Pre Workout VS Post Workout Supplements – You Most Likely Need Both

It seems that everyone has there own opinion on which supplements are more effective in giving you the best workout performance and to gain the most muscle.  That’s why we are going to discuss pre workout vs post workout supplements.

Do we need to take both of them?  Which one is the most effective?  What are the benefits to taking either one of these?  What’s the best way to take these supplements?  We will answer each of these questions.

Personally I believe that both of these are just as necessary as part of a complete exercise supplementation program.  Pre and post workouts are actually the yin and yang of the supplement world.  But I’ll let you make that call after getting to know more about the advantages of both.

Since each one our bodies react differently to certain products, it will be ultimately up to you to discover out what works best for your body.  This research should help to get you going in the right direction.

Pre Workout vs Post Workout – Which Is Better

Pre Workout VS Post Workout Supplements - me holding supplementsThere is no straight forward answer on this one since we all have different fitness goals in mind.  The benefits below show that both supplements are an excellent source when improving your exercise program as well as building and toning muscle.

A pre workout is a good way to kickstart muscle growth and development because of the more intense workout that you will be getting.

However, with this more intense workout, you will be breaking down more of your muscle tissue which needs to be restored.  That’s just what protein powder is for.   These two supplements literally revolve around one another.

Because of this, I can’t really say which one is better to have because they work in combination with one another.  If I had to choose, I would take the post workout protein because I can always get by on a few cups of coffee if I have to.


Pre Workout Benefits

  • Improves time before muscle failure and work capacity by providing energy.
  • Draws fluid to muscles making them have a greater appearance.
  • Boosts adrenaline helping the breakdown of fat cells.
  • Enhances physical performance.
  • Amino Acids enhance the blood flow and helps muscles with a quicker recovery.
  • Boost power for a longer and harder workout.
  • Caffeine improves focus and motivation.
  • What Does Pre Workout Do For You - man performing deadliftUses energy to burn fat cells first rather than carbohydrates.
  • Burns calories and fat.

Post Workout Benefits


Pre Workout Supplements

Pre Workout VS Post Workout Supplements - man on firePre workout powders and drinks are specially formulated to give you not only energy, but also maximum performance, increase strength and endurance.  The benefits come from a strong blend of Caffeine and Amino Acids.

A pre workout will constantly refresh your muscles to keep them from fatiguing throughout your exercises.

The Amino Acids proteins enlarge your veins to help pump more blood through to the muscles bringing more oxygen, Aminos, and nutrients to them.  At the same time, it removes lactic acid from your muscles to keep your strength at 100%.

The reason so many people swear by their pre workout is the motivation and focus that it brings to their workout.  This helps to be more efficient and get more out of a workout.  Caffeine is one of the main ingredients to bring this motivation, along with enabling you to keep the same pace for longer.

Pre workouts perform especially well when your exercise motivation is zero.  It can make the difference between getting a great workout or none at all.  Another time when I really get the most out of my pre workout is when doing a heavy leg day.  I dread this workout, but legs are the largest muscle group and are necessary to get the best full-body strength.

Best Way to Take Pre Workouts

Pre Workout VS Post Workout Supplements - me holding no xplode pre workoutA pre workout supplement should be taken approximately 20-30 minutes before your workout.  The full force will kick in between 30-40 minutes.  You don’t want to take it too soon, or you are going to be gassed halfway through your workout.

If you take it too late you’ll have to wait for it to start working.  So timing is more key on pre workout than it is with post workout.

The amount of pre workout to take is usually one scoop(or one serving).  The amount that you need can change depending on many factors such as your weight, metabolism, duration of your last meal and your tolerance to the ingredients(mainly the Caffeine).

We are all different, so there is no way at first to know the exact amount that is right for you.  Because of this, I would recommend starting out with just under a scoop your first time with a new pre workout.  Taking to much can result in anxiety, nausea or headaches.  I generally take about 1 1/2 scoops if I am used to the brand.


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Pre Workout VS Post Workout Supplements - mound of protein powderPost Workout Supplements

When referring to post workout supplements, this is generally talking about the big one called “protein powder”.  Other post workouts could be things such as Creatine or Glutamine supplements, but these are for more specific goals.

A post workout protein powder is just as important as a pre workout.  After intense exercise, your body needs a large amount of protein to help your muscles recover and build your muscle tissue back stronger.  This is especially true for lifting heavy but is also effective for running, exercise classes or any other sport.

Many times it is difficult to get the 20-40 grams of protein or so that you need from an after workout dinner.  This is mainly because of our busy lifestyles that we are unable to prepare a well balanced, high protein meal.    This is when this healthy protein convenience factor comes in.

Post Workout Supplements for Muscle GainThe most popular protein powders are made with Whey since this protein is so high in Amino Acid proteins.

Amino acids are the building blocks for muscle growth synthesis as well as many other useful processes in your body.  Whey is extracted from milk, so it’s not recommended for those that are Lactose intolerant.

Other types of protein powders are made from egg, hemp, brown rice, casein, beef, collagen, and mixed plant proteins.  Protein powders made from meat and dairy contain the most Amino Acids, while proteins made from plants are considered to be healthier.

Best Way to Take Post Workouts

Pre Workout VS Post Workout Supplements - man making protein shakeA post workout supplement should be taken approximately 60 minutes after your workout session.  This is called “protein timing” which is the peak window of time for the maximum absorption of the amino acids in your system to fuel muscle growth.

This window is when you will receive the most benefits such as increased strength and muscle growth for bigger long term gains.  Some studies say that this “sweet spot” for consumption is longer than 1 hour.

Don’t sweat it if you can’t get your protein powder on time, just be sure to take it.

The serving amount is usually 1 scoop (sometimes 2 for plant proteins), and the amount is usually between 20 grams to 30 grams per serving.  This is where you will need to do some math.  The average person should consume about .4 grams of protein per pound of their body weight.  This means at 150lbs you would need 60 grams per day.

If your goal is achieving more muscle mass, the common recommendation is 1 gram per pound of body weight, which makes this an easier calculation.  The math for myself at 200lbs would mean 200 grams of protein.

Obviously you won’t be taking all of this in protein powder, so think about what you will be consuming the rest of the day.  For example, I usually calculate that I’m going to be eating roughly 160 grams of protein throughout the day because of my high protein diet.  Therefore, after exercise, I would take around 40 grams of post workout protein which is usually around 2 servings.

There is no perfect science for this, but don’t be too concerned about getting this wrong.  For increased muscle growth, simply eat plenty of protein.

If you have any questions or comments on how to take your pre workout or post workout supplements, please let me know by leaving them at the bottom.


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Pre Workout Vs Post Workout Supplements

 Pre Workout VS Post Workout Supplements- man drinking pre workoutThe most important thing that we discovered is for a well rounded, effective exercise program its best to have both pre workout and post workout supplements.  They work in combination with one another to produce the best results.

You will get more intense exercise from a pre workout to break down muscle for growth, and a post workout protein powder to build this muscle back stronger than it was.

Pre workouts are very important for energy, motivation, focus and added strength and performance.  A post workout protein supplement or protein powder is key because it improves recovery to enable your muscle gain.  The Amino Acid proteins synthesize to make your body stronger, leaner, fitter and more muscular.

Pre Workout VS Post Workout Supplements - scoop of protein powderThe timing or “sweet spot” which is the most efficient time for uptake is also very important for peak results.  Lastly, I listed all of the benefits to pre and post workout.  They do sound impressive, but there is no magic bullet.  Achieving these benefits will take a lot of hard work and a little time.

If you have any comments or questions on pre workout vs post workouts or anything in between, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will respond.


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