Train like a Beast? Recover like one: The benefits of Post Workout Protein

If you’re reading this blog you know the benefit of hard work in your training. You know that if you train hard you will see benefits in your fitness goals and overall health. Recovery is one area that is often overlooked in training that can be detrimental to how you feel, how your body adapts and the body’s ability to continue to train and make gains in strength or performance.

In the current issue of Strength and Conditioning Journal (vol. 36, N.6, Dec. 2014) they tackle the question of post exercise protein consumption. Post workout protein consumption has long been touted as the best way to improve lean muscle mass, recent studies have shown that consuming protein supplements immediately or within 20 minutes of finishing a workout increases “lean muscle mass, muscle fiber cross-sectional area, and strength” by 40-120% compared to not consuming protein or consuming it later in the day.

Post workout protein supplements help your body stay in an anabolic state. An anabolic state is necessary for muscle and tissue growth and repair (i.e. recovery) and staying anabolic requires energy. You have to feed your muscles in order for them to repair and grow lean muscle mass, if you don’t your muscles will just break down and have nothing to repair themselves with which impedes how you feel, how you recover, how you train and how you will perform.

Additionally, consuming protein within 10 minutes of a workout you reduce the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, that is released. Cortisol is a key factor in belly fat, the more cortisol you have the more likely your body is to store fat around your belly. Fat is good for you body but storing too much fat around your belly is linked to an increased risk of many diseases including heart disease and cancer.

So what does this mean for you? This means that consuming a protein supplement immediately to twenty minutes after your workout, especially strength or resistance training, will increase the benefits of your training and improve your recovery. Post workout protein supplementation reduces inflammation in your body, which means you can continue to train and reduce your risk of injury. Consistent training yields maximum results and will leave you feeling better and hitting your goals. There are many protein supplements on the market and you want to look for something that is low in sugar, a whey isolate (usually tolerated by those who are lactose intolerant because it’s isolated and doesn’t contain the milk protein) and does not have soy, corn or any corn based products (like high fructose corn syrup). Adding protein to your post workout routine will help you recover, feel better and train to win your life. At The Powerhouse, we love the Progenex protein powder. It tastes great and high quality protein supplement with minimal ingredients.