Whether you feel hungry after a workout or not, you need to consume a post workout meal.
The easiest way to do this, for many folks, is to drink a protein shake within 30 minutes of your workout.
The faster you consume the protein shake after a workout the better.
This does not mean you have to down it on your way to the locker room, but you should consume the necessary protein and carbohydrates within one hour of completing your workout.
How soon after working out you drink a protein shake is just as important as what you drink or eat.
The protein shake is a good choice because of its contents.
However, you can eat anything that is a protein and carbohydrate blend, provided it does not have any fat. You also need to drink water during and after your workout.
Why should you drink a protein shake after working out?
A protein shake is one of the best sources of protein and carbs that you can consume after working out. The reason is because it is easily and quickly digested, which gives your body what it needs when it needs it.
After a workout your body needs to repair itself. If you do not give it what it needs to accomplish this, it will take it from other sources within your body.
Protein and carbohydrates work together to help rebuild your newly broken down muscles. If your body cannot find new sources to make this happen, it will resort to what it can find. This means it will actually tear down the muscles you have in order to get what it needs, which is the exact opposite effect of what you just worked toward.
As soon as you are done working out you need to give your body protein and carbohydrates that are easily digested so that they can go straight to work helping repair your torn muscles. A protein shake is one of the best methods for accomplishing this.
Can you eat something other than a protein shake after working out?
What your body needs post workout is protein and carbohydrates. You do not have to get this from a protein shake, although a protein shake is one of the easiest and most effective sources of food after working out. Protein shakes are convenient so it does not take a lot of effort to make something after you are done working out. It also goes down easy, especially if you are not feeling hungry after working out.
The main reason a protein shake is a highly suggested post workout meal, however, is because it is a liquid source of protein and carbs. Liquids are much easier and faster to digest than whole foods so it goes right to work helping your body make its needed repairs. By getting the necessary nutrients to the source faster your body will not be obligated to rob from other sources that it already has, such as your current muscle tissue.
Another reason a protein shake is a good choice is because it is balanced appropriately for a post workout meal. This means it does not contain fat or other elements that slow down the digestive process, impeding the quick intake of protein and carbs.
Should you drink a protein shake before working out?
While a protein shake is a great way to help your body benefit from your workout by quickly repairing damages done, it is also beneficial before working out. In order to work out efficiently you need to have the right amount of energy.
A protein shake is a balanced mix of proteins and carbs, which can help to fuel your body and give you the energy you need in order to sustain a good workout. If you consume a protein shake about an hour or two before you start working out you will have the necessary energy for a consistent workout.
If you try to get your energy off of sugar fuel, then you will not make it through your workout effectively. You need to give your body the right kind of energy so that all of your levels stay consistent.
Instead of a protein shake you can have a small meal that is made up of protein and carbs. Unlike in the post workout meal where fat is detrimental, your pre-workout meal can contain small amounts of healthy fat.
However, the more fat you have in your pre-workout meal the longer it will take for your body to digest what you gave it. Therefore, you should reduce the amount of fat you consume the closer you get to your workout session so that your body has time to properly convert and utilize the protein and carbs you consume.
Protein shakes are convenient, but they are not the only source of protein and carbohydrates that your body needs. However, if you drink a protein shake within an hour of working out you will get the most benefit from your workout.