Bouncing off of an earlier post about choosing a protein powder, I wanted to go into a little bit more detail about protein and how it should fit into a daily diet.
First off, it is important to know how much protein you should be having. The general rule of thumb is 1g per pound or 2.2g per kg of bodyweight for healthy weight individuals and 1g per pound or 2.2g per kg of lean body mass for overweight individuals.
Once you know how much protein you should be consuming, you want to try and space this intake out relatively evenly throughout the day. Usually you want to consume protein every 4 to 6 hours and the amount will depend on how much your daily intake is but it should be around 30g per meal, give or take 5-10grams.
So what about post workout protein? It is important to consume protein as soon as possible after a workout. This is simply to aid in protein synthesis. Now, I would like to emphasize that this does NOT have to be a protein shake. It can be a whole food source such as chicken breast or Greek yogurt if that is what you prefer. Protein powder can be a quick and easy way to get protein in after a workout but there is nothing magical about having a shake.
Contrary to what some protein supplements claim, whey protein is not going to make you leaner or stronger over whole food sources. This is just some supplement companies trying to bamboozle those who don’t know any better. The reason I mention this is that I have had many people throughout my fitness career talk to me about protein powder and several have been under the impression that just by consuming a protein supplement they will lose a bunch of body fat and gain a bunch of muscle. Again, you have been bamboozled.
I would also like to add in regards to post workout nutrition that it is important to consume some carbohydrates as well, not just protein, in order to help replace muscle glycogen.
So, the perfect post workout nutrition? Chocolate milk, obviously.