Post-Workout Protein: How Much To Eat and When [infographic]
If you ask any number of fitness experts or gym enthusiasts about what to eat post-workout and when, you’re sure to get a wide array of answers. There is so much speculation and misinformation floating around the web about this important topic that it’s sometimes hard to wade through. But, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a simple, easy to read guide to the most important post-workout meal: protein. Find out what types to eat, how much to eat, and when it’s ideal to eat for replenishing your body after a workout.
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Your body uses a lot of energy during a workout, which leaves your muscles depleted. It’s very important to replenish your body by eating high-protein foods within 3 hours of your workout, when your body’s muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is high.
What is Muscle Protein Synthesis?
Muscle protein synthesis is your muscles’ ability to absorb protein. Increased levels of MPS occur up to 24-48 hours after your workout. However, it is very important to consume a post-workout drink within 3 hours of your workout.
How Much Protein Should I Eat After Working Out?
As a general rule, when trying to gain muscle, you should be consuming 1g of protein for every 1lbs of body mass.
What Types of Protein Should I Eat After Working Out?
There are six common types of protein for post-workout meals, each with their own benefits for building and repairing muscle. Different sources of protein get absorbed at different rates, but whole foods are the best choice because they offer complete nutrition. But protein shakes and smoothies offer quick fixes.
- Fast acting, fast ingesting protein
- Rich source of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
- Include 30g of whey protein powder to a shake
- Absorbs at intermediate rate
- Delivers important amino acids
- Try a chocolate soy milk shake
- At 70 calories each, eggs contain 6.3g of protein
- Natural source of Vitamin D
- Found in milk and milk products
- Drink a glass of low-fat milk or eat cottage cheese or greek yogurt
- Slower absorption rate
- Lean ground sirloin contains 12.9g of protein
- A broiled chicken breast contains 11.5g of protein
- Good source of high quality protein with essential vitamins and minerals
- Good choices include avocados, bananas, and peanut butter
- Tuna contains 11.7g of protein
- Salmon also contains important anti-inflammatory omega-3’s
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