Most athletes and other fitness individuals can generally agree that a higher dosage of protein after a workout can help to facilitate their muscle protein synthesis (MPS). This is the process in which the muscles in the body repair themselves to repair the microscopic tears to strengthen the muscle after an exercise, such as resistance training. However, this same question is always asked and will be for the foreseeable future: how much protein should you be taking after exercising?
Keep in mind that there is no one-answer-fits-all for that question, as each person's body is different from the other. And while there is a general rule of thumb a person can follow, the exact answer is tough to find.
The study and research
In one research, a group of thirty males were told to undergo resistance training programs and were grouped according to their lean body mass (LBM). There was the low LBM group, and the high LBM group, where the low LBM group weighed equal to or less than 65 kg and the higher group weighed around 70 kilograms or higher.
In the study mentioned, each male participant took two trials to measure MPS. In the first trial, 20 to 40 grams of proteins were ingested in the form of whey protein isolate right after the exercise. Other factors like diet were closely tracked to ensure the test is as accurate as possible, where participants had to keep a 7-day activity diary and stay consistent with their activities.
The total amount of protein you will want to take after post-workout can be arguable. From the previously mentioned research and other various studies, most agreed that around 20 to 25 grams of high-quality protein are optimal for maximum MPS stimulation post-workout. Yet, it is important to note that this fails to consider muscle mass, where the more muscles a person has, the more protein they will need to take in.
Apart from how much protein you must take after a workout, other arguments also revolve around when that protein should actually be consumed. On the one hand, many people believe ingesting protein right after training is believed to facilitate MPS at its best. But on the other hand, not enough research has been done to establish a solid answer for this case. The only thing that is certain is that some form of protein, whether it is taken right after a workout or an hour after, will maximise MPS to help athletes recover faster before their next workout.
At this point, you now know that around 20 to 25 grams of protein are what you will aim to get post-workout. There are many rules of thumbs you can follow, especially if you are bigger or lower in terms of lean body mass.
To that end, the most important aspect of this topic is the fact that you are participating in resistance training and other types of training that puts stress on your muscles. It is only through such exercises that your muscles are pushed to their limits, creating microscopic tears that the body repairs to strengthen the muscle. Protein fuels this process, but without exercise, MPS will not occur. As such, it is vital that you have a good training routine to pair with your protein intake to ensure the proteins gained will strengthen your body and do not end up stored in fat storages instead.
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