One of the big questions to ask yourself when incorporating protein shakes into your diet is when you should actually drink them.
There are a lot of conversations about whether it’s best to drink protein shakes first thing in the morning before your workout or after – so when should you drink your protein shake?
Here, we are going to be discussing the role protein shakes play in post-workout recovery and the benefits they offer.
This way, you can work out whether you would prefer to drink your protein shake after our workout is over – if you would prefer to drink it before your workout begins.
Check out the guide below for more information!
Why You Should Drink Protein Shakes
To understand the role of the protein shake in your post-workout recovery, you first need to understand the benefits of protein shakes overall.
Protein shakes are supposed to act as dietary supplements to add more protein to your body to help you meet your physical needs. Protein is an essential nutrient that is made from amino acids.
These amino acids are vital as they help your body function in everyday life.
They are also particularly important when it comes to exercising and movement. In fact, the main purpose of protein shakes is to help improve muscle gain, muscle performance, and muscle recovery post-workout.
There are additional benefits to protein shakes. They are also helpful when it comes to weight loss as they can reduce hunger and boost your metabolism.
As a result, some people turn to protein shakes to help them stop snacking and support their weight loss effects.
Despite this, the main role of protein shakes is to help support your muscles – but does this mean drinking protein shakes post-workout is the best time to drink them?
Benefits Of Post-Workout Protein Shakes
So, there are plenty of reasons to add protein shakes to your diet – but what benefits are there to drinking protein shakes post-workout instead of just before your workout or even first thing in the morning?
Let’s find out!
They Contain Protein For Post-Workout Muscle Recovery
The trick to knowing when to drink your protein shake is to work out when you need more protein in your body to support it.
As a result, most people drink their protein shakes after their workout is over as this is when their body requires more protein than usual.
During your average workout session, you will be stretching and pulling your muscles repetitively.
Activities like running, jumping, and weight lifting will cause your muscles to contract and relax – and this can cause cells in the muscles to break down.
In each workout session, you will be damaging your muscles and it’s important for your body to rebuild them to prevent long-term damage or issues that could negatively impact your workout’s performance and efficiency.
So, drinking your protein shake post-workout will help your body absorb the protein just in time to help reverse the damage caused by your workout. Your muscles can repair themselves ready for your next session!
They Replace The Liquids You Have Lost During Your Workout
After your workout is over, you will be very thirsty.
Exercising causes your body temperature to rise as you use more energy and to counteract this, your body will begin to sweat. This results in a loss of body fluid during each workout and your body will call for you to replace it once your workout session is over.
Staying hydrated post-workout is vital as staying hydrated will help your body function and recover as swiftly as possible. Most athletes hydrate with water but a protein shake is also a great way to replace the liquids you have lost during your workout session.
So, drinking your protein shake post-workout provides your body with the additional protein it needs at the right time and helps hydrate your body.
If you’re not drinking your protein shake, you would only be drinking water anyway – so why not drink your protein shake and get that additional boost of protein when your body needs it the most?
They Help You Feel Less Hungry Post-Workout
Another common feeling after a good workout session is hunger. Many people feel hungry not long after they wrap up their workout and it’s easy to see why.
Exercise requires you to burn calories and use up your body’s stores of glycogen. Because of this, your body’s reactive response is to stimulate your appetite so you feel hungry.
This is your body’s way of trying to get you to replace the calories you have burnt – so it’s perfectly normal to feel hungry after a workout.
However, for people trying to lose weight and build muscle instead of fat, this can be an issue. It can be tempting to snack after your workout session is over but that can just undo the hard work you have put into burning your calories in the first place.
So, what can protein shakes do to help?
Protein is proven to give your body a feeling of ‘satiety’ which means that it makes you feel fuller for longer. This is a great way to avoid snacking, especially after your workout.
So, this is another great reason why you should drink your protein shake after your workout session is over – as it helps you avoid snacking, supporting your weight-loss efforts!
It is important to note that certain proteins are better at making you feel fuller than others.
Whey and egg proteins are particularly good at this while plant-based proteins are not – so how well you benefit from post-workout protein shakes in this category depends on the type of protein shake you are drinking.
There are lots of reasons why you should drink your protein shake after your workout session is over.
Protein shakes are specifically made to help repair muscle during post-workout recovery as they provide your body with the amino acids it needs to effectively and efficiently repair damaged muscle cells.
They are also great at rehydrating you during your post-workout recovery and helping you feel full, reducing your temptation to snack in the recovery period.
So, take these benefits into consideration and decide whether or not a post-workout protein shake is the best option for you and your recovery period.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Speeds Up Muscle Recovery?
Along with a protein shake, there are plenty of ways you can help speed up your muscle recovery.
Most athletes use massages to help reduce the feeling of soreness in their muscles while sleep is also proven to help give your muscles enough time to recover fully after an efficient workout session.
This is because it’s proven that sleep deprivation can impair your body’s reaction to inflammation, making it harder for you to recover if you are tired.
Staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding alcohol are all ways to boost your muscle recovery to enjoy more effective and efficient workout sessions.
What Are The 4 Stages Of Muscle Recovery
Muscle recovery is divided into four separate stages known as:
Protein specifically helps during regeneration as it contains amino acids used to rebuild and repair torn and worn muscle tissue.
However, some proteins are anti-inflammatory which can help lower the effects of inflammation, making muscle recovery more swift post-workout.
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