Post workout nutrition is essential for reducing muscle soreness and fatigue, replenishing used up glycogen, and preventing muscle breakdown. It, therefore, goes without saying that a post workout meal is a must if you are looking to build some muscle. An hour in the gym can also be quite dehydrating not to mention the fact that your body will be running low on energy. When working towards weight loss, you have to ensure that the meal you take right after your workout is low in calories and a protein shake, in this case, is always advisable.
Protein shakes for weight loss are ideal after workouts for many reasons. Below we discuss these reasons and the best ways to use these shakes after exercise to ensure muscle recovery.
Why whey protein shakes are ideal post workout
They are high in protein
Protein is essential for muscle growth and development and protein shakes provide just the right amount to ensure optimal growth. Since these shakes are easy to digest, your body can take up the protein and use it for muscle recovery. Most nutritionists recommend a protein-packed meal a few hours before a workout. If you do not get such a meal, a protein dense shake right after your workout will take care of this and ensure that you have the right nutrition for optimal recovery.
These protein-rich shakes come with very few calories. Most are fortified with vitamins and minerals. This means that they deliver the right nutrients for recovery without undoing all the good you gain during your workout.
They are hydrating
Fluids help flush out the toxins accumulated in the body. It is these toxins that result in muscle soreness and pain. Taking a protein shake after your workout is necessary not just for nourishment but also for hydration purposes. Just ensure that your shake contains at least one glass of water.
They are user-friendly
From being easy-to-carry to requiring minimal if any prep time, protein shakes are nothing short of user-friendly. You can also get the shakes in a variety of flavors and as the saying goes variety is the spice of life. Even better, you know the exact amount of nutrients in the shake and keeping tab of your calorie consumption is made easy. The fact that the shakes come in liquid form means that they are easy on the stomach as well.
How to use protein shakes for weight loss post-workout
Take it within an hour after your workout
The sooner you take your post-workout shake the better. You can, however, clean up and rest a little bit if you do not like taking anything right after completing your workout. Just ensure that an hour does not pass before you take the shake.
Add some carbs
Instead of just mixing your protein powder with water, add a banana for some extra carbohydrates. This is, however, only advisable if the protein powder you are using comes with no carbohydrates at all.
Don’t go over the optimal limit
Too much protein in your system is also not great for your stomach. For optimal muscle growth, anything from 20-40 grams of protein is] ideal. Fortunately, there are protein powders that come with over 30 grams of protein in every serving. Just check how much protein is in every scoop of your shake and ensure that you do not take more than 40 grams as the excess will only go to waste.
Choose whey over other powders
Whey protein is ideal for different reasons. For one, it is easily digested and the protein will be quickly available for the body in 30 minutes or even less time after taking it. If you need something to keep you full for a few hours you can mix your whey powder with another protein powder consisting of pea or rice protein. While these two will take much longer to digest, your body will be getting the benefits hours after taking your shake. You will also have an easy time staying away from unhealthy snacks and foods.
Protein shakes for weight loss come in different flavors. Test different flavors and identify one that you like. If you have to use the same powder for your post-workout shakes, then the flavor must be right. You can also add a variety of fruits to your shakes. Choose fruits that come with some carbs and are also loaded with essential nutrients.