There are as many tips for making your workout better as there are opinions in the world. We get it. It's hard to really know which advice you should follow, especially since so much of it can be questionable at best. Let's look past the gurus and experts who don't seem to have any reasonable credentials to have earned those titles and get down to science of workout performance. When it comes to improving the results you see in the gym, diet plays a huge role — specifically, consuming protein prior to a workout. Sure, it doesn't sound earth shattering, but the results you'll see will make you a believer in a flash!
Why You Need Protein Before You Work Out
We really can't say this any clearer: protein is an essential element for so many of the body's functions, especially the ones associated with burning fat and building toned muscles. According to Kate Shanley, holistic health coach at Vibrant Health, "Protein is found in every cell in your body, including your hair, nails, and muscles, and it is responsible for enzyme and hormone production, digestive processes, and even immunities!"
What does this mean for you, the woman who wants to get more out of her workout? Simple: in order to have the best results and see your body perform and recover in an optimal manner, you just have to fuel up with protein at least 30 minutes before you train. Why? It's going to fuel your muscles and prime them for change! Change means less fat and more muscle! We figured that would get your attention.
According to Bardia Rahim, founder of NutraLeaf, "Without pre-workout protein consumption, your body would literally begin to break down its muscle fibers to release proteins for use, resulting in muscle loss." That means your body would be eating up your muscles instead of adding to them! That's the opposite of what you want from your workout.
What Protein Should You Use?
The easy answer is whey protein! Studies have shown that consuming whey protein before you work out will increase your resting energy expenditure by almost 10 percent for up to two days after you train. That means you'll be burning fat long after your session if you have whey before you train, and fat will be melting off of your middle at the same time! You won't get the same results reaching for simple carbs or working out on an empty stomach. Not convinced? How about the fact that whey protein curbs the stress hormone cortisol? Less fat, more muscle, and less stress? Sounds like a win, win, win!
How Much Should You Eat?
The answer to this always seems like you have to be some kind of wizard to know for sure. The fact is that there are some very simple rules to follow. While the CDC advises that women should have a minimum of 46 grams of protein every day, women who are looking to lose weight or add toned muscle need more than that. According to certified personal trainer Terry Asher, founder of GymJunkies, women should "gave a shake with about 15 grams of whey for the best protein benefits before training." Asher went on to say that women should also "aim to have another 15 grams after training to help the body repair and rebuild." If you follow this approach and couple it with your efforts in the gym, you'll see results faster and be way ahead of almost anyone else in your gym! You can thank us later.