Fuelling Back-Up: The Need to Take Protein after a Workout
Think you can get by without protein after a workout? Not so fast.
Working out is not only about exercising your various muscle groups and getting your heart rate up with different types of cardio; it’s also about how you fuel your body. What you eat has as much impact on your health and fitness — and muscle-building goals — as what you do in the gym. Which is why reaching for that big burger or cheese-laden pizza right after a short spell on the treadmill is definitely not a good idea and will not help you to advance.
We all know the usual image of the typical bodybuilder: a man, or woman, desperately trying to increase their muscle mass by lifting lots of heavy weights, for long periods. They also eat tons of protein-packed foods like steak, chicken and tuna and regularly drink things like protein powder shakes.
So, if you’re just an average workout warrior, hitting the gym a few times a week to get into shape or even get shredded, do you need to do the same? You may also wonder why you need protein after a workout — if at all.
What Happens in the Body during a Workout?
Many of us know workouts are tough, which is why so many people struggle with them and give up — and many more just don’t bother at all, because they’re too difficult. Here at Fuel Station, we just love challenging workouts — they make us feel truly alive and ready for anything — but they take a heavy toll on the body.
For starters, when you’re lifting or doing cardio, you’re putting your muscles and other body parts under immense strain. The muscles immediately start using up the glycogen they contain — molecules of glucose taken from the food you eat and stored there. These stores will soon run out, depending on how long you’re exercising.
What happens next is that proteins — the fundamental building blocks of the muscles — start to get depleted. Clearly, you don’t want this situation to continue indefinitely, or you’d end up with muscle wasting. You’ll also get nowhere if you’re planning to build your muscles, especially as — when you’ve finished your workout — your muscles will try to restore the lost glycogen so they can repair themselves and grow.
Why You Need Protein after a Workout
Having protein after a workout — in whatever form — is essential for a number of reasons. Protein powder shakes are popular because you can carry them with you and there’s no need to start cooking up big, protein-packed meals that take ages.
You’re immediately putting back the vital nutrients your body needs to get itself back in shape (as you try to get in shape) and prevent muscle proteins from breaking down any further. This drastically helps to aid the muscles in their growth, repairing fibres torn during heavy lifting and creating additional muscle tissue in the process.
Equally importantly, consuming protein after a workout helps your entire body to recover faster from the stresses you’ve put it under — and this speeds up the overall time it takes to recover before you can start working out again. Plus, when you reach for something like protein powder shakes, you’re also getting other elements your body needs at this time: good carbs, good fats and vitamins and trace minerals you might not otherwise get from your diet.
With the right workouts — and the right kind of nutrition to support them — you’ll soon achieve, and even surpass, your fitness and muscle-building goals.
Everything you need for your post-workout nutrition is right here at Fuel Station, including a full range of protein powders and more. Get yours now and get properly fuelled up!
The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your medical practitioner before embarking on a diet or fitness program.