How much protein do you need after training to build muscle? Do you really need to drink a protein shake right after your weight training exercises? Does more protein mean better fat burning or better mass gain, or both? You will find in this article all the answers to the questions you have about weight gain.
Proteins: what role do they play in the body?
Proteins are one of the three macronutrients (along with lipids and carbohydrates) that play an essential role in the functioning of our body, in particular concerning:
- muscle functions
- the transport of fats and oxygen
- defense against pathogens
- repairing damaged cells
- the production of connective tissue and cartilage
- hair and nail growth
Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids. There are essential, semi-essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids (also called indispensable) must be provided by food, because the body cannot produce them.
Thanks to our calculator, check the amount of daily protein you need:
If your goal is to gain muscle, it’s important that your protein intake is high enough. There are animal proteins and vegetable proteins.
Animal proteins can be found in:
- meat and meat products
- milk and dairy products
Plant proteins are found in:
- dried beans
- pumpkin seeds
- the almonds
- the tempeh
Which protein source works best for you is up to you. You can also cover your protein needs with an exclusively vegan diet (no eggs, no cheese, etc.). Note that vegetable proteins have a positive effect on your health and also on the environment. But compared to proteins of animal origin, vegetable proteins have a lesser anabolic effect (construction of muscle tissue). Why ? Foods of plant origin do not always contain the full range of essential amino acids. That is why health professionals recommend as part of a vegan diet to combine different foods together to meet the needs of the body, for example by combining whole grains with legumes.
Mass Gain : which Proteins
How much protein do you need to gain muscle?
Want to know how much protein you should eat post-workout to build muscle? We have summarized the essential information for you:
1. The right amount of protein you actually need after your workout
A proverb says that the best is the enemy of the good. Consuming large amounts of protein (food, protein shakes, etc.) after your workout does not mean your body is absorbing it! Studies show that around 20g of protein after a workout is optimal for boosting muscle protein synthesis and promote regeneration.
If you exceed this dose, what happens with the rest of the proteins? They are most likely stored as fat due to excess calorie intake. It is indeed important to consume enough protein after training (within 30 to 60 minutes), but do not overdo it. And did you know that proteins are better absorbed if combined with carbohydrates? ?
2. Should you take a protein shake right after training?
Protein shakes provide protein quickly and easily. Whey protein (whey) is the most bioavailable type of protein powder, meaning it’s well absorbed by your body, without your body having to work too hard because it’s already broken down. And what about a real post-workout meal? It is quite possible, of course! Protein powder is only a dietary supplement, que you can substitute with real foods containing protein. Note that for beginners, the consumption of protein supplements after training has no direct effect on muscle power and muscle gain. On the other hand, this is necessary for people who have been doing bodybuilding regularly and for a long time, because they cannot meet their protein needs through their diet alone and will have every interest in taking protein drinks. It promotes weight gain .
Be sure to use high quality protein powders that do not contain artificial additives or chemicals. Don’t forget that your liver will have to eliminate them. Of course, quality has a price! You should choose real healthy food instead of cheap, low quality protein powder.
Are you vegan?
There are high quality plant-based protein powders made from rice, legumes and/or soy.
And if you plan to train before a meal, simply take it post-workout rather than planning a protein shake. Plan your training hours well. If they take place between meals, then a protein shake is still a good solution.
3. More protein for better fat burning or better mass gain – or both?
We must stop with this received idea “the more protein, the better”. Thanks to the calculator, identify your daily protein requirement. And there is no point in consuming them all at once, but spread them over all the meals of the day. On days you train, remember to reserve 20g of protein for the post-workout phase and distribute the rest over other meals and snacks.
Protein is essential for muscle mass gain. But you don’t have to know how to stay measured. Be sure to consume quality protein, and combine foods in a balanced way, especially if you are vegan.