How can you provide your muscles with the best possible recovery after a hard workout? Post workout protein powder is the vital component in meeting these nutritional needs. In this article, we will be focusing on “what is post workout protein”.
By supplying your body with the proper protein for muscle recovery, your muscles will be able to repair themselves to grow back bigger and stronger for next time. The information that we will cover include the benefits of taking post workout protein, what a good protein powder contains, and the best timing and quantity to take.
What Is Post Workout Protein
If you’re familiar with a pre workout supplement, a post workout protein powder is the yin to the yang for a complete supplementation program. Pre workout gives you the Caffeine and Amino’s to power you up and post workout protein gives you the Amino Acids, vitamins and minerals to power you down.
One gives you the energy and nutrients to work your muscles as hard as possible to get a more intense workout. Post workout is what provides your muscles with the proper resources to repair muscle tissue after exercise.
A well rounded post workout protein will jump start your recovery. Post workouts are a convenient alternative to food for an excellent source after a workout. This is a valid alternative, not only for the convenience but the amount of actual food that you would have to eat post workout to receive the necessary amount of protein your body requires.
What is in a post workout protein is very simple. Protein powder is packed with the 21 different forms of Amino Acids. Aminos are the building blocks of protein, your body uses for all of its processes. When it comes down to it, this powder is simply a healthy, low calorie protein. Most powders are less than two hundred calories per serving and contain around 20 grams of protein.
Protein powders can come from either plant (Vegan), dairy, or animal sources. Some types of protein are better for achieving different goals than others, so I’ll go over more details on these. Protein powders come in Organic as well. This means they don’t contain any chemicals, man made fertilizers or pesticides.
Post Workout Protein Benefits
I’ve been using the term protein powder, but post workout protein can also come in premixed drinks and protein bars as well as other forms. Powder is the most popular, least expensive and come in a variety of choices.
Amino Acid proteins in a post workout are necessary for muscle growth. Consuming a post workout protein after your session stimulates protein synthesis, therefore, starting the recovery process. This rebuilding of your muscle fibers will actually help to enhance performance during your next workout.
Your body requires these proteins to rebuild after exercise. If you are into bodybuilding or weight lifting, post workout protein is a key part of increasing both your muscle strength and size.
Protein powder gives you a high amount of healthy proteins, fiber, and vitamins for a relatively low amount of calories. Post workout supplements are an excellent nutritional source.
You will also get a sufficient amount of carbohydrates or “carbs” to recover your carb debt and give your body more energy. Carbohydrates are very useful for aerobic sports as well.
Protein supplements provide the largest benefits to those that perform resistance type exercises. These anaerobic activities include Cross-fit, powerlifting, bodybuilding, weightlifting, sprinting, cycling, HIIT training or any other activity that strengthens your body.
Protein Powder For Weight Loss
Besides building muscle, protein powders are also effective for weight loss. We already talked about how much nutrition you get for a low amount of calories, but this is not where the benefits end.
Protein makes you feel fuller than any other food. This leads to eating smaller meals and less snacking. Part of this effect is from fiber, especially from plant proteins. Protein also takes longer to digest, and because of this, you will actually burn more calories during the digestion process. This supplement is found to be the safest and healthiest way to lose weight long term.
Ingredients That Make The Difference
Both pre workout and post workout supplements have ingredients that are specifically designed to maximize their effects in your body. Post workouts manufacturers spend a lot of time and money paying nutritional scientists to align the ingredients, quantities, and ratios of their products just right.
Protein is made up of chains of Amino Acids. They work to provide protein synthesis and by metabolizing waste to produce new cells in the muscle. These include essential Amino Acids and BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids).
Aminos are the main ingredient to stimulate muscle growth and repair. Most protein powders contain between 15 and 25 grams per serving. Since I’m on a high protein diet myself, the more the better.
Most of these powders also contain additional vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Sodium, Potassium, These help with muscle soreness and fatigue. Your muscles need all of the nutrients they can get to help them recharge. Some post workouts are so packed with nutrients that it is better than taking your daily supplement pills.
Types Of Protein Used For Powders
Post workout protein powders are made with either animal proteins, plant proteins or whey proteins. Whey protein (comes from dairy) is the most popular and my personal favorite. It has been highly studied and has shown to produce the best muscle growth results because it has the highest concentration of Amino Acids. However, it is not recommended for people that are lactose intolerant.
Casein protein powder (also from dairy) contains enzymes to help your body digest the ingredients more efficiently and more slowly over a longer period of time. This enables the Aminos to be distributed better for when the body most needs them. It will also help to keep you feel fuller for longer.
Milk based powders contain proteolytic enzymes such as proteases, peptidase, peptin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, bromelain, papain. These help with digestion.
Plant based protein powders are healthier but have less concentrated Amino Acid proteins. They are also an excellent source of fiber and other nutrients. These types of proteins can be made with pea, hemp, brown rice, chia seeds, pumpkin seed, or mixed plant proteins.
Mixed plant proteins such as the brand, Orgain Organic Powder are better for muscle growth because they contain the entire spectrum of Aminos.
Most Effective Way To Take Protein Powder
Let’s talk briefly about the timing for taking your post workout. There is a specific window of time after your workout that is basically the “sweet spot”. This is when your body will optimize the proteins and nutrients that your post workout provides.
Although this is not critical, may trainers recommend getting in your protein around 45 minutes after your workout. Immediately after exercise, your blood is still pumping through the veins in the muscles and organs, not your digestive tract.
As you get further away from the completion of your workout, your body will be more readily available to receive nutrients in the stomach. If you can’t make this window, try your best to drink your shake within the first few hours afterward.
Quantity Of Protein Powder
The quantity that you take is another important factor. A serving of post workout protein powder should be about 20 grams or more. Depending on many factors, you may want to consume more than this. These factors include your fitness goals and metabolism but most importantly your weight. These factors influence how much your body will need.
If you are trying to grow muscle, try to get all of the protein that you can throughout the course of the day. After working out it is recommended to take 20-40 grams or two servings. For maximum growth, shoot for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. Not all in protein powder of course.
To blend these protein powders, all you need is a shaker and some water or milk. I prefer to use unsweetened almond milk with mine. Many serious athletes and gym goers take additional recovery supplements after their workout including Creatine and BCAA’s. These are taken along with your protein powder. These supplements abide by the same timing rules for consumption.
If you have any questions or comment about post workout protein timing or dosage, please leave a message below and I will respond.
The Post Workout Protein Conclusion
The answer to, what is post workout protein is very simple. It’s a combination of the critical Amino Acid proteins and other nutrients that provide the best muscle recovery after exercise. Post workout supplements jump start your recovery after a workout.
It is very important to give your body the protein and nutrients it needs at the time it needs them. Tons of research has been poured into these powders to formulate the ingredients and proportions to achieve maximum muscle growth.
Protein powder is an inexpensive, healthy, nutritious, low calorie, choice. Of course, if your schedule allows and if you have the time, it is always recommended to eat a well balanced, high protein meal over a supplement.
If you are interested in getting toned, protein powders are one of the best supplements to use for long term weight loss. Protein will make you feel fuller and it is low in calories.
If you have any comments or questions on “what is post workout protein”, please leave a message at the bottom and I will respond.