Protein plays a vital role in repairing and rebuilding your muscles, especially after a tough workout. But does this mean you have to drink a shake after every lift? Or can you just have a meal? Here is what the experts have to say!
Not that long ago, bros in the gym talked about what they called the “anabolic window.” It was a magical-sounding 45-60 minute space where you had to have a protein shake, or else you’d risk your muscles wasting away.
We know better now. Most research has shown that your muscles aren’t in significant danger if you don’t have a shake right away, even if you are doing a tough program like V Shred’s Clean Bulk to pack on muscle mass.
But no, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to have protein powder post-workout. Here’s your best post-workout protein strategy, no matter if your goal is weight loss or pure muscle gains!
Should I Have A Protein Shake, A Meal, Or Both?
The science is clear that if you’re lifting weights regularly, a higher protein diet can help you achieve more fat loss, more muscle gain, and just better results in general. It’s also clear that your body is more sensitive to protein in the hours following a workout— somewhere around 2-3 hours, for most people.
Both of those sound like good arguments for consuming protein pretty soon after a workout.
But does it have to be a protein shake? What about chicken, fish, eggs?
They’re all great sources of protein. The real advantages to having a shake post-workout are more functional:
- Protein is more convenient than packing a meal around
- It’s also light enough in the stomach that you can eat soon afterward
One other benefit: your body uses it more quickly, since whey protein like Sculptnation Protein digests much more quickly than meat.
Our suggestion: keep some protein powder in your gym bag and go ahead and slam it on your way home from the gym. Then have your planned post-workout meal an hour or two later.
Need Some Additional Help Determining Your Protein Needs?
If you’re not sure how much protein to eat, the macronutrient calculator in the V Shred App for IOS or Android can help you set a daily target to aim for. Getting systematic about this one macronutrient can be a game-changer!
And if this is all just confusing to you, or you are unsure if you need to have both a shake and a meal post-lift, you’re not alone! Our expert team of certified personal trainers and nutritionists at V Shred can create a custom meal and supplement plan that lays out everything you need to reach your goals faster and easier!