You’ve probably heard this tip before. It seems as old as time. But there are several good reasons why you should drink a protein shake after your workout. Protein, no matter what form, is essential to your diet. Not only does protein help you recover and build muscles, but your body also uses it to create hormones, enzymes, and vital immune system cells to keep you healthy.
You can drink a protein shake any time of the day, but right after your workout is the best time. Let’s find out why you need a protein shake after you leave the gym.
3 Benefits of Drinking a Protein Shake After Your Workout
For Muscle Recovery
During your workouts, especially strength training workouts, your muscles develop “micro-tears” caused by intense contractions in your muscle fibers. Protein —namely amino acids, the building blocks of proteins— is used to repair damaged muscle cells. Protein in food takes a long time to break down in your digestive track, which sends the amino acids to the muscles, but a protein shake can be digested in 30 minutes. If you consume a protein shake after your workout, your muscles will receive the vital nutrients it needs to recover faster.
For Muscle Growth
Protein shakes can help you gain muscle mass. As noted above, amino acids help build muscle tissue and the best time to consume it for growth and repair is right after your workout.
If your fitness goal is to gain muscle mass then you should be consuming about 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For many people, that’s a lot of chicken and tuna. Drinking a protein shake after your workout is a great way to get a blast of protein in an easy-to-consume liquid form.
For Weight Loss
While many gym-goers consume protein shakes for muscle growth, protein shakes can actually help you lose weight as well. Protein shakes aren’t a magic pill to weight loss but they can help you reduce your calorie intake. Not only are they low in calories but they are high in protein, which can make you feel full, so you won’t crave unhealthy snacks and food after you just busted through a tough workout.
There are heaps of different protein shakes available at health food stores or the supermarket. Some are available pre-made while others come in a powder form. Find a protein shake or powder that tastes good to you, is high in protein, and low in sugar. Bon appetit!