We spend a lot of time and energy pumping iron so our bodies perform at their best. It’s not enough to just workout, though. You need the right foods to strengthen your body, too.
However, not many people realize when you eat matters just as much.
According to Harvard Health, we need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day. For our bodies to make the most of that energy, we need to consuming protein after a workout.
Pump up your protein plan! Keep reading to discover the benefits of planning out your protein intake the right way.
The Body & Physical Activity
Let’s talk about how your body is impacted by physical activity first.
When you workout, your muscles use up glycogen for fuel. This causes your muscles to become partially depleted. In fact, some of your muscle protein becomes broken down or damaged.
Protein after a workout helps your body rebuild these glycogen stores. This allows the body to repair and regrow muscle proteins.
Eating protein within an hour of your workout helps your body work through the process faster.
You need carbs, too. Together, the protein and carbs help your body:
- Increase muscle growth
- Restore glycogen stores
- Decrease muscle protein breakdown
- Enhance recovery
Without it, your workout might do more harm than good.
Protein Repairs & Builds
The rate that your body breaks down muscle protein depends on the exercise. Your level of training matters, too.
You also need to eat the right amount of protein after workout regimens.
This provides your body with the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild. Protein gives your body building blocks for new muscle tissue growth, too.
According to this research, you need .14 to .23 grams of protein per pound of body weight after a workout.
Time It Right
The body’s ability to rebuild protein is enhanced after a workout.
That’s why it’s recommended to consume protein after a workout. Timing is everything!
The timing isn’t exact. However, most experts recommend getting your post-workout protein between 45 minutes to an hour after a workout.
Delaying your protein and carb consumption can lower the rate of glycogen synthesis.
What to Eat
After a workout, your body needs the right nutrients to maximize your post-workout benefits. Choosing the right foods can help your body absorb these nutrients faster.
For proteins, try:
- An animal- or plant-based protein powder
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Protein bar
- Nut butter
- Trail mix
Remember, you need carbs, too. A few options include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Fruits (berries, banana)
- Rice cakes
- Leafy green vegetables
Together, these foods can help maximize the efficiency of your post-workout proteins!
Packed with Protein: Benefits of Eating Protein After a Workout
Pack up the protein and build up the muscle! Eating protein after a workout benefits your overall exercise routine. Time it right and make the most out of your protein plan today.
Head over to the Health & Fitness section of the blog for more helpful guides.