What you consume after working out is important. After you work out, your body is repairing itself and working on recovery. If you do not provide your body with the proper post workout nutrition, you will not see the muscle gains and fat loss that you want.
While exercise is essential for gaining muscle and losing fat, it does place physiological stress on the body. When you exercise, the muscles’ fuel resources have been depleted and minor damage has occurred. This means that your muscles need repaired and replenished. Of course, the damage and depletion allow your muscles to adapt, as long as you only allow your muscles to be in this state for a short period of time.
Exercise tears down your old, less adapted muscles so the body can build more functional muscles. This process is often referred to as remodelling. However, unless you provide your muscles with the right materials, they will not be able to remodel themselves.
What should the goals of your post workout meal be? Your post workout nutrition should focus on accomplishing the following:
- Reduce the muscle protein breakdown that exercise causes
- Reduce fatigue and muscle soreness
- Reduce cortisol levels after workouts
- Replenish depleted levels of muscle glycogen
- Enhance overall post workout recovery
- Increase protein synthesis within the muscles
One of the best ways to make sure your body is getting the post workout nutrition it needs is to start drinking protein shakes after your workout. Protein shakes with whey protein offer many benefits. If you are not convinced that whey protein shakes are a great choice, here’s a closer look at the benefits of whey protein, how protein shakes enhance results, the continued importance of macro and micro nutrients, and other helpful post workout information.
The Benefits of Whey Protein
Protein is the building block of muscle, which is why it is so essential to fuel your body with protein after a workout if you want to see muscle gains. Exercise causes muscle protein breakdown, which means you need to replenish protein to increase protein synthesis within your muscles. One of the best ways to get your protein is to consume whey protein, which is easily consumed in a shake. Why choose whey protein over other protein options? Here are just a few of the benefits why protein has to offer.
- Benefit #1 – Increase Strength and Size – One of the main benefits of whey protein is its ability to help you increase your strength and size. Research has shown that individuals taking whey protein have enjoyed great increases in muscle strength and fat-free mass. Whey protein can be especially beneficial when consumed both before and after a workout for muscle gain.
- Benefit #2 – Reduce Hunger – If you are trying to lose fat while working towards muscle gains, you may be cutting your calories. Whey protein can help you achieve your goals, since it helps to reduce hunger. Studies have shown that consuming whey protein can reduce the levels of the hunger hormone for several hours. It’s common to feel hungry after working out, so a whey protein shake offers a great way to reduce hunger and stick to your nutrition plan.
- Benefit #3 – Improve Your Immune System – Keeping your immune system strong and healthy is important when you are working out hard. Strenuous workouts have the potential to negatively impact your immune system by reducing glutathione levels. When you supplement your diet with whey protein, it helps to keep glutathione levels from plunging so low, which helps to keep your immune system strong. This can also help to reduce the impact of strenuous exercise on your gastrointestinal and nervous systems as well.
- Benefit #4 – Preserve Muscle and Lose Fat – If your goals are muscle gains and fat loss, whey protein can help you to preserve muscle while losing fat. Studies have shown that adding whey protein to a reduced calorie diet can help you preserve muscle and lose body fat. In some cases, people trying to lose fat cut calories and the body begins to turn to muscle for the energy it needs. However, when you add whey protein to the mix, the protein protects and preserves your muscles while allowing you to lose extra body fat.
- Benefit #5 – Fast Digestion and Bio-Availability – While many different forms of protein are available, whey protein offers an excellent choice because it can be digested quickly and it offers excellent bio-availability. If you consume protein like chicken or steak, it takes time for the body to break down the food so it’s available to your muscles. You don’t have this problem with whey protein. It’s quickly available to your muscles, which makes it an excellent form of protein to use when you’re choosing a protein source for your post workout nutrition.