Should I take protein shakes post-workout?
Do post-workout protein shakes come as highly recommended as shakes pre-workout? This guide delves into why you should have one to hand soon after you finish exercising:
The importance of protein when exercising
Muscles around the body are primarily made up of protein, which work to create enzymes and other hormones that are required for the body.
When you exercise though, there’s a net loss of muscle protein due to the elevation in protein breakdown that exceeds the rate of protein synthesis.
How a post-workout protein shake can help
When you come to the end of a workout, your body’s muscle fibres will have begun to break down and sustain damage. Protein synthesis is the process by which these fibres are repaired and rebuilt, with amino acids from protein used to encourage healthy recovery and muscular growth.
If your body is unable to find new sources of protein to begin this process though, it will instead look to an alternative solution — breaking down existing muscle tissue.
Fortunately, a protein shake post-workout can help restore protein levels in the body to promote muscle maintenance and growth.
With this in mind, you should look to have a protein shake as soon as you’ve completed a workout; aim for no longer than 30 minutes after you finish exercising.
It’s also recommended that you look for a post-workout protein shake that includes some carbohydrates — or at least blend it with a snack that’s rich in carbs, such as a banana.