Is Protein Good for Recovery?

If you have begun a workout plan, you have also probably begun to hate the soreness that you experience after you workout. Thankfully, protein can help you and your recovery process. Here’s what you need to know about how protein can aid your recovery after a workout.

How Does Protein Help You Recover After a Workout?

  • Stay hydrated. A diet high in protein can help you to remain hydrated throughout a workout, which enables your muscles to stay healthier and get rid of lactic acid more easily.
  • Improve endurance. Protein helps your muscles to handle a more intense workout without feeling sore afterwards, which makes recovery easier.
  • Reduce fatigue. Plenty of protein keeps you from feeling tired and spent after your workout.

When Should You Take Protein to Aid Recovery?

A diet that is generally higher in protein will help you recover better after workouts, but taking protein at specific times has particular benefits. Here are some of the times when you can take protein to help you recover:

Before You Workout

Many people take protein before a workout, which is a good idea, as it may help to reduce the soreness that you have after your workout. It is best to take your protein about 30 to 60 minutes before your workout so that it has time to be digested and move into your blood where your muscles can access it. It will also give you plenty of time to digest your protein shake so you won’t feel full when you workout.

After Your Workout

Giving your muscles a fresh burst of protein after your workout helps your body repair itself quicker once your body has already used up the protein that you consumed before you worked out. 

Think about it as a continuous stream of protein to aid in recovery from the second you start working out until you are fully recovered.

Before You go to Sleep

Few people think to drink a protein shake before they go to sleep, but drinking protein before you go to sleep can help your body to recover overnight. It may be easier for your body to break down amino acids while it is resting, which means that more amino acids will be available for your muscles to use. 

What Else can You Add to Your Diet to Help You Work Out?

Protein isn’t the only thing that can help you work out and recover from workouts more quickly. Carbohydrates are macronutrients like protein. Like protein, they give us energy throughout the day. 

While many people prefer a diet high in protein to one high in carbohydrates, slow digesting carbs have significant advantages for anyone with a workout schedule. 

A steady supply of glucose over time helps you to maintain good energy throughout your workout. A supply of slow-burning carbohydrates after exercise can help to refuel your muscles.

Use Protein and Carbohydrates Together 

Together, protein and carbohydrates can help you to reduce cravings so you’ll eat fewer unhealthy foods. Protein and carbohydrates provide the energy that you need to perform well in your workout or sports activity, along with the muscle-building material to enable your muscles to heal and grow stronger. 

Together, these two macronutrients can do a lot to aid your recovery and improve your workouts.

Help Your Body Meet Your Goals

If you want to grow muscle and lose weight, equip your body to meet your goals by giving it the protein that it needs to build strong muscles and the carbohydrates it needs to have energy to keep you going. You’ll find that you are more energetic throughout your workout, recover with less soreness, and feel fewer food cravings throughout the day.