Ultimate Guide to Exercise and Protein
7 min read

Ultimate Guide To Exercise and Protein

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When you exercise, your muscles undergo motions that tear their fibers, giving your body aches and pains 24-48 hours after you finish your workout. This is when protein comes into play.


Protein acts like a medical patch to help you regenerate your muscles. Protein helps you recover faster, feel less sore, and achieve your desired result.


So, how much protein do you need on a daily basis? Is it better to have protein before or after a workout session? Why is protein important before and after, especially if you’re trying to build muscle mass?


Read the guide to exercise and protein below to learn everything you need to know.


Table of Contents


How Much Protein Do You Need?


Based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), your body needs at least 0.8 grams of protein to prevent malnutrition.1 But keep in mind that this amount is not the optimal daily intake. This is because the right amount of protein will depend on your activity level, age, muscle mass, and calorie consumption. If you're very active or training as a bodybuilder for instance, you need more! 


Should You Consume Protein Before or After Exercising?


Protein shakes are an easy way to make sure you get enough protein each day. However, the amount of protein you need to consume before and after you exercise will depend on your fitness and health goals. 


If you want to boost your protein levels, then taking protein both before and after your workout is a big help.


If you experience muscle fatigue, poor digestion, and dry skin, you may also want to boost your protein intake. This is because protein is an important building block of muscles, bones, and skin and your body uses it to build and repair damaged tissues.


If you want to build muscle, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends you consume between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight on a daily basis.2


After the age of 30, people lose about 3 to 8% of their muscles every decade. So, you might want to take about 25 grams of protein per meal to maintain muscle health and keep your bone healthy and strong.3,4


With the anabolic window, fitness enthusiasts have varying suggestions on when you should take your protein.


Some experts suggest taking protein 15 to 60 minutes before exercise as it can help you absorb more nutrients. While the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests a two-hour timeframe if you want to build muscles.5 The point is, you can take protein any time you like because the right amount of protein is more important than timeframes.


Importance of Protein Before Your Workout


Importance of Protein Before Your Workout


Protein intake before working out prepares your body for the rigorous training. In fact, it improves your athletic performance and boosts your muscle protein synthesis.6 Therefore, you feel less fatigued and sore after your workout.


More importantly, protein powders like Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest help you recover from lactic acid buildup, which triggers muscle soreness during an intense workout. So, adding protein to your diet saves you from the intensity and immediate onset of the muscle tenderness.5


Additionally, consuming protein before exercise increases muscle protein synthesis and gives improved muscle growth and recovery.4 You can expect protein to support increased strength and muscle performance, too.


Pea Protein isolate takes about 20 minutes to be digested, which is faster than casein, another type of protein found in cow’s milk, that take several hours to digest. 


Meanwhile, as you work out, the protein will continually work on your muscles and promote better regeneration, too.


Importance of Protein After Your Workout


During your exercise session, your muscles’ glycogen levels decline. When glycogen declines, your muscles cannot produce the energy it needs to keep with the exercise intensity thus resulting in fatigue.8


Therefore, after your workout, it’s advisable to take protein to boost your body’s supply of amino acids to help in the repair of your muscles and to help replenish your glycogen stores (if your carb intake is not sufficient enough to expedite recovery).


That is why it is important to replenish your food stores and eat your meal within 45 minutes or up to two hours after your workout while protein synthesis is still on its peak. Glycogen synthesis is higher the closer to the end of exercise and declines by 50% after two hours.9,10,11


Now that you know why protein is important in exercise and muscle health, you can decide which steps are needed for you to start living a healthier, happier life. The pathway to more daily energy and a fuller lifestyle is just waiting for you to take your first step.


If you’re looking for a clean, vegan protein powder that is 18-21 grams of high-quality protein, easy to digest, and free from common allergens (gluten, soy, dairy), Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest is the perfect choice. Clean Lean Protein is high in glutamine, which helps you recover and prevent muscle loss, and also contains all 9 essential amino acids needed by your body for healthy energy levels, faster recovery, and repair of muscle and body tissue. 




  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096
  2. https://www.eatright.org/fitness/sports-and-performance/fueling-your-workout/protein-and-the-athlete
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804956/
  4. https://khn.org/news/why-older-adults-should-eat-more-protein-and-not-overdo-protein-shakes/
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317689540_International_Society_of_Sports_Nutrition_Position_Stand_Protein_and_exercise
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16988909
  7. https://www.livestrong.com/article/550839-how-quickly-does-protein-metabolize/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3784189/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24149627
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16896166
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23360586