Do You Need Protein After A Workout?

Do you suffer through a long recovery after a particularly intense workout? Eating a combination of carbs and protein after a workout could relieve that. Consuming protein after a workout can help reduce muscle pain and is necessary to repair the microtears in muscle tissue, while being also important for muscle growth. Protein is ultimately important for faster muscle recovery.

What happens when you workout with intensity?

If you’re trying to build strength, in particular, your body burns the glycogen in that it stores in the muscles. Once that’s gone, it has to break down some of the protein in your muscles for energy. After your workout, you have tiny tears in your muscles and your body still needing to restore the glycogen levels. Consuming protein after working out can help provide the necessary materials to replenish the protein and heal those micro tears. The amount you need is based on how intense your workout was. The harder you worked, the more depletion and the more repair necessary.

Your recovery should contain both protein and carbs, but it doesn’t have to be exotic.

You should eat your combination of protein and carbs within the first 20 minutes after working out. Don’t forget to rehydrate immediately, too. It’s the prime time for the nutrients to be absorbed by the muscles. Yogurt and fruit or cottage cheese and fruit is a simple solution to getting adequate carbs and protein. A glass of chocolate milk will also provide the replenishment of glycogen and provide the protein for muscle repair. Nut butter on fruit is also a tasty and simple solution.

What are the symptoms of a depleted muscle glycogen reserve and the need for protein?

A hard workout, whether it’s strength training or endurance training, can stress your body. That stress shows up in the form of an increased appetite, the need to sleep more and muscle soreness. The small damage to the muscles and the depletion is necessary for muscles to grow and adapt to a new work load. Muscle damage and microtears sound bad, but when the body repairs the muscles, it makes them even stronger and denser. After a workout, the body starts the process immediately. It needs the raw materials to do that, which is why eating protein right after a workout is important.

  • You need to consume carbs with your protein to stimulate the release of insulin. Insulin is responsible for getting both carbs and proteins in the form of amino acids, to the muscles faster to start the repair process.
  • Eating protein after working out, reverses the trend to continue muscle breakdown after working out, so you won’t experience as much breakdown and start rebuilding immediately.
  • A good combination of carbs to protein for your snack is three to one. There’s debate over whether fat will interfere with protein absorption. Newer studies show it doesn’t, but don’t eat too much. Full fat milk is as good an option as low fat. Nut butter is a good source of protein for post workout.
  • If you’re going to eat a meal relatively soon after working out, you can skip the snack and eat a high protein/carb meal instead. Salmon and sweet potatoes or an egg omelet with whole grain toast and avocado spread are good options.

For more information, contact us today at Rising Fitness Gym



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