The idea that your muscles need protein the second you drop your dumbbells is founded on shaky science
There’s nothing inherently wrong with gulping down a shake on your way out of the gym. After all, your muscles need protein, carbs and micronutrients – and if your preferred delivery method is a £4.50 cup of chocolate-flavoured hemp and blended banana, then who are we to deny you?
But the pervasive belief that these nutrients – and protein in particular – are best consumed within the half-hour following your last set and rep is misguided. According to a review in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, your muscles are primed for protein for a far longer window.
Precise recommendations are hard to come by (every body is different, after all) but it’s suggested that your pre- and post-exercise meals should not be separated by more than four hours if muscle gain is your primary goal. So, if you start the day with a 7am pre-gym snack, you don’t need to eat breakfast until 11am. Your gains won’t wither while you wait.
If you’re chasing strength and size, about 0.7g to 1g of protein per pound of your bodyweight each day is thought to be optimal. The easiest way to consume this is in three to five meals. One of them can be a shake… But a cheesy omelette will work just as well.
Author: Scarlett Wrench
Source: Men’s Health: Here’s What You Need to Know About the Post-Gym “Protein Window”