Most avid exercisers know that protein is essential for building muscle mass as it provides the nourishment that you need prior to engaging in strength training sessions, and it also helps your muscles heal after grueling workouts. But what about consuming it mid-training? Is that beneficial to your training program?
If you are engaging in exercise that is extremely strenuous or that occurs over a long duration of time, then you might want to consider a protein shake or bar in the middle of your routine. This can help replenish your protein stores while giving you some much needed energy at the same time. For instance, if you are participating in a Tough Mudder competition, running a marathon, or aiming to complete a triathlon, then you’ll likely want to have some protein source to help you through these types of events.
On the other hand, if your workout routine isn’t quite as strenuous, you’re better off having a small protein-based snack before you even begin as opposed to during your exercises. This will give your muscles the nutrients they need without overdoing it.
Another consideration as to whether you should drink protein during your training is what your ultimate fitness goal is. For example, if you have set out to lose weight, then you may not want to consume the extra calories. However, if your primary goal is to gain muscle, then you might need more protein in your diet to make your weight training sessions more effective.
In the end, you should pay attention to what your body needs and use that to guide your decision. If you feel your energy lagging or aren’t’ experiencing the gains you’d like, try adding protein in during your training. But if you currently drink protein mid-session and you’re struggling to keep your weight down, then you may want to go without.