If you’ve been working out to lose weight, you know how important it is to hydrate after a workout.

But did you know that there are certain types of drinks that can help you get the most out of your post-workout recovery?

In this article, we’re going to go over some of the best drinks for weight loss and what they do for your body.

Right here on Buy and Slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on should you drink protein before or after workout for weight loss, when to drink protein shakes for weight loss before or after workout, best thing to drink after workout for weight loss, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Drinking Protein Shake After Workout For Weight Loss

Dedication to proper nutrition before and after your workouts is key to helping you move well and making them effective. If your plan for doing so includes a protein shake, the question naturally becomes…

Should you drink a protein shake before or after your workout?

The truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong answer.

“It really depends on your goals and when you ate your last meal prior to working out,” says Marie Spano, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., consulting sports nutritionist for the Atlanta Braves and lead author of Nutrition for Sport, Exercise, and Health. “If you want to maximally build muscle, you should have a protein-rich meal (or shake) every three to five hours throughout the day.”

A 2014 study in The Journal of Nutrition shows that muscle protein synthesis (the process of using protein to build muscle) increases when you consume a moderate amount of protein—around 30 grams per meal—throughout the day versus eating the recommended daily amount (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight) at once, like at dinner. So whether you work out in the morning or evening, it’s best practice to evenly spread out your protein intake, and you can do it with a shake if it’s more convenient for you.

That’s because it’s not so much about the timing of your protein consumption, but the total amount of protein consumed daily, says Mona Cabrera, M.S., R.D. “If you prefer your protein shake before your workout versus after, that will be just as beneficial to you. If you are trying to gain muscle and strength, drinking your protein shake before or after your workout doesn’t matter like it was once believed,” she says.

In fact, a 2017 study in PeerJ tested the effects of pre- and post-workout protein intake on hypertrophy (increase in muscle size), strength, and body composition. It found that both pre- and post-workout protein consumption produced similar effects.

That said, if you’re still on the fence about the optimal time to take out that tub of protein powder, here are some pros and cons of drinking a protein shake before or after exercise to consider.

If You Want to Drink a Protein Shake Before Your Workout

The Pros:

If you haven’t eaten in three or four hours, drinking a protein shake before a workout is a great way to ramp up the muscle-building process, says Spano. “In this case, it isn’t really the timing of pre-exercise that matters as much as it is the fact that moderate- to higher-protein meals evenly spaced throughout the day is ideal for building muscle,” she explains. Protein can also help curb hunger if you’re starting to feel a little rumble in your tummy before your sweat sesh. In general, a protein shake before your workout can help you meet your total daily protein intake, says Spano.

The Cons:

The only real concern to consider with drinking a protein shake before a workout is if you have a sensitive stomach and can’t digest protein powder well. “It could potentially make you feel too full, or if you are doing any jumping or bounding, it may cause an upset stomach,” says Spano. A hydrolyzed protein powder might work better for you if you’re prone to gut issues and want to drink a shake or smoothie before your workout. Hydrolyzed protein powders have been broken down into smaller-chain amino acids (the building blocks of protein) for easier digestion and absorption.

In case you’re wondering what’s an ideal carb-to-protein ratio for your pre-workout shake, Spano says there isn’t one. Some people might not need any carbohydrates before their workout if they had some carbs within a few hours prior to exercise. “However, for the person who has not had enough carbohydrates during the course of the day before working out, they may want to add some as this is the top source of energy during moderate to higher-intensity workouts, which includes lifting weights,” she says.

If You Want to Drink a Protein Shake After Your Workout

The Pros:

The faster you consume protein after your workout, the faster you’ll begin the muscle recovery process. “The best time to consume protein is 30 minutes to two hours after working out,” says Cabrera. “The protein will repair and rebuild muscle tissues that were broken down during your workout.” Protein shakes are also a good choice for a quick post-workout snack because they are easier to digest than a full-blown meal, which you may not have an appetite for (or time to make) after exercising, says Cabrera. Moreover, drinking a protein shake after a workout can help replenish lost fluids from sweating things out.

The Cons:

There aren’t any cons to enjoying a protein shake after your workout, and doing so will kick off your recovery sooner rather than later. Spano will sometimes tell athletes to get a protein shake right away because they may forget to eat or not get hungry for several hours. But the type of protein powder you choose to drink with your shake plays a large role too. “I recommend choosing proteins from milk, such as whey, casein, and milk protein concentrate and isolate over other proteins on the market because they’re high-quality (the amino acids are bioavailable), complete proteins containing all nine essential amino acids the body requires,” says Spano. (FYI, bioavailability is the extent to which your body can use the nutrient in question.)

Cabrera says the optimal carbs-to-protein ratio is 3:1 after a workout. This allows you to replenish your glycogen stores (energy) for your next workout and provides the necessary protein for muscle repair and growth.

How to Meet Your Daily Protein Intake

People should be having regular servings of protein every three to five hours throughout the day, regardless of whether they did an hour of strength training or 30 minutes of yoga. But those who are more active and are doing tougher workouts need to be consuming more protein than the average person.

“Heavy lifters do need more total protein during the day, and therefore, they might need their protein serving soon after lifting than a person doing yoga who doesn’t have protein needs that are quite as high. It becomes a timing thing—fitting in servings of protein,” explains Spano. “The heavy lifter will need more protein per serving and most likely more servings also. This depends on their total daily protein needs, which are based on body weight or ideal body weight.” (For reference, the general rule is that you should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, according to Harvard Health Publishing by Harvard Medical School.)

For example, if your goal is hypertrophy, research shows that more protein is needed for muscle growth and repair after heavy lifting: According to a 2017 systematic review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which looked at more than 1,800 participants and their strength training goals, the ideal daily protein intake for increasing muscle size is 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Anything beyond that number doesn’t contribute to building more mass and strength.

How many grams of protein is that per day? For example, if you weigh 135 pounds, you would convert your weight into kilograms by dividing it by 2.2. Then, you would multiply that number by 1.6. The result is you would need to consume 98 grams of protein daily for the best muscle-building results.

However, if you’re looking to build lean muscle and lose fat, then a calorie deficit with higher protein intake is ideal, says Spano. “If someone wants to lose fat and build lean mass, they are cutting their calories, which means they need even more protein (to decrease muscle breakdown), possibly up to 2.4 grams per kilogram of body weight per day or more,” she says.

Science backs this up: A 2016 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that, when combined with resistance training and HIIT, a daily diet containing 2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight was more effective in promoting fat loss and maintenance of lean body mass (aka muscle) than a lower protein intake of 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

The bottom line? It doesn’t matter so much whether you drink a protein shake before or after a workout—or if you even drink a protein shake at all. What is important is to consume protein throughout the day and vary your protein sources to ensure you’re giving your body the proper nutrients it needs to rebuild your muscles and make them stronger. Adding a variety of lean protein sources, such as chicken, fish, grass-fed beef, dairy, eggs, and beans will help you reach your recommended daily protein intake. But sometimes, eating sufficient amounts of protein can be difficult, so using protein powders in your shakes and smoothies is a great way to ensure you meet your needs.

Drink After Workout For Weight Loss

When used alongside healthy lifestyle changes, certain beverages are more effective than others at promoting weight loss.

Beverages like green tea, coffee and high-protein drinks have been shown to boost metabolism, promote fullness and decrease hunger, all of which may encourage weight loss.

Here are eight drinks that are some of the best to include in your diet when trying to lose weight and get healthy.

1. Green Tea

Green tea is often associated with health, and for good reason.

Not only is it packed with beneficial antioxidants and other powerful nutrients, it’s also one of the most effective drinks for weight loss.

Drinking green tea has been shown to decrease body weight and body fat in several studies.

A review of 14 studies found that people who drank high-concentration green tea for 12 weeks lost an average of 0.44 to 7.7 pounds (0.2 to 3.5 kg) more than those who did not drink green tea .

It should be noted that this benefit is linked to green tea preparations that contain high amounts of catechins, antioxidants that may increase fat burning and boost metabolism .

Matcha is a type of green tea that contains a higher amount of catechins than loose leaf green tea, which makes it a good choice for weight loss.

One study found that women who consumed 3 grams of matcha per day experienced greater fat burning during exercise compared to women who did not drink matcha .

Plus, green tea contains caffeine, which can help promote weight loss by boosting energy levels and improving performance while exercising.

What’s more, people who drink green tea tend to have lower blood pressure and a lower risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes .

SUMMARYDrinking green tea may help you lose weight by boosting metabolism and encouraging fat loss.

2. Coffee

Coffee is used by people around the world to boost energy levels and lift mood.

This is because coffee contains caffeine, a substance that acts as a stimulant in the body and may benefit weight loss.

Coffee can reduce energy intake and boost metabolism, which may help you lose weight.

One study in 33 overweight adults found that those who drank coffee containing 6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight consumed significantly fewer overall calories than those who drank less caffeine or no caffeine at all.

Caffeine intake has also been shown to increase metabolism and promote fat burning in several other studies.

Coffee drinkers may have an easier time maintaining their weight loss over time, as well.

A study in over 2,600 people found that those who were successful in maintaining weight loss over time drank significantly more caffeinated beverages than a control group.

SUMMARY Caffeinated beverages like coffee may stimulate weight loss by increasing metabolism, decreasing calorie intake and stimulating fat burning.

3. Black Tea

Like green tea, black tea contains compounds that may stimulate weight loss.

Black tea is a type of tea that has undergone more oxidation (exposure to air) than other types of teas, resulting in a stronger flavor and darker color.

Black tea is high in polyphenols, including a group of polyphenolic compounds called flavonoids. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce body weight.

Studies have shown that the polyphenols found in black tea promote weight loss by reducing calorie intake, stimulating fat breakdown and boosting the growth of friendly gut bacteria.

A study in 111 people demonstrated that those who drank 3 cups of black tea daily for three months lost more weight and had greater reductions in waist circumference compared to a control group.

Another study in 2,734 women found that those with higher intakes of flavonoid-rich foods and beverages like black tea had significantly lower body fat and belly fat than women who consumed less dietary flavonoids .

SUMMARYBlack tea contains polyphenols, antioxidants that have been shown to reduce body weight. Studies show that drinking black tea may help reduce body fat and encourage weight loss.

4. Water

Increasing your water intake is one of the simplest ways to improve overall health.

Drinking more water may also benefit your waistline by keeping you full in between meals and increasing the number of calories you burn.

Research suggests that having water before meals can set you up for success when trying to cut back on calories and lose weight.

A study in 48 overweight adults found that those who drank 500 ml (17 ounces) of water before meals while following a low-calorie diet lost 44% more weight over 12 weeks than those who did not drink water before meals.

Drinking cold water increases resting energy expenditure, which is the number of calories you burn while resting.

For example, a study in 21 overweight children showed that resting energy expenditure was increased by up to 25% for 40 minutes after drinking 10 ml of cold water per kilogram of body weight.

SUMMARY Drinking more water can help burn calories and decrease intake at meals, which can result in weight loss.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, a compound that may stimulate weight loss by decreasing insulin levels, improving metabolism, suppressing appetite and burning fat.

Animal studies have shown that acetic acid can prevent weight gain and decrease fat accumulation in the belly and liver.

Although research is limited, there is some evidence that vinegar is effective in promoting weight loss in humans.

A study in 144 obese adults demonstrated that drinking a daily beverage containing 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of vinegar per day resulted in significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and belly fat compared to a placebo group.

Apple cider vinegar slows stomach emptying, which helps keep you fuller for a longer period of time and may reduce overeating.

However, it should be noted that drinking acidic beverages like apple cider vinegar can erode teeth, which is why it should be consumed sparingly and always followed by rinsing with water.

SUMMARYAlthough more research is needed on the risks and benefits of apple cider vinegar, consuming a small amount per day may encourage weight loss.

6. Ginger Tea

Ginger is popularly used as a spice to add flavor to dishes and as an herbal remedy to treat a number of conditions such as nausea, colds and arthritis.

Human and animal studies have also shown this flavorful root to have a beneficial effect on weight loss.

A study found that rats fed a high-fat diet supplemented with 5% ginger powder for four weeks had significant reductions in body weight and significant improvements in HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels compared to rats fed a high-fat diet without ginger.

Although this study used a concentrated ginger powder, a study in humans found that ginger tea also helps reduce appetite and increase calorie expenditure.

One study in 10 overweight men found that when they drank 2 grams of ginger powder dissolved in hot water with breakfast, they experienced increased fullness and decreased hunger compared to days when no ginger tea was consumed.

Plus, the study showed that the ginger tea increased the thermic effect of food (the number of calories needed to digest and absorb food) by 43 calories.

Although that isn’t a huge number of calories, this suggests that — when combined with its satiating properties — ginger tea could be an effective way to enhance weight loss.

SUMMARYHuman and animal studies indicate that ginger can promote fullness, decrease appetite and increase metabolism, which is helpful when trying to lose weight.

7. High-Protein Drinks

Beverages that are high in protein can curb hunger, decrease appetite and promote fullness, which is important when trying to shed excess pounds.

There are countless protein powders available to consumers that make preparing a quick, healthy snack or meal a breeze.

Protein increases levels of hunger-reducing hormones like GLP-1 while decreasing ghrelin, a hormone that drives appetite.

A study in 90 overweight adults found that those who consumed 56 grams of whey protein daily for 23 weeks lost 5 pounds (2.3 kg) more fat than a control group who consumed no whey protein but the same number of calories .

Whey, pea and hemp protein powders are just a few varieties that can add a satisfying protein boost to shakes and smoothies that may help you drop pounds.

SUMMARYProtein drinks decrease appetite and increase fullness. Protein powders can be easily added to any beverage for a quick and satisfying snack or meal.

8. Vegetable Juice

Although fruit juice has been linked to weight gain, drinking vegetable juice may have the opposite effect.

In one study, adults who drank 16 ounces of low-sodium vegetable juice while following a low-calorie diet lost significantly more weight than those who did not.

Plus, the vegetable juice group significantly increased their vegetable consumption and significantly decreased their carb intake, two factors that are important for weight loss.

Consuming whole vegetables whenever possible is the best choice for health due to the high amount of fiber that is lost in the juicing process.

However, consuming a low-calorie vegetable juice can increase your vegetable intake and may even help you lose weight.

SUMMARYAlthough whole vegetables make the best choice, drinking vegetable juice may encourage weight loss when incorporated into a healthy diet.

The Bottom Line

Certain drinks such as green tea, coffee and ginger tea may help boost metabolism, minimize hunger and increase satiety, all of which can facilitate weight loss.

Additionally, these beverages contain beneficial nutrients like antioxidants and other powerful compounds that can benefit your health.

Replacing high-calorie beverages like soda and fruit juice with the drinks listed above is a smart way to cut calories and help you achieve your weight loss goals.

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