You always hear about the importance of protein. How it is the building block for our muscles, and it is what builds and repairs muscle tissue. So it’s very important to get high-quality protein your body needs to build and maintain your muscles. But when should you be eating protein? You want to have your body supplied with protein at all times to maximize your muscle gains; eating 1g of protein per 1 pound of your weight will ensure you’re eating enough every day. But what is most important is your pre-workout and post-workout protein intake. So yes, you need to have protein both pre-workout and post-workout to maximize your muscle gains. Some people fear eating before a workout because of cramps. In reality, it is important to eat carbohydrates and protein 45 – 60 minutes before starting your workout. And to maximize your workout, you need to eat protein pre-workout. The protein is important to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, which is necessary to stimulate protein synthesis. Your goal is to maximize anabolism, so protein will help your efforts in getting everything you can out of your workouts. And your body needs the energy and the pump in order to be able to lift the heavy weights, and to fight through each set of reps. What better way to supercharge pumping iron than with protein! And if your workout is going to be intense, protein will help in providing your body with the energy that it needs, as well as preventing damage to your Beast muscles. Protein will also help preserve glycogen in your muscles. Protein will fill the role of glycogen as a fuel source, when your body is running low on carbohydrates. Now after your workout, it is extremely important that your body gets two things: protein and carbs. But we’re interested in the protein. Post-workout is when your body needs to have protein in order to begin the muscle repair process. The intense training you just did tears your muscle tissue down, and to begin the repair process, you need protein, the building block of maintaining and building new Beast muscle tissue. So what is the secret? After that intense and sweat-filled workout, provide your body with more protein – yes more! This will help build fuel and repair your muscles! Otherwise, if no protein is consumed, your body will break down your muscles instead, using it for energy. And that’s definitely something you do not want! Research has also shown that protein intake after your workout, will cause the release of the growth hormone your muscles need to maximize growth. Your muscles will thank you! Brandan Fokken is currently a much sought after Personal Trainer, bodybuilding.com athlete and the latest addition to Team BEAST. He's a published writer, speaker, a national physique competitor and an NPC judge. Then, while not busy with all the extra-curricular activities, he's a corporate wellness manager. His main goal in life is to live a happy and healthy lifestyle, to help others achieve their goals, inspire and educate.