“You need to have no less than 50 g of protein immediately after you workout, otherwise you’ll break the 22-millisecond anabolic window and literally lose all of your gains.” This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but everybody who’s been working out for a while has probably heard something along the lines of this quote before, whether it was from a close friend or a regular at your gym.
There are a lot of different opinions surrounding post-workout nutrition, and it’s easy to get caught up in all the bro-science and half-truths that you might hear getting thrown around the gym. This article will educate you on the proven facts about post-workout nutrition, as well as give you a guide on how to optimize it so you make the most of your post-workout nutrition.
How Much Protein?
In a recent study, scientists tested novice lifters, who had less lean body mass, and more advanced lifters, who had more, and found that 40 g of protein post-workout would provide 20% more protein synthesis than consumption of just 20 g, regardless of lean body mass.
What this means for you is that doubling up on protein scoops if you’re only taking one after you workout will have significant benefits. Whey protein powder is the best option for fast absorption and is an incredibly convenient way of consuming protein quickly post-workout.
There are a number of different whey proteins you could consume. Here are 3 of the best:
Each serving of this whey protein powder contains over 80% protein contributing to the growth of lean muscle mass. It comes in a variety of flavors meaning you can make this a great tasting post workout treat. One scoop of Impact Whey Protein also contains 2 g of Leucine, an essential amino acid, which is important for stimulating protein synthesis.
This whey protein contains over 90% protein per serving, along with a low fat and low carbohydrate content, meaning it is the ideal whey protein if you’re looking to put on lean muscle mass without increasing body fat.
This protein powder is a bit more expensive, but for good reason, as it is the perfect post workout protein. It is predigested resulting in an even faster absorption rate than normal whey protein, meaning that protein synthesis occurs fast to help aid muscle growth and recovery.
High Protein Food
Alongside supplements it is important to get protein sources from food post workout and there’s plenty of foods with a high protein content. If you have your protein shake straight after your workout you should be looking to get a high protein meal in around an hour to an hour and a half post workout.
Here are some awesome, simple meal combos that will provide you with the optimal 40g of protein post-workout.
✓ Chicken & Rice
If you’re looking for a classic bodybuilder-style meal, you can’t go wrong with a cup of chopped chicken breast, which can provide 43g of protein and only 231 calories. Mix it with rice and you’ve got a great meal, as well as some nutritious post-workout carbs!
✓ Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
A personal favorite of mine is non-fat Greek yogurt. In 1 cup, you’ll get around 20-24g of protein in around 130 calories, depending on which brand of yogurt you buy. If you mix it with a scoop of whey, you get a great-tasting snack that hits the 40g goal! Another great thing is that this snack also has some sugar from its dairy, which can be good to have after you work out for increasing glycogen reproduction, which allows you to recover faster.
Those looking for a hardier, more calorie-heavy meal might be interested in a sirloin steak. In 6 ounces of steak, you can expect to get 46g of protein and 24g of fat and 414 calories. Steak goes well with a lot of vegetables if you’re looking to add some good complex carbs, but that’s all up to you!
✓ Breakfast Essentials
If none of these ideas sound appealing to you, you might be interested in adding some breakfast essentials to your post-workout meal. Eggs, bacon, and milk are all high in protein, and if you combine them, you can easily hit the 40 g mark!
Now that you know a couple meal combinations to hit the 40 g protein goal post workout, you may be wondering, “But how am I supposed to prepare any of these foods in 22 milliseconds so I don’t break the anabolic window and literally lose all of my gains?!” If that crossed your mind at all while reading this article, I have some good news for you!
In numerous studies, it has been shown that it’s not protein timing that makes a difference in your recovery, but instead, it’s making sure you get enough protein. So as long as you are able to throw together a high-protein meal, you won’t have to worry about how quickly you can throw a scoop or two of whey into your shaker cup and chug it.
That being said it is still beneficial to consume post workout protein, and there really is no better option for this than a whey protein shake.
Take Home Message
All-in-all, the importance of protein following an intense workout is undeniable. By making sure to get the right amount of protein, you can increase weight loss, muscle building, and recovery. You can now relax, knowing that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have 2 scoops of whey right after you finish your workout. If you’re looking to find affordable, top-quality protein powders to make reaching your protein intake easier then Myprotein offers a variety of protein powders in tons of flavors, and there is always a great deal going! A good place to start would be trying the whey protein powders mentioned in this article!