There are a lot of different opinions on whether pre-workout supplements or protein powders are better.
Some people swear by pre-workouts while others think that protein powders are the only way to go.
The debate never ends. Never.
Which is the best and what’s the difference in their benefits and how do they affect your body?
In this blog post, we will compare and contrast pre-workout supplements and protein powders to help you decide which is the best choice for your fitness and bodybuilding goals.
Lets get started.
Table of Contents
What is Pre Workout?
Pre workout supplements are designed to give you energy and focus for your workouts. They usually contain caffeine, Creatine, Nitric Oxide, BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), and other ingredients depending on the brand.
The purpose of a pre-workout is to help you have more energy and intensity during your workout, which will lead to better results.
They are usually taken before a gym session to give you a boost in energy and focus.
They are specially designed to give you a feeling of “Pump” by increasing blood flow and nutrient delivery to the muscles. They can also help you to lift heavier weights for longer periods of time, due to the increase in energy and focus that they provide.
Some people do experience side effects such as nausea, jitters, or stomach discomfort while on pre-workouts. While some experience more adverse effects (especially those with an underlying condition).
But from my research, most of those effects are usually mild and temporary.
If you do experience any adverse effects, it’s best to discontinue use and switch to another brand that contains fewer stimulants and lesser composition of artificial ingredients.
What is Protein Powder?
Protein powder comes in many forms, from whey and casein protein powders to plant-based options such as pea and hemp proteins.
They are popular among athletes because they help build muscle and aid in recovery.
Protein powders are made up of a high-quality protein that is easily digestible and helps to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. They also usually contain BCAAs, which are essential amino acids that help with muscle growth and recovery.
Most protein powders come in convenient powder form, which makes them easy to mix with water or milk for a quick post-workout shake.
Protein powders are popular with athletes and bodybuilders because they can help to increase muscle mass and strength. They are also sometimes used as a weight-loss tool, since eating more protein can help to reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness.
Protein is essential for human health and plays a role in everything from muscle growth to hormone regulation.
Most people don’t get enough protein from their diet, so adding protein powder can help ensure that you’re getting the nutrients your body needs.
Pre Workout vs Protein Powder: The BIG Difference
The main difference between pre workouts and protein powders is that pre-workouts are designed to give you energy and focus for your workouts, while protein powders are made up of a high-quality protein that helps to rebuild muscle tissue.
Pre-workouts also usually contain stimulants like caffeine, which can cause side effects like jitters or nausea in some people.
Pre-workouts can be taken before and after workouts, while protein powders are usually taken after workouts.
Protein powders are usually made from whey protein isolate or concentrate and contain essential amino acids that help with muscle growth and recovery.
They can be taken after workouts but if you’re looking to build muscle mass faster then it’s best to consume both pre-workouts and protein powders together as part of your daily fitness routine.
Here’s a quick bullet-point summary of the difference between protein powder and pre-workouts:
- Pre-workouts are best for people who want to increase energy and focus during their workouts
- Protein powders are best for athletes and bodybuilders who want to build muscle mass faster
- Pre workouts are usually taken 15-45 minutes before a workout or exercise
- Protein powders are usually taken 15–60 minutes after exercise or workouts
- Pre-workouts always comes in a flavored powder to be mixed into a drink
- Protein powders usually come in different forms: powders, bars or even ready-to-eat shakes and meals
- Pre-workouts contain stimulants and other ingredients that give you energy and focus for your workouts
- Protein powders contain high-quality protein that helps to repair and rebuild muscle tissue
Pre-workout or Protein powder – Which is best for beginners?
To be frank, as a beginner, this is entirely up to you – as which to choose depends on your personal fitness and bodybuilding goals. I will explain…
Pre workout supplements can help increase your energy and stamina, as well as improve your focus for a better workout.
While protein powder can help you get those extra calories in for the day, and provide your muscles with the protein they need to build muscle.
In my opinion, pre-workout is the better supplement for beginners as its primary purpose is to improve your workout and help you recover faster. This is because as a beginner, your muscles are still adapting to the new routine and need all the help they can get.
Protein powder is secondary and serves only to supplement your diet with extra protein.
The thing about pre-workout supplements is that they are not a requirement for you to use.
However, if you are a beginner and have never used pre-workout before, then it can be a good idea to start off with a lower dose to see how your body reacts.
The same goes for protein powder – start with a low dose to see how your body reacts, and then work up slowly until you reach the desired effect.
Then later down the line, you can try using both pre-workout and protein powder at first because each supplement has a different function in your diet.
You can use them together to really get results, or you can use them separately if that’s what works for you.
Should you take Pre workouts and Protein shakes together?
As I mentioned earlier, it is possible of course. But there are a few things you must have in mind.
While I wouldn’t certainly recommend it – because both serve an entirely different purpose – you can, but only if you’re given a go-ahead by your fitness, bodybuilding, or medical expert.
Most people consume both a pre-workout and protein shake as part of their fitness routine without issues. You can definitely after you might have found a balance.
As you already know, pre-workouts are designed to give you energy and focus for your workouts, while protein powders are made up of a high-quality protein that helps to rebuild muscle tissue.
Together, these supplements will help you achieve your hardiness goals much faster.
What is the best time to take Pre-workouts and Protein shakes?
Pre-workouts are typically taken 15-45 minutes before a workout or exercise, while protein powders are usually taken 15–60 minutes after your exercise session.
This is not a rigid or hard rule, but it is a good guideline. If you want to take your pre-workouts before work and protein after work, then that’s fine too. But experts say that taking pre-workouts before a workout gives you more energy and better performance.
Similarly, protein powders are best taken after a workout to help with muscle recovery. So lets go with that. 🙂
How long do Pre Workouts and Protein powders last in the body?
The effects of pre-workouts typically last for about an hour or two.
The effect will depend on the dosage, ingredients in the product, and other factors you look out for.
For example, when you take a pre workout with caffeine, it takes about an hour for your body to absorb the effect.
The effects of protein powder will depend on how much protein your body needs and what time you take it. If you are taking whey protein immediately after a workout, then there is no doubt that the product will kick in instantly. If you are taking a protein shake before bed, then the product will digest and work throughout the night.
How Does it take for both supplements to go bad?
The protein shakes should be used within 24 hours of being prepared. It is best to store it in the fridge, but the shelf life will depend on other factors.
According to the research, whey protein powder lasts for 9-19 months when stored in normal conditions. Most protein powders have additives that make them last up to 2 years.
Then for pre-workouts, they last up to 12 months when stored in normal conditions. It is recommended that you store your pre-workout supplements at room temperature in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
Pre-workouts go bad or expire when they have been opened for up to 8 weeks.
In conclusion, if you take care of your products properly and store them under optimal conditions; then we are sure that both will go bad after their expiration date.
What are the best Pre workouts and Protein supplements?
First of all, you should decide what your fitness goals are. Once you have that figured out, then it will be much easier to find the right pre-workouts and protein supplements for you.
My favorite list of pre-workouts without side effects includes:
- Crazy Nutrition Pre-workout
- Bulk Powders Pre-workouts
- Evlution Nutrition Pump Mode Pre-Workout
- Nitrosurge Pre Workout
- Transparent Labs Pre Workout
- Ghost Pre Workout
Above all, I’d recommend Crazy Nutrition as my favorite they use natural quality ingredients to create a pre-workout that will amplify your training sessions instantly. Incredible energy, mental clarity, extreme drive, and superb muscle definition for all athletes.
On the other hand, there are dozens of protein powders and shakes out there which are great for fitness goals. Doing a quick on Google on “buy protein powders” or “best protein powders” would bring results for you to choose from.
However, see my favorite below:
The TRI-Protein can be breakfast, after a workout, or just as a quick snack- with its delicious flavors in a Vanilla, Chocolate, or Salted Caramel Flavour.
It will help build strong muscle, burn stubborn fat and keep the athlete fuelled up—a no-fuss formula with zero bloating and only 97 calories.
Final Thoughts on Pre Workout vs Protein Powder
Pre-Workout supplements are meant to give you more energy, help you focus, and make you last longer.
They come in many different forms and usually have ingredients like creatine, taurine, caffeine, amino acids, and beta-alanine. Protein powder is meant to help your muscles recover after a workout. It has all the essential amino acids your body needs to repair the damage done during a workout and also grow new muscle fibers.
While both are great supplements to help you live healthier and fitter, they work entirely differently in the body. Pre-workouts should be taken before working out, while protein powders can be taken at any time of the day.
Be sure to do your research before buying either product, as there are many different types available that might not be right for you.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.