with another high protein snack, such as peanut butter or hard-boiled eggs. Jerky is super portable, offers 16 grams of protein in every serving, and is tasty as well!
Ultimately, it’s best to have protein before and after your workout. The way you eat before your workout depends on what makes you feel the most comfortable and what will allow you to perform at your peak abilities. As far as after your workout, it’s best to eat about 45 minutes after you leave the gym. If you’re an on-the-go person, you can add jerky to your pre- or post-workout meal, but as for me, I add it afterward as a little treat for getting my workout in.