Way to go! You just finished your workout. You’re feeling really pleased with yourself… and rightfully so! After all, we all know how easy it is to find excuses to skip workouts.
However, there’s one important thing you might be forgetting to do that is greatly diminishing the results from all the hard work you just put in.
‘Fueling up after your last rep is arguably the most important part of your day.’ says Brett Hoebel, trainer to many a celebrity and creator of the 20 Minute Body program.
Basically, every rep of every exercise you do during your workouts is breaking down muscle. It causes millions of microscopic tears to your muscle fibers.
Now, our body is incredible at healing itself. However, you need to provide it with the basic building block muscle uses to repair itself… aka protein.
Here are the main reasons why you should eat some protein shortly after you have finished your workout:
It rebuilds your muscles
As mentioned above, during your workouts you are basically destroying your muscle tissue. By eating protein you are providing your muscles with the material they need to repair themselves.
Now, some experts say there is an ‘anabolic window’ of between 30-60 minutes after your workout and that you should eat your protein within that time limit… or kiss your results goodbye. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
What is true is that you muscles need material in order to repair themselves… and protein is that material.
Eating protein after your workout is important. Here are 4 other things your can do to get maximum results from your workouts.
It helps stabilize blood sugar
During your workout, your body relies on two main energy sources. There’s blood sugar (glucose) for immediate use and glycogen, which is sugar stored in your muscles.
So, after your workout, your body is lower in blood sugar and glycogen. Eating protein post-workout is a great strategy because it is digested and metabolized more slowly than simple carbs. This helps stabilize your blood sugar so you don’t feel weak or hungry.
How much protein should you have?
Okay, now you know why you should be eating protein after your workouts, but how much should you have?
Research suggests a total of between 20 and 40 grams, taken within 60 minutes of your workout.
A good choice is whey protein. This is because it’s a highly effective, fast-digesting protein. Other great post workout protein sources whole eggs, Ricotta cheese, smoked salmon, canned tuna, banana with almond butter, nuts or celery with peanut butter.
Looking to lose a couple of pounds? Consider including some of these high protein low calorie foods in your post workout snack. They will help rebuild those muscles without packing on extra fat.
For delicious protein rich recipes that will not only help you maintain your lean muscle tissue but also rev up your metabolism and put your fat loss into overdrive, check out Metabolic Cooking.