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Coming back to you with more common questions that we hear quite often in the gym space:

How quickly after you train should you drink your shake?

Can you wait until after your shower to down your protein shake?

There are some go-to facts to know about your protein shake.

Protein’s Role in Recovery

Protein is needed by your body to keep your muscles happy and healthy. When we train,

especially when using weights or resistance, our muscles are actually breaking down. That might be a bit scary to hear, but in order to help your muscles repair, we can consume protein to help your muscle cells carry out the rebuilding process of those muscles. That is why protein can be very valuable to eat after you train.

In your recovery time after training, your body builds and repairs muscle. Think about a construction site. A bulldozer came by and destroyed all the bricks that made up the building. Then a front loader came in to pick up all the bricks and the construction workers build the foundation again, but stronger. This is what happens when you exercise and then eat protein after exercise.

You break down and then build back up.

Not all Protein is Created Equal

The protein that we eat and drink is made up of building blocks called amino acids. When the construction workers are building up the foundation, think that each single brick is an amino acid, and depending on how they are put together, this determines the quality of the overall structure (the protein). These building blocks can be either essential for the body or non-essential. Essential means that we must get them from our diet, through protein sources, and non-essential means that we make them in our body. The highest quality protein will have all the essential amino acids, and will have the best “bricks” to rebuild your muscles. So when looking at a protein supplement, you want a protein that has all the building blocks you need after training. Grass-fed whey, soy, grain and legume, egg, hemp, pea, and brown rice are all great options that will give you exactly what you need in a supplement.

Here are a few protein powders that we like:

There are protein powders that are animal-based and plant-based, and truly it is just important that the protein that you choose has all the essential amino acids because that will repair your muscles and help you recover better after training.

The Time Window

Now to get into the good stuff. When to drink your protein?

30 minutes to 2 hours after training is recommended to repair your muscles after training. Sometimes drinking half of your protein before and half of your protein after can also help with repairing your muscles. The rule of thumb for the amount of protein after training is 15-20g of protein, which most protein powders have in 1 scoop.

So…. drink your shake immediately after training while dripping in sweat or after you shower, change, and get ready for the day.?

The short answer is, it’s up to you! If you don’t take hour-long showers, then you should be a-o-k to drink it after freshening up. But also if you bring your shaker to the gym and have it after your sweat-sesh, that is also great.

It’s Not Just Protein You Need

In addition to protein, pairing your protein with carbohydrates will also help give back to your muscles. Having some fruit, bread, cereal, etc. are great options to add to your post-workout shake. This will maximize your recovery and get you ready to get back at it the next day!

The Bottom Line

  • Find a good quality protein

    • Earth Fed Muscle has both animal and plant-based options

  • Try to eat within 2 hours of exercise, especially resistance training, and follow the 15-20g protein and 1-2g carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight for post-workout nutrition.

  • Listen to your body! See what protein works for you, when consuming the protein works for you, and if there are certain carbohydrate sources that give you the most amount of energy.

It is so important to listen to what your body is telling you when it comes to training and your nutrition, and if you are a competitive athlete, proper fueling is essential for best performance. Talk with a dietitian to discuss fueling recommendations that are specialized to you, but these are some great tips to implement into your training routine to help with muscle recovery and repair.

And to know if drinking your protein shake while sweaty is socially acceptable.

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