To protein or not protein after working out. That is the question.

How many times have you heard health and fitness advisors say, “drink protein after you work out!” But what’s the actual reasoning behind it? Why do you need to add more to your diet? And do you need to consume it directly after a workout? Let’s find out!

What is a protein?

Proteins are substances that are characterized by containing amino acids, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. They are also a vital component of human cells, which means that are necessary for our survival.

What does your body do with protein?

They used by the body for many things. Most notably, they are the foundation blocks that the body uses to create muscle, tendons, cartilage, blood, and bones. Your body also uses protein to produce hair and grow nails as well as healing and repairing the body when it gets damaged.

As it is a building block for the body, children are in need of a high amount of protein because they’re bodies are growing at such a high rate. Other than children, athletes also need it to maintain a healthy body and to continue the growth of muscles.

That is why many people add more of it to their diet, especially when they are trying to tone their body and add muscle to their frame.

What are the benefits of consuming protein directly after a workout?

Many experts suggest consuming protein directly after a workout to promote muscle recovery and growth. The fear is that strenuous workouts may cause muscle breakdown if the protein is not replaced. To recover muscle, it should be consumed within thirty to forty minutes of a workout.

Most of us want to keep the muscle that we have and encourage the growth of lean muscle. However, you won’t lose muscle by performing light exercises and not consuming protein directly afterwards. If all you’re doing is walking or jogging for a half hour, you most likely do not need to consume protein after your workouts.

You should strive to incorporate it into your daily diet, since it does add many benefits,  but every type and level of physical fitness does not call for another fix of protein.

How much protein should you consume after a workout?

The amount of protein that you consume after your workout varies depending on many factors. You need to factor in your weight, the amount of physical activity that you have just engaged in, and the amount of protein that you have already consumed that day.

Your body can only make use of so much protein. The excess protein will be converted into sugar and then fat. Depending of your body needs at the moment.

Many people believe that overloading on protein will give them positive results and increase the impact of their workout. However, this is not the case and it might actually cause negative effects in the body, let alone all the money that goes into protein powders.

It will be a great idea that you use a protein calculator before you start consuming extra protein. That way you can get a better estimate of the amount of protein your body needs. You can also consult a health expert or physician.

What foods contain protein?

There is a huge variety of foods that contain protein and these foods hail from a range of different food groups as well. First off, let’s go over a few types of meat that are high in protein.

You can eat lean ground beef, chicken breast, shrimp, pork tenderloin, ground turkey, and Mahi-Mahi just to name a few. Legumes are also high in protein and a good option for vegetarians and vegans. Some legumes that contain protein include soybeans, edamame, tofu, kidney beans, white beans, black beans, and much more.

If you want even more options, try seeds, yogurt, protein bars, protein shakes, or cottage cheese. Many people reach for protein shakes or bars after a workout because they don’t require much preparation but be sure to look out for some calories and sugar that are present in these products.

Conclusion

The amount of protein that one should consume varies with age, level of activity, and weight. It’s unique for every person, and you should calculate how much protein you consume on the daily basis before you add more protein to your diet after a workout.

Many of the buzz concerning the addition of protein after a workout is due to the surge of popularity that protein shakes and bars have had in recent years. If you are working out at an intense level, then you may want to add protein to your diet after your workout to keep and build muscle, but know that it isn’t necessary after light exercise.

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Author Bio

David Gomes completed his M.S as a Professional degree in California Institute of Technology. He is Health and Wellness Expert. He loves to write on a variety of topics such as joint health, weight loss, beauty and skin care for blogs and online publications sites, also loves latest technology, gadgets fashion and style.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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