It’s no rocket science to understand that a good balance of exercise and nutrition can go a long way. However, knowing when and what to consume when exercising can also be extremely important to help reach those fitness goals. For example, a study illustrates that consuming a drink rich in amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) can help decrease fatigue, maintain exercise performance, and hasten the muscle recovery process.Effects of an amino acid carbohydrate drink on exercise performance after consecutive-day exercise bouts. Skillen, RA., Testa, M., Applegate, EA., et al. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 2008 Oct;18(5):473-92.Another study focusing on the consumption of milk protein post-resistance exercise shows that people who drink protein-rich drinks after exercise experience greater gains in whole body lean mass and larger muscle fibers.
So, for those who want to pack on the muscle a little faster or just get in shape, protein drinks may very well have a place as part of a daily routine. Of course, some research suggests post-workout protein isn’t especially helpfulShould protein be included in CHO-based sports supplements? Betts, J.A., Stevenson, E. Human Physiology Research Group, Department for Health, University of Bath, United Kingdom. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2011;43(7):1244-50.. And, according to a Consumer Reports study, excessive consumption of protein can potentially be dangerous, especially because of potential exposure to heavy metals. “Early Show” consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen even suggests overconsumption can lead to dehydration, digestive problems, and complications for people with kidney problems.
Ultimately, having a protein drink after a workout seems to be beneficial for muscle growth. Unless today’s sustenance comes entirely from a big tub of protein powder, protein drinks may be the best post-gym option.
Grabbing a protein drink after a work-out sesh can help build stronger muscles, increase training efficacy, and speed up muscle recovery time.