Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nutrition Tip of the Week: The Reality of Protein Shakes.

Protein shakes are not the devil. The companies that sell them are. They would have you believe that drinking their shakes after a workout would somehow magically turn you into a lean, mean, muscle bound machine. It’s all about mass right? Wrong. They’re time for honoring themselves, with their fake science, and empty promises, will soon be at an end. Truth be told, the shakes do have a place in a healthy diet. Just not immediately after a workout. The key to proper muscle growth starts with proper recovery. Science has clearly shown that carbohydrates with a little protein following a workout is key. It also must take place within 30 minutes, or your window of opportunity slams shut faster then you can say “Recovery!”

The fact remains that a protein rich meal approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours post training is essential. This is the first case where a protein shake can benefit the modern athlete. Depending on your weight, 25-50 grams of protein is ideal in this situation. Remember: More is not better. I would say that 1/2 grams of protein per kg of body weight is ideal. (Example: 220 lb male = 100 kg = 50 grams of protein)

The other ideal placement for protein shakes is before bedtime. This is a double edged sword for getting the most out of your recovery. First, eating a protein shake at bedtime theoretically increases the thermal affect of eating at night. This results in a more efficient metabolism. Second, bringing additional amino acids into your body before bed (sleep is where most anabolism takes place) is a fine idea. Last, most people enjoy sweets at night. A little chocolate milk with protein powder (around 200 kcals) is better then that Ice cream you have been inhaling while watching Sportscenter.

The bottom line: Don’t use protein shakes after a training session for at least 90 minutes. They are healthy, but only when consumed at the right time. If you want more details, just contact the sports nutrition experts at FLUID. We will always be ready to help you reach your goals.


Rich, Dave, and all of Team Fluid

1 comment:

grannygear said...

Great tip! Thanks. A good protein shake is a yummy thing.