Pre Workout vs Protein Shake
Should you use a Pre Workout or Protein Shake to help with your health and fitness goals? We compare these two popular supplements to bring you all you need to know
When it comes to deciding between a Pre Workout and Protein Shake, there are some key things that you need to be aware of – some of them more obvious than others.
You’re probably already aware of the potential benefits of both types of supplements but knowing a bit more about each one works can be very beneficial when you’re looking to make a decision about which one is the right choice for you.
On the face of it, it looks simple. Pre Workouts are designed to help support you through your workouts, while Protein Shakes are designed to give your body a source of protein to help fuel recovery.
But there is a bit more to it than that, and things can get complicated especially when some fitness experts actually recommend taking a protein shake before your workout.
Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. Our articles and the products featured in them are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Always speak with a certified medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, exercise routine, and/or taking any supplements.
It’s important to point out that both pre workouts and protein shakes are not intended to replace a varied diet and a healthy overall lifestyle.
Instead, they can be combined as part of an already-healthy diet and sensible workout plan, if and when required.
In this article, we’re going to closely compare Pre Workouts and Protein Powders to determine the best use for each of them.
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Why Use A Pre Workout?
Starting off with the basics, you probably already know that Pre Workout supplements are designed to help you feel on point during your workouts, so that you can make the most of your exercise regimen.
Pre Workout Basics:
• Designed to be consumed about 30 minutes before a workout
• Usually come in a flavoured powder to be mixed into a drink
• Usually contain Caffeine or another stimulant
• Other popular ingredients include Creatine, Vitamins and Minerals
Some of best pre workout supplements usually contain a blend of different ingredients which may help to support you through your workouts.
They also usually include a small dose of a stimulant such as Caffeine so that you can raise your game when needed.
The point of a pre workout supplement is simply that it may help to make sure that you get the very best out of your workouts.
Your time spent in the gym or exercising is valuable – and you want to make sure that you’re feeling on point.
We’ve all had those sessions where it seems impossible to get going and although you’re there physically, mentally you’re struggling to focus.
The idea behind a quality pre workout supplement is that it can help you get the very best out of your training sessions so you can enjoy amazing workouts as regularly as possible.
Why Use A Protein Shake?
So what about Protein Shakes? There are a huge range of these types of supplements on sale these days and they are one of the most popular products in the health and fitness industry.
Editor's note: The health claims about the ingredients mentioned in this article are listed as authorised on the EU Register at the time of publishing.
There are lots of different types of protein supplements available, with Whey Protein being one of the most popular ones.
Whey Protein Shake Basics:
• Convenient way to top up protein intake
• Protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass
• Designed to be consumed as part of a varied, balanced diet
• Very common supplement
Protein Shakes are for people who are training hard and are looking for a supplement to top up their intake of protein, in addition to what they are getting from their nutrition plan.
It’s important to point out that protein shakes shouldn’t be regarded as a replacement for a varied diet and a healthy overall lifestyle. Instead, they can provide a convenient way to top up your protein intake if needed.
As you no doubt already know, dietary protein is needed to support the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. So if you’re looking to build more muscle, you’ll need to make sure that your body is being supplied with the fuel it needs to do so.
The good thing about Whey Protein in particular is that it contains a wide range of the Amino Acids your body needs to build more muscle.
Now you might think that it’s normal to only take a protein shake after a workout to help to support recovery – but many people do take them before the gym too to help give them fuel for their workout.
This is definitely not a bad idea in some cases, but doing so is not the same as taking a specifically-designed pre workout supplement.
Pre Workout vs Protein Shake
So, how do you choose between a Pre Workout or Protein Shake?
The answer is pretty simple:
Want to support your workouts? = Take a quality Pre Workout
Want to support your recovery? = Drink a quality Protein Shake
Although there seems to be quite a lot of confusion between these two types of supplements, they have very different purposes.
A Protein Shake is designed to give your body the fuel it needs to support recovery (before / after your workout).
A Pre Workout is designed to provide ingredients which can help support you through your workouts (during your workout).
What About Using Both Together?
You’ve probably already wondered about this – what about using a Pre Workout and Protein Shake together?
Well, because these two supplements have different goals, in theory they should complement each other and it should be perfectly OK to use them with each other.
That being said, we do always recommend that you speak to your doctor before taking any new supplement for the first time, or making any major lifestyle changes.
Most protein shakes do not contain any stimulants such as caffeine, so there shouldn’t be any danger of over-doing it with those.
Generally speaking, most pre workout supplements are designed to be consumed around 30 minutes before starting your training session.
With protein shakes, there is a bit more of a debate about when the best time to take them is.
The general consensus is that you should take your protein shake as close to your training session as possible.
Whether that be before or after your session really comes down to personal preference.
If you’re interested, you can check out our guide to some of the leading pre workout supplements on the market right now by following the link shown below.
Anything Else To Consider?
When it comes to your body, there is no ‘magic pill’ or ‘magic powder’ to help you achieve success.
The simple fact of the matter is that you should always start with the basics before taking a supplement for the first time.
That means making sure that your nutrition and training regimes are on point before taking any new supplement.
As we mentioned above, we also think it’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor before trying a new supplement or making any major lifestyle changes.
You should carefully read the label for the directions and warnings of any supplement you purchase.
Conclusion – Our Final Thoughts
So there we are – our comparison of a Pre Workout vs Protein Shake.
We’ve explained the main differences between these two types of supplements to help you make a decision about which is the best one for you.
Pre Workouts are the supplement for you if you’re looking to get the most out of your training sessions.
Protein Shakes are an option if you want to give your body a top-up of protein to help with recovery.
And yes, it should be perfectly OK to use both of them together.