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ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (196,969)
Fitness Minutes: (294,073)
Posts: 27,057
1/29/13 11:34 A


As Coach Nancy noted, it's okay to have a protein drink once in a while (in a pinch), but it's better to rely on wholesome foods for energy. You have to be careful with some of those protein drinks, many are loaded with excess calories. You may end up drinking more calories after a workout than if you had had a turkey sandwich.

There are studies which show that a pint of chocolate milk has the right breakdown of carbs, fat and protein for an after workout recovery drink.

Also, you'll get differences of opinions as to when a person should eat. In general, if you're going to have an intense workout, you should have a little something prior to the workout to keep your blood sugar levels stable. it's also important to have a post workout meal to begin replenishing your glycogen stores.

Which is best ? depends on your body and how it responds to the workout. We're all different and have different needs. What to do ? Experiment. We all did. You'll have to try different food/drink combinations to see which work best for your body.

Personally, I have to eat something prior to strength training. If I don't, my blood sugar drops. However, I have to run on a empty stomach. If I do run on an empty stomach, I do eat something right after the run.

Experiment, but do watch those protein drinks. I think they're over rated. My personal feeling is that a person should do better with a meal. And it could be as simple as a banana with some peanut butter.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
1/29/13 10:16 A


Welcome to the SparkPeople family!

While protein drinks offer convenience, know that you can get the same benefits from eating a turkey sandwich or a piece of fruit with peanut butter.

Refueling after exercise is a better option, but know that protein is just one component. In fact your protein drink should have more carbs than protein (3:1 or 4:1 carbs to protein ratio--in other words for every gram of protein you should have 3 to 4 grams carbs)--the reason, your body depletes glycogen (stored carbs in the muscles and liver) stores during exercise so if you can replenish those glycogen stores (within the first hour, although some studies state the sooner the better) your body's insulin sensitivity is at it's best at that time. The protein helps repair the damage to the muscles, but it doesn't take a lot.

That being said, if you have not had anything to eat within 3-4 hours before working out, you may want to eat a small piece of fruit of a plain bagel about an hour or so, so that your blood sugar is stabilized for working out. Protein and fats take too long to digest for your body to benefit from.

I hope this helps!

Coach Nancy

DLUCKENBACH SparkPoints: (207)
Fitness Minutes: (60)
Posts: 1
1/29/13 10:04 A

i just started Sparks and I have a question. When do you have a protein drink, before exercise or after exercise?

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