Often times, our clients ask us what they should be doing for their post workout recovery nutrition. A simple and effective way to get your nutrition in post workout is using a post workout protein shake. But, should that protein shake be in water or in milk? How soon after a workout should I drink a protein shake? Should we mix other things in with it? What protein brand should we use? What is the difference between whey, isolate, egg, plant, and casein? Lets’ take a minute and breakdown exactly what a protein shake post workout is good for and answer these questions that we all have.
What is the point of drinking a post workout recovery protein shake?
During exercise, the body, more specifically muscles and tissue, are stressed and broken down. By creating micro-tears in muscle and creating damage to tissues, the body repairs these with a process of regeneration, growing new tissues (hypertrophy). A post workout shake helps to deliver the nutrients to the body that it needs in order to begin this rebuilding process. After a workout, the body is at its’ highest hunger for these nutrients. The idea is that if we can get those nutrients to the body quickly, they can be readily absorbed and used by the body.
How soon after a workout should I be consuming a protein shake?
To my clients, I recommend that if they are going drink a protein shake, they should do so right after they get done working out. If you ask some professionals, they will tell you that there is a “window” that you must drink it for it to work. I disagree with that. I believe that it will be most “optimal” directly after the workout, though there is no “window”. You will not lose the ability to replenish the body if you do not drink it directly after. A good rule of thumb is to drink the shake o your way home from the gym, and then eat your next full meal an hour later. Consuming 25 grams of protein is sufficient for most, although depending on your goal, up to 50 grams may be consumed.
Should my protein shake be mixed in water or in milk?
I recommend putting your post workout shake in water. Milk contains fat, and fat is able to slow the absorption of protein. That would be counter intuitive. By putting the shake into water, you are making the absorption most optimal.
Should I mix other things into my shake?
Adding a source of quick carbohydrates to your shake would be great for the rebuilding process! Add a banana, honey, or some sort of other quick carbohydrate. It will actually speed up the absorption of protein and will replenish the muscle of all of the glycogen you burnt off during your workout, so that you’re ready for the next day.
What is the difference between whey, isolate, egg, plant, soy, and casein protein?
Egg and plant protein are exactly what they say they are. Egg protein comes from eggs, and plant protein comes plant sources. I usually recommend a whey protein (comes from milk), but if you have a problem with dairy digestion, egg or plant protein may be right for you. Soy protein may be another option, as it is derived from the soy bean, a non-dairy source.
That leaves us with whey, isolate, and casein. Whey is a protein derived from milk products. This is the type of protein that most individuals will buy, because it is usually most cost-effective. Isolate is simply a faster absorbing version of whey. They have been able to break down the way further, making it easier absorbed by the body. Casein is the slowest digesting protein. Although this is a great option of protein if you’re going long periods before eating again (bed time), it is not something you would want to drink as a post workout.
What brand of protein do we recommend?
At NoCo Fitness, we have come to really like the NutraKey Whey Optima, in which we carry on our shelves. You have to be careful when out shopping for proteins. Many proteins on the market have “fillers” in them that aren’t actually the protein you think you are consuming. So, although you think you may be taking it 25 grams, you may only be taking in 20 grams of protein. So, be careful. Do your research! If you guys ever have any questions, stop in at NoCo Fitness and we will answer any questions you may have!
By Ryan McIvor