T Nation

Meal or Protein Supplement Dilemma



I am currently on a 4 days a week workout program based on my schedule/goal etc.

I have couple questions about protein supplements though.

1) On days that I workout:

Around 5:30pm, I'll take some protein supplement with water.
Around 6:00pm, I workout for 30 minutes or so.
Around 6:30pm, after the workout, is about time for my dinner. But I also know I should take some protein supplements after this, and I plan on adding creatine to this as well.

So what do I do? Take protein/creatine supplement AND the meal at the same time? Or just one or the other?

2) On days I don't work out:
When do I take protein supplement and creatine??

I'm not trying to bulk up or anything. I am just trying to be fit, and above all else, be healthy.

Your help will be appreciated.


in my opinion, protein supplements are not a necessary product, they are a convenience product...

if you don't have time to prepare a meal then protein supps are a great thing, but real food beats any food replacement supp hands down...

good luck!


You need carbs and protein before and after working out. What's in this supplement ?


If you want to use supplements, use Surge right after workouts and then eat a good meal about 60 minutes later.

I do agree with the other poster that supplements are purely for convenience.

For your off days it really doesn't matter when you take them. It is a good idea to drink some Metabolic Drive shake before bedtime, as the protein in it is slow-absorbing.


I wish I had discovered this website before ordering all of my supplements.

For now, I will drink muscle milk before workout, and then after workout, just eat a good meal which will include a lot of meat.

On off days, just drink protein shake for breakfast.

How does that sound?


Just wanted to get some confirmation from experts..

After a workout session, is it better to
1) drink protein shake only
2) drink protein shake + eat meal
3) eat meal only

Meal will consist of steaks and such.

Thanks guys!


in my opinion, option 3 is your best choice...all the guys that I've personally known that use option 1 never seem to make any decent gains...

here's an example of my pre and post workout nutrition for my weekend squat session:

pre-workout - steak, eggs, hashbrowns, wheat toast, coffee, water...

workout - one ephedrine tab @ 25mg + sip on either water or water/gatorade mix (gatorade is too sweet for me so I mix in down with equal amounts of water)

post workout - two large chicken breasts w/BBQ sauce, large baked potato w/sour cream, large bowl of mixed veggies, water...

protein shakes are a convenience food only...if you're appetite is crap but you know you need to get in more protein/calories then chug down a shake...otherwise (if you have enough time) eat regular food...

good luck!