Why should we eat protein after we work out?
In regards to the subject of protein, there are thousands of protein powders and protein rich diets and even anti protein diets that you can invest your money into. Before you do here are some very basic SCIENTIFIC facts that DO NOT CHANGE just because a new fad has come along that says you should eat CRICKET FLOUR for a quick clean protein fix. (yes cricket flour is about to be the next craze in cheap, 'healthy' protein, blech).
Here we go;
Proteins is made up of these fancy little guys called amino acids and amino acids are basically THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE.
We need the building blocks of life, EVERYDAY, they help us heal, build and rebuild.
And 20 of them are absolutely essential to life, they produce antibodies for immunity, help produce blood cells, help to synthesize hormones. And these 20 have to be acquired from your diet, as opposed to the others which our bodies can make but as we age we can use these in our diet as well. Oh and as a side note, when something says it's an "essential nutrient" this means without it you will eventually breakdown and die, but just because a nutrient isn't essential does not mean you don't need it. It just means you can live without it, but I always ask, Can you THRIVE without it and the answer is always, NO. I have no intention of just getting by in this life time. If my body needs it, HAND IT OVER!
Now don't shoot me for this because I am just the messenger, but there are a few of these amino acids that you just can't get from anything but animal protein, carnosine, taurine and creatine all very essential for building muscle, healthy digestion, brain function and even gallbladder health and the break down of fat.
Here is an article that I love by Dr. Mercola regarding nutrients you cannot get from a vegetarian diet. Very good to know!
So in regards to working out, as we work out, we create these micro tears in the muscle that need protein to rebuild. This is what creates that toned look to your muscles over time and of course lets not forget, strength and bone health!!!
If you want to see your aches and pains start to vanish, create support in the body where there was non before! AHHH THIS IS SOUNDING STRANGELY LIKE PILATES!!! But of course!
As for quantities,
This is certainly a source of debate these days, because too much protein can be a big burden on the kidneys and even cause kidney stones and GOUT! Too little can result in MANY other issues like muscle atrophy and muscle and joint pain, moodiness, blood sugar issues, and so much more.
I try and stick to this percentage break down with myself and my clients, so a lot of times it really will matter how you are feeling and your level of activity.
For example you may need a little more protein if you lift weights as opposed to if you are going on power walks.
So for the average healthy active person,
20% carbohydrates, 65% fat and 15% protein by calories NOT by weight.
This of course is a rule of thumb that is not set in stone.
I prefer my protein and fat earlier in the day, in fact I save my carbohydrates for after 2pm. The body will utilize the protein and burn fat earlier in the day if you give it carbohydrates early then it will use those for fuel, so if you want to lose weight, don't eat carbohydrates early in the day!