Protein is important for muscles to recover after a workout, whether you’re lifting weights or not.
However, you don’t necessarily have to have a shake right after your workout, says nutritionist Alix Turoff.
The most important thing is to get enough protein throughout the day.
There are many myths and half-truths on the Internet about if, how and when it is best to consume protein. Many people think that protein powder is only for “real athletes” who want to get excited, but that’s not true. Most can benefit from increased protein intake (ideally from whole foods rather than powders, as many nutrition experts recommend)
Eating a high-protein diet can help you lose fat while maintaining muscle. It will help you progress on your fitness path, even if you don’t drink a protein shake right after your workout. Nutritionist and personal trainer Alix Turoff told Business Insider that it doesn’t matter when you eat protein, as long as you get enough protein in your diet throughout the day.
More protein helps with muscle building and fat loss.
It’s true that higher protein intake can have benefits: protein helps muscles recover after exercise and aids muscle growth. But it’s also an important nutrient if you’re looking to lose fat (not just total weight) and look toned. Along with strength training, a high-protein diet helps maintain muscle while losing fat through a calorie deficit.
Turoff recommends eating 0.7 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That would mean that someone who weighs 70 kilograms should consume around 50 to 85 grams of protein per day. Protein is important regardless of your training style. “Even for people who don’t do strength training or someone who only does cardio, getting enough protein is important,” says Turoff.
Protein intake throughout the day is more important than right after training
Previous studies suggested that protein should be added to food immediately after exercise. However, new research has refuted these claims. “According to recent research, the timing of protein intake appears to be less important,” says Turoff. She recommends spreading your protein intake evenly throughout the day.
“For someone who eats three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and an afternoon snack, that might look like this: 10 to 20 grams of protein per meal and 5 to 10 grams of protein as a snack,” he says.
“For example, if you train early in the evening, you could have dinner one to three hours later, and that would be enough for a post-workout meal,” Turoff said. If you’re getting enough protein at lunch, there’s no reason to have a post-workout protein shake, he explains, but it can still be convenient (and tasty). If you eat a high-protein meal before you exercise, research like a small City University of New York study suggests your muscles may need a little more afterwards.
Since you don’t eat anything before a workout, your body could use some extra fuel afterward. “In the end, I’d still recommend consuming 20 to 30 grams of protein (depending on your size and activity level) within a reasonable amount of time post-workout, but I’d be less concerned about having a protein shake within a specific window of time.” time”, so Turoff.
The total calorie count is more important to change the body structure
While a post-workout protein shake can help you improve your fitness, you should factor it into your total calorie intake if you want to lose fat. A calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss, and a high-protein diet can help you stay in it, so if you’re consuming post-workout shakes, watch out for extra calories. A simple protein shake made with just powder and water may only be around 100 calories, but if you’re struggling to lose weight, it can make all the difference.
However, more protein also helps you feel full and can discourage you from snacking.
Protein shakes aren’t magic, but if you feel like you’re not getting enough protein in general, you can have a protein shake once in a while, any time of day.
This text was translated from English by Lisa Ramos-Doce. You can find the original here.