Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to building muscle and getting stronger.
Here are some common questions answered.
1. DO I NEED TO EAT PROTEIN RIGHT AFTER MY WORKOUTS?
You don’t need to do anything. But if you want to get stronger, build muscle, and actually see the benefits of your training…then yes. You should be aiming to have protein after your workouts.
Does it need to be right after your workouts? No, probably not. The whole “metabolic window” thing gets fretted over a little too much, in my opinion. Mainly because those who stress over getting protein within 2 min of their last set typically overemphasize the timing of their post workout shake and underemphasize the quality and intensity of their workouts.
Have protein after your workouts. But don’t overstress about how fast you consume it. Just make sure you’re getting it in.
2. DO I NEED 1G OF PROTEIN PER LBS OF MY BODYWEIGHT?
This depends mainly on your goals and if you can even stomach this much protein in a day.
Before hopping on Google and taking generic pseudoscience recommendations for your diet to heart, consult with a professional who can give you some concrete advice on protein quantity that fits your body and your goals.
Anywhere in the neighbourhood of 0.7-1g of protein per lbs of bodyweight is usually recommended for someone looking to either build muscle, strength, or lose fat.
3. SHOULD I EAT PROTEIN BEFORE BED?
It might not be a bad idea. Having a slow-digesting protein (for example, casein) before bed will help with protein synthesis throughout the night.
When you’re sleeping, you’re essentially fasting since you’re not eating anything (obviously). So giving your muscles some nourishment to thrive on as you sleep will help you recover more efficiently and help you wake up feeling “fuller” with greater energy reserves.
Tip: This is especially helpful if you train really early in the morning and can’t stomach breakfast before heading to the gym.
4. WHAT KIND OF PROTEIN SHOULD I BE EATING?
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, have plant-based protein stuff.
If you’re an omnivore, have meat and plant-based protein stuff.
5. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHEY ISOLATE AND WHEY CONCENTRATE?
- some carbs
- some fat
- less expensive
- more calories
- less carbs
- less fat
- more expensive
- less calories
Both options are great. It comes down to personal preference depending on what your goals are.
6. ARE PROTEIN SHAKES BETTER THAN REAL FOOD?
No. Protein shakes are simply a quick and easy way to get your protein in.
Your body can digest it faster than food, since you know…you’re not chewing it…which makes it a viable option for your post workout recovery since your muscles are craving nourishment.
7. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE PROTEIN SHAKES?
Depends. 1 or 2 a day is usually fine. But again, consult with a professional before taking my advice. I’m just a dude on the internet.