Why You Need Post-Workout Protein to Support Muscle Mass

Friday, July 7, 2017

By Sonia Jhas, fitness expert

By now you’ve probably heard the facts: if you want to burn fat, build lean muscle, and boost your performance levels across the board, you need to eat protein. But did you know that protein is a particularly important piece of the post-workout nutrition equation? When you work out, you create microscopic tears in your muscles, and this micro-trauma not only requires rest, but also the right nutrition, to heal.[i] After a workout, your muscles are practically starving for nutrients, and a fast-digesting high protein / high simple carb meal is key.

Post-workout, protein helps to:

  • Repair your muscles[ii]
  • Improve bone mass[iii]
  • Improve immune function[iv]

So what kind of protein should you eat? Well, the goal is to consume protein that’s fast-digesting so that it can quickly shuttle into your muscle cells. My favourite whole food meal is an egg white omelette with some sliced fruit and a slice of toast.

Since a whole food meal typically takes more time to prepare and digest, I often recommend using a protein supplement to expedite the recovery process. Whey protein is my go-to because it’s rich in BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), digests quickly, and is highly bioavailable. Consuming about 20-30 grams of fast-digesting protein after a workout will prevent your body from using its own muscle tissue for energy and will help encourage muscle synthesis. What does this mean? Better results and faster recovery for your next workout session. Alternatively, you can make a smoothie using a store-bought nutrition supplement, such as BOOST® High Protein™, to help recharge.

 

This article has been sponsored by BOOST®, but all comments and opinions are my own.

Sonia Jhas fitness expert Sonia Jhas is a Toronto-based personal trainer, nutrition specialist, and the founder of SoniaJhas.com - a health and wellness consulting company in Toronto. In addition to inspiring her clients to achieve their best possible lives, Sonia has offered her expertise in several publications and broadcast television including Sirius XM, Huffington Post and Breakfast Television. As the winner of 2015’s Notable Award for Best in Sports and Fitness, and Pink Attitude Evolution’s Game Changer Award in Health and Wellness in 2016, Sonia has become a leading voice in health and wellness.

 

[i] Dietitians of Canada. “Sports Supplements – Get the Facts.” Retrieved from: https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Sports-Nutrition-(Adult)/Sports-Supplements.aspx (Accessed June 2, 2017)

[ii] Dietitians of Canada. “Refuelling to recover after exercise.” Retrieved from: https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Sports-Nutrition-(Adult)/Refuelling-to-recover-after-exercise.aspx (Accessed June 2, 2017)

[iii] Bonjour JP. “Protein intake and bone health.” Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2011 Mar;81(2-3):134-42 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22139564

[iv] Eat Right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Protect Your Health with Immune Boosting Nutrition.” Retrieved from: http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/wellness/preventing-illness/protect-your-health-with-immune-boosting-nutrition (Accessed June 2, 2017)