Protein is the building block for muscle and, since the body can’t store excess for later as with carbohydrates and fat, consistent intake throughout the day is needed in order to keep muscles strong and healthy. But immediately after a full night of sleep or a tiring workout, the body has little to no protein available to rebuild tissue. So sync those watches and work a healthy dose of aminos into breakfast and post-workout meals to ensure the body has an adequate supply.
Power Up With Protein — The Takeaway
We hear it all the time: breakfast is the most important meal of the day... with protein being a critical component. And if there’s any time the body is craving to get some much-needed replenishment, it’s after being deprived of muscle-repairing nutrients for the entire night. So wake up and smell the protein! The body is hungry, and protein is a great way to break the fast. Plus, if aiming to lose weight, consuming a high-protein breakfast has been shown to reduce hunger throughout the day .
Similarly important is our intake of protein after exercise, especially if muscle growth and maintenance is a goal . Following a tough training session, the body needs help from its friend protein to repair body tissue and start the process of building stronger, more resilient muscles . Recent studies suggest taking in around 20 grams of high-quality protein within 30 minutes after exercise gives the body the nutrients it needs to start recovery and prevent muscle loss . And as the saying goes, friends don’t let friends lose muscle.
Good sources of protein include eggs, raw nuts, or cottage cheese. Fish, beans, lean beef, and chicken are equally fantastic sources, but may not be so appetizing for breakfast. Of course, the quickest “whey” to get protein, especially immediately after a workout, might be reaching for the shaker bottle (though not as a replacement for balanced, protein-packed meals). Power to the protein!
Timing is everything. A dose of protein in the morning and post-workout will help ensure the body has the nutrients necessary for muscle growth.