How Much Protein After Workout

How To Meet Your Protein Target

How Much Protein Do I Need After My Workout?

Both animal- and plant-based foods contain protein and can help you meet your daily protein goal.

Meat, poultry, dairy and fish are high-quality animal sources of protein. Meanwhile, nuts, beans, legumes and soy are good sources of plant-based protein.

Research suggests that animal-based protein is superior to plant-based protein for building muscle, but its beneficial to consume a combination of both .

Protein shakes can also be a convenient way to increase your protein intake, especially when you cannot get enough through food alone.

The most common types of protein powders on the market include:


Both animal and plant products are good sources of dietary protein. Protein shakes can also help you reach your daily protein target.

35 ).

Therefore, unless your doctor or registered dietitian instructs you to limit your protein intake due to a medical condition, there is no need to fear a high-protein diet.


You can use protein shakes in between meals to boost your protein intake. The majority of healthy people can safely follow a high-protein diet.

How To Eat 40 Grams Of Protein Post

Although this study was small and the first of its kind, the results suggest that striving to consume 40 grams of protein post-workout is the way to go if you want to add muscle, regardless of your size. The authors speculate that this is especially true if you follow a total-body training style.

That’s because more muscle breakdown is occurring throughout the body compared to a single-body-part split. “Speculate” is the operative word, though. Single-body-part splits were not included in this study.

Rather than having to face two monstrous chicken breasts after your workout, consider one of these seven muscle-building meal combinations to meet your post-workout protein quota!

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt + 1 scoop whey protein + 1/2 cup blueberries = 43 g protein
  • 6 oz. salmon fillet + 1 cup quinoa + 1 cup broccoli = 45 g protein
  • 4-oz. can albacore tuna + 1/2 cup canned navy beans + 2 cups baby spinach + 1 cup cherry tomatoes = 43 g protein
  • 1 cup cottage cheese + 4 tbsp hemp seeds + 1 cup chopped pineapple = 42 g protein
  • 6 oz. chicken breast + 1 cup brown rice + 2 cups baby kale = 42 g protein
  • 6 oz. sirloin steak + 1 medium sweet potato + 2 tbsp pesto = 40 g protein
  • 1 cup low-fat milk + 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt + 1 scoop whey protein powder + 1 tbsp almond butter + 1 frozen banana = 44 g protein

Eating After A Workout

You just put your body through a lot and depleted its power reserves. Now, its time to restore that energy supply, says Patton.

Look to grab a quick, protein-packed snack 15 minutes to an hour after your workout to begin refueling. Starting the process right away can help ward off muscle soreness, tightness and cramping.

Its possible your appetite may be low after exercising, or you just cant stomach food right away. In that case, look for a liquid food option such as a protein drink or chocolate milk. Just dont skip getting something into your system.

If you dont eat and drink after working out, you may start to feel fatigued or even hangry, says Patton. Its an important part of your recovery.

That quick bite should be followed a few hours later by a nutritious meal chock-full of carbs and protein. Consider it the final rep, mile or lap of your earlier workout.

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Percentage Of Total Calories

Another way to calculate how much protein you need is by using daily calorie intake and the percentage of calories that will come from protein.

First, determine how many calories your body needs each day to maintain your current weight:

Next, decide what percentage of your diet will come from protein. The percentage you choose will be based on your goals, fitness level, age, body type, and metabolic rate. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-202 recommend that protein account for somewhere between 10% and 35% for adults.

Multiply that percentage by the total number of calories your body needs for the day to determine total daily calories from protein.

Finally, divide that number by 4.

How Much Protein Does My Body Need After A Workout

Should I Have Protein Shake Before Or After Workout ...

Exercise science has exploded over the last decade and so have exercise supplements. One of the most popular supplements taken after a workout is protein. Protein is one of the most important substances in your body to promote good health. Protein is so important to your body that the Greeks derived the word from the Latin root proteos meaning primary. Exercise science experts have long known about the role protein plays in your body and how it can be harnessed to help you recover from your workouts. The big debate between experts is how much protein your muscles can absorb.

Most exercise experts agree that the magical number of proteins your body needs after a workout is between 25-35 grams. You might be wondering to yourself, if not a protein shake, steak, or milk, what other foods will give me the necessary protein to repair my muscles after a hard workout?

1.)Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt packs twice as much protein as regular yogurt. If you pair it with berries, it will also combat muscle soreness.

2.)Eggs: One of the best sources of protein. Also jam packed full of essential amino acids that help your body recover after a hard workout.

3.)Quinoa: A vegetable that packs an enormous amount of protein while keeping your stomach satisfied as well as essential amino acids. Holds more fiber than your average grain.

5.)Navy Beans: 15 grams of protein per cup. Very versatile bean that is inexpensive and good for your digestion and your heart.

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The Muscle Full Effect

How much protein we should actually consume in one serving is a subject of debate by scientists. Most believe that around 20 to 25 grams of protein is the optimal amount for maximising muscle protein synthesis.

Anything greater than this is thought to be used for energy or excreted in our urine.

The point at which maximum muscle protein synthesis has been achieved in our muscles has been termed the “muscle full effect“. The idea is that muscle protein synthesis is only elevated for around 90-120 minutes after ingesting protein, before it returns to normal.

This is even despite amino acids continuing to be available in the blood stream, stimulating muscle protein synthesis further.

This has led some people to suggest that there is a finite amount of protein that the muscle can use in one sitting, and that we should let blood amino acid levels return to baseline levels before the next meal.

This observation came from research investigating whey protein. Whey protein is unique in that its amino acid levels appear and peak within the bloodstream rapidly and for only a short time following ingestion. Whey is considered a “fast-acting” protein.

But research has also shown that milk protein causes a sustained muscle protein synthesis due to a slower release of amino acids. This throws the short-term muscle full hypothesis into question.

David Rogerson, Senior Lecturer in Sports Nutrition and Strength and Conditioning, Sheffield Hallam University.

Are You Getting Too Much Protein

Judging by all the protein bars, shakes and powders out there, you get the impression you need more protein. There are claims it curbs appetite, helps with weight loss and builds muscle. But whats the real story?

Contrary to all the hype that everyone needs more protein, most Americans get twice as much as they need, says Kristi Wempen, a Mayo Clinic Health System registered dietitian nutritionist. This is especially true for males 14-70 years of age, who the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise to decrease meat, poultry and egg consumption. Even athletes are often getting more protein than they need, without supplements, because their calorie requirements are higher. And with more food comes more protein.

True or false: Big steak equals bigger muscles

Although adequate protein throughout the day is necessary, extra strength training is what leads to muscle growth not extra protein intake. You cant build muscle without the exercise to go with it.

The body cant store protein, so once needs are met, any extra is used for energy or stored as fat, adds Wempen. Excess calories from any source will be stored as fat in the body.

Wempen explains extra protein intake also can lead to elevated blood lipids and heart disease, because many high-protein foods are high in total fat and saturated fat. Extra protein intake, which can tax the kidneys, poses an additional risk to individuals predisposed to kidney disease.

How much protein do you need?

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All About Nutrient Timing

Nutrient timing is the concept that, what you eat and when you eat it, before, during and after exercise, will make a difference in your performance and results. The traditional theory is that there is an “anabolic window” a period of time just following activity in which your body is able to use nutrients to optimize training adaptations.

According to a review article published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in January 2013, it’s widely thought that consuming the correct proportions of nutrients during this time supercharges the body’s ability to restore damaged muscle tissue and depleted energy reserves to optimally enhance body composition and exercise performance.

In its position stand on nutrient timing published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in August 2017, the ISSN recommends consuming high-quality protein within two hours of a workout to stimulate the greatest muscle protein synthesis, called MPS.

Other experts say it’s more effective if it’s consumed even sooner. According to registered sports dietitian and strength and conditioning coach Justin Robinson, the anabolic window is 30 to 60 minutes post-workout, and registered dietitian Christopher R. Mohr, Ph.D., of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that you should try to eat within 15 minutes of an intense workout.

A Dawning Of A New Era

How Much Protein Powder Should You Take After Your Workout? | LiveLeanTV

One of the most beautiful things about science is you can use experiments to answer hard questions including what is the best amount of protein to consume after you get done slinging iron and getting your pump on.

Recently, a study from Dr. Tiptons lab has brought forth new evidence to show that two scooping it may be more effective than 1 scooping it.1 Before we get into the data I have to tell you that this pleases me because 2 scooping it makes shakes taste substantially better.

Ok, sorry for the digression, back to the science. Recently, a group of researchers had a group of resistance trained individuals engage in a full body training protocol and then slam back one scoop or 2 scoops .

When you break down the study in full it looks like there was a slightly higher level of muscle protein synthesis.

Related: 4 Post-Workout Nutrition Myths

The differences werent gigantic by any means and we dont know whether or not this leads to bigger biceps 12-16 weeks down the line, but we can definitely say that it looks like from a molecular biology standpoint that 40 grams of protein results in higher protein creation immediately following a workout than 20 grams, so our old myth of 30 can die a nice, quiet, pseudoscientific death.

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What Type Of Protein Is Best After A Workout

From whole foods to supplements and animal- to plant-based proteins, there are many ways to meet your protein needs, and it can be confusing to navigate. Also known as complete proteins, high-quality proteins are most effective for building, repairing, and maintaining muscle.8

High-quality food sources of protein include dairy, fish, meat, eggs, and soy. However, thats not the only type of protein thats useful. Youve likely seen whey and plant-based protein powders, concentrates, and isolates on the market, too.

Like soy, pea protein is a plant-based protein that has been found to be effective for post-workout recovery and can be used by all athletes even those who follow a vegan diet. Just keep in mind, pea protein is an incomplete protein, meaning it delivers fewer essential amino acids, so you may have to eat more to have the same recovery impact as whey or soy.

With that said, for most people, eating enough calories during the day and including a variety of plant-based foods in the diet can ensure adequate protein and amino acid intake.9 You dont need to eat animal protein to support post-workout recovery all types of protein can work.

Why Are Workout And Post

When we work out intensely, we damage tissues at the microlevel, and we use fuel.

This is what ultimately makes us stronger, leaner, fitter, and more muscular, but in the short term it requires repair.

Repair and rebuilding occurs through the breakdown of old, damaged proteins and the construction of new ones a process known collectively as protein turnover.

Muscle protein synthesis is increased slightly after resistance workouts, while protein breakdown increases dramatically. Were doing a lot more breaking-down than building-up.

The relationship between these two parameters represents the metabolic basis for muscle growth.

Muscle hypertrophy occurs when a positive protein balance can be established during recovery in other words, when we make sure we have enough raw materials available for protein synthesis to occur, so that it doesnt lag behind protein breakdown.

This is especially difficult with endurance athletes as protein synthesis drops and protein breakdown goes up.

Studies show that this trend can be reversed specifically, protein synthesis is stimulated and protein breakdown is suppressed when you consume the right type of nutrients after exercise.

Protein is not the only concern, however. During exercise sessions, stored carbohydrates can be substantially depleted.

Thus, during the postworkout period, we require protein and carbohydrates.

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The Timing Of Your Post

Your bodys ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after you exercise .

For this reason, its recommended that you consume a combination of carbs and protein as soon as possible after exercising. In the past, experts recommended eating your post-workout meal within 45 minutes, as a delay of carb consumption by as little as 2 hours after a workout may lead to as much as 50% lower rates of glycogen synthesis (

23 ).

Additionally, recovery is not just about what you consume directly after working out. When you exercise consistently, the process is ongoing. It is best to continue to eat small, well-balanced meals of carbs and protein every 34 hours .


Eat your post-workout meal soon after exercising, ideally within a few hours. However, you can extend this period a little longer, depending on the timing of your pre-workout meal.

How Much Protein Do You Need After A Workout

What Do You Eat Before And After A Workout Is It Better To

Protein has a few key benefits that make it crucial to eat after a workout. For one thing, it contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of our muscles and are necessary for energy and proper bodily function, Michalczyk says.

âProtein also helps to keep us fuller for longer, so it can help stave off that ravenous feeling that we sometimes can get after a tough workout,â she adds. âThis is good when you need that snack to hold you over to your next meal.â

However, not all proteins are created equal. âSome foods are complete sources of protein and some are incomplete, meaning they don’t contain all of the amino acids your body needs for all of these processes,â Michalczyk says. So, if you don’t eat traditional complete proteinsâaka meat, dairy, fish, and eggsâand tend to opt for more plant-based foods, youâll need to combine where you can to get in that requirement.

âYou can definitely mix both plant-based and animal protein after a workout, just make sure it is a complete source of protein meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs,â Michalczyk says. âThe famous rice and beans example shows how plant-based foods can be combined to make a complete protein that gives you all of the amino acids you need,â she says. There are also a few plant-based items that do offer complete proteins, such as soy , quinoa, and spirulina.

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How Much Protein Do You Need

Well this depends on three important things. The first is your weight, because if you are bigger, you need more protein the second is what activity you are doing and the third is what you are trying to achieve.

For people who are exercising regularly, for more than an hour every day, you need 1-1.2 grams of protein, per kilogram, per day.

So if I weighed 10stone , thats 63.5kg so I would need 63.5-76.2g of protein per day.

To give you an idea, a large chicken breast contains 64g of protein. So even if I am exercising for an hour every day, at 63.5kg one chicken breast would meet my needs. Do I need supplements? Nope.

If I decided that I wanted to be an endurance athlete and started training to run marathons , I might get some benefit from increasing my protein intake to 1.2-1.4g per kilogram per day. Based on my weight of 10stone, this works out to be 76.2-88.9g of protein per day.

So in addition to my large chicken breast, I might drink a glass of milk and eat an egg which would give me 82g of protein. Do I need protein supplements? NOPE.

If I decided that I wanted to be a body builder and get a massive booty and a chick pack then we think that as a maximum and this goes for everyone, not just women as a MAXIMUM, we might use 1.7g of protein, per kilogram, per day.

That would be 108g of protein per day for someone who weighs 63.5kg.

Now, I know that men can eat a lot, but that is a lot of protein to try and eat in a day.

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