Protein after workout
Protein plays a key role in health. It’s one of the three main macronutrients that you should comprise your diet of, especially when training. In addition to carbohydrates, you should consume protein both pre- and post-workout. Post-workout protein supports muscle maintenance and growth.
Here, we explore why post-workout protein is vital and how to make sure you keep those protein levels high.
Why do you need protein post-workout
During exercise, your energy levels and muscle stores deplete rapidly, which is why post-workout protein can be just as important as pre-workout. The stores you build before your workout need to be replenished to allow for muscle restoration.
Keeping your protein levels high after your workout prevents your body from breaking down muscle protein for energy and supports muscle maintenance and growth.
Protein as a post-workout snack
Following your workout, you can top up your protein levels with whole foods as a post-workout snack. This doesn’t need to be a large meal, just something sufficient to keep protein levels high and provide your muscles with energy to repair. Here are some examples:
- Tuna on whole wheat toast
- Peanut butter on rice cakes
- 1-2 hardboiled eggs
Protein as a post-workout supplement
You can also boost your protein levels with protein supplements post-workout. Supplements are often taken as drinks, such as shakes or smoothies, as they are easily digestible and they get to work quickly in the body. One or two scoops of your chosen supplement is normally enough to boost your protein levels, so that muscle stores can be restored. Always remember to follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe supplementation.