Most gym lovers hit their dumbbells, do their hardcore workout, and go straight for the protein supplements or shakes. It’s like a trend. Everybody does that. It seems like they work out on a notion that the faster they consume the protein, the more fruitful it will be in the end.
It’s actually pretty common these days for fitness lovers to gulp down a big protein shake right after they’re done exercising. But the main question lies the same. Is it really worthwhile? Do you really need a protein shake before or after workout?
Well, maybe yes and maybe no.
Every health website or article tells you or suggests you what to consume right after you are done with your workout. But did you ever give in a thought that you might actually not need it?
What to consume after a workout completely depends on what kind of workout was it.
Was it harder? Or was it longer, performance-based workout? If this is what you did, then you are good to go. Have your shake.
Why? Because your hardcore and high-potency workout where your session lasts longer than 80-90 minutes, your body demands it. But when you do low-potency sessions, your body then doesn’t need you to have any supplement or shakes. You don’t need to rush to your next feast unless you are hungry.
So, think about it. “Should I take protein powder?” You’ll know your answer.
But let’s take it further.
Go for a Carb-Protein proportion
If you have had an intense workout session, you can go refill yourself with some carbs, and stop just consuming protein. In other words, add carbs to your post-workout refill along with protein.
Your body needs just a little bit of protein to recover from the workout stress. You need carbs, majorly as they aid in recovering the muscles.
What if you don’t follow this carb-protein ratio? It’s drastic. Really. If you don’t consume the exact carb-protein ratio your body needs, the recovery will not be as effective as it should be. Your body enzymes will not be able to let carbs dive into your muscles. That being said, your muscles and tissues will starve as they don’t get enough of the glycogen they require.
Thus, no repair.
Should you go for protein after strength training?
Actually, your muscles won’t get drained after a strength training, and you don’t need a protein bar right after you are done training. But you need to ensure that you are taking protein within two hours of ceasing your workout. You only need a little bit of protein after a workout to recover your muscles.
Warning- Do not under any circumstances overload your body with an extra protein shake or powder in hopes of faster recovery. Your body will not be able to metabolize the extra protein and you’ll end up storing that extra protein as fats in your body. And that’s pretty bad. You don’t want that.
What can you do? You can fix when to drink a protein shake. And consume just about 0.25gms of protein depending on per kilogram of your body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll need exactly 18-20 grams of protein. Easy.
Further, you need to add protein in your diet and consume your protein shake before and after workout. That being said, take a daily intake of protein between 1.4-2 grams per kilogram of your body weight and keep eating your protein bars/shakes/powder/supplements every 3-4 hours.
A person of 150 pounds of weight will need to consume about 100-135 grams of protein per day.
Are there any alternatives to protein bars?
If you are big on dairy products, you can go for low-fat chocolate milk as your perfect post-workout snack. Make sure you don’t consume fats under any circumstances as fat slows down digestion. After an intense workout session, a glass of cold chocolate milk does wonders.
But if you are lactose intolerant, do not consume milk for obvious reasons. Instead, chew some protein bars or shakes with plant-based protein powder. That tastes yum, and works great. But before consuming anything, please make sure you are not allergic to any of it as it may lead to even drastic situations and that is definitely going to harm your body.
The way you do your exercise totally depends on you. But your protein intake before and after workout depends on your body. You don’t need any protein bar if you are low on exercise; that is if you don’t do muscles or intense training.
You need a perfect ratio of carbs and proteins within two hours of workout to help your body sustain its energy and recover your muscles and tissues.