Almost anyone who regularly lifts weights knows, it is important that they consume protein after training. Usually, this is something they do through a post-workout whey protein shake. You can often find them guzzling a shake on the way from the gym, or as soon as they get home and before they shower and get cleaned up. The timing of the post workout whey protein drink is important, but so is the content.
Anytime that you have exercised hard, it is critical that you give your body what it needs to repair itself, build muscle and get you ready to take on the next challenge that awaits. As you pick your protein shake or protein drink and plan out your schedule, allow science to work on your side so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.
Why Do You Need Protein After a Workout?
As you exercise and lift weights, your muscles suffer minor tears and have to be rebuilt after you exercise. This is actually exactly what you want, as it is that process of tearing and rebuilding that makes your muscles bigger and stronger.
As such, your body needs the proper nutrients after a workout in order to be able to rebuild your muscles efficiently and effectively. If you do not give it what it needs, you will suffer from slower recovery times. That not only impacts your capacity for muscle growth, but it also slows you down in your ensuing workouts. That means that you can’t be as productive either. It’s a lose-lose, which is why it is so critical that you recognize the importance of post workout whey protein.
Whey Protein Beats Casein Protein
Some nutritional experts will tell you that casein protein is just as good as whey protein after a workout or a mixture of both casein and whey is preferable after workouts. That’s simply not the case, whey protein is digested much more rapidly. That means that it can provide you with higher concentrations of amino acid in your blood right after you workout, which is when your muscles need it the most. If your post workout supplement contains 20 grams of protein, you are much better off having a post workout supplement with 20 grams of whey protein than one that has a mixture of both whey protein and casein protein.
Now it’s important to also give yourself other sources of protein, such as casein protein or protein from natural food sources, but right after a workout you can’t beat whey protein.
Whey protein is high in leucine and that is one of the amino acids that appears rapidly. That signals your body to increase muscle protein synthesis, which is a necessary process for the growth and repair of muscles.
How Much Per Day?
The key is to maximize your protein when you need it and avoid overdoing it otherwise. A lot of people have a tendency to take in way too much protein over the course of the full day.
It is important to know that even if you are taking 25 to 30 grams of protein through a protein shake right after your workout, the rest of your day does not need to be as concentrated. Experts recommend .68 grams of protein to .91 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. That means that if you weigh 150 pounds, you need 102 to 136.5 grams of protein. If you way 200 pounds, you need 136 to 182 grams of protein.
If you take in too much, you may end up doing more harm than good in the grand scheme of things. It’s a good idea to get a natural protein source in with each meal and then supplement all of that with the protein shake after you workouts.
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