Look around the gym at people just finishing their workouts, and you'll likely notice they're all sipping on a protein shake or snacking on a protein bar. Common wisdom says you should always make sure you get plenty of protein in the first thirty minutes after a workout, but why?
What Your Body Does with Protein After Exercise
During a strenuous workout, your muscles are actually sustaining damage. While this sounds like a bad thing, these microtears and the subsequent healing process are just the way your muscles grow and become stronger. These microtears are patched with fibrils, which become part of the leaner and more powerful muscle over time. Each workout creates new microtears, which are patched with more fibrils, which become part of a more toned and stronger muscle.
After working those muscles, they need protein to recover. Shakes are ideal in this capacity because high-quality powders won't contain calories to negate the ones you just burned. You’re able to get the protein you need without piling on the calories and fats you’d likely find in a high-protein meal after a workout. There’s also much to be said about the convenience of an easy-to-mix shake you can drink quickly, as opposed to a full meal immediately after a heavy workout.
Do You Really Have Only Thirty Minutes?
While there's a much hyped "anabolic window" of thirty minutes post-workout, the situation may not be quite so urgent. One study indicates the window is much more forgiving, at four to six hours, with an emphasis on overall protein consumption throughout the day.
For some people, pounding a shake or a meal after a workout simply isn’t appealing. You’re not wasting your workout if you wait an hour, but it is important you maintain an ample supply of protein over the course of each day to keep your body in peak condition. Pinup Girl Protein is a great option for busy women who need delicious protein supplements on the go.