After water, proteins are the constituents present in greater amounts in our body. They are essential for a number of biological processes, including blood coagulation, the formation of antibodies and the “construction” of a new tissue, including muscular.
Given that, most of the proteins found in muscles, it is very important to understand if, to improve growth and muscle regeneration, is more indicated assume them / eat before or after training.
How much protein should I eat?
The protein has three essential functions:
- It encourages the building, repair and maintenance of muscle tissue;
- It promotes the transport of nutrients and oxygen in the tissues;
- It helps balance hormonal.
For these reasons, it is clear that the intake of protein before and / or after the workout is of extreme importance.
In terms of quantity, the American College of Sports Medicine, in collaboration with the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada recommends a daily intake of 1.2 to 2.0 g protein / kg body weight.
These specific suggestions for athletes are higher than the general population (0.8 g / kg / day) and is mainly due to:
- Repair and replacement of proteins in the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments, that “we damage” with exercise
- It allows the increase of muscle mass
- It allows the production of plasma proteins
I need to consume protein before or after the ride
One of the most important moments of the day is that following the workout. Many nutritionists say it is very important to eat carbohydrates in the first 45 minutes after each workout, so as to stimulate insulin release to stabilize the levels of blood sugar.
But back to our question: protein before or after your workout?
Before and after, indeed, the ideal is to distribute evenly throughout the day.
We clarify: from the time of ingest proteins, their action lasts for about three hours. So, if we ingest protein at every meal (every three hours), what normally happens is that you train between a meal and the other, therefore it is guaranteed the necessary amount of proteins for muscle development and recovery.
If, however, we ingest protein only in the main meals and physical activity is done at a certain distance of time between meals, then the ‘protein intake after training is beneficial. The reason is simple: the muscle tissue and its amino acids were “broken” and, therefore, they need to absorb nutrients for the repair and growth.
Protein before exercise: Healthy options
Since before training is important to the protein intake, we give you some suggestions of foods to include in your meal, be it breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner.
Fresh cheese (cottage cheese or cottage cheese)
The fresh cheese is a good source of protein with high biological value and reasonably easy to digest. It may be a good choice up to two hours before training.
Poultry and lean meats
In this group includes meats such as chicken, duck or turkey, for example, but also sausages as dried beef or turkey breast, which are however processed.
No doubt there are some fatty fish, however, is a healthy fat and also useful during exercise. So, you can add to your pre-workout fat fish menu (salmon, sardines, tuna), medium-fat (mackerel, trout, sea bream) and thin ones (hake, cod, ling).
They are always a healthy choice to add to your meal, especially the whites.
Consuming protein after training: the right foods
The ingestion of sun proteins after physical activity may not be sufficient. This is because during training we use a lot of energy, which must be recovered, since it is indispensable to enable that to occur biosynthesis, namely the construction of muscle tissue (anabolism).
If, after your workout, your body does not receive enough glucose, which is the main source of energy reserves, then the body will use other sources, to form glucose and store as it was used. In this case, the ingested proteins are converted into glucose, to restore the reserves of our organism.
It is, therefore, very important to ingest carbohydrates immediately after exercise and, subsequently, assume the proteins with high biological value activities.
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Milk is one of the golden foods when it comes to sources of post-workout protein. It contains protein and sugar (lactose) for rapid absorption, providing an ideal combination of macronutrients.
Animal proteins are considered among the best to improve the increase in muscle mass, but be careful how you cook them: better if the grill or in the oven, always withdrawing the skin, because it contains a lot of fat (unhealthy).
It is a source of vegetable protein and energy, both of which are important for the recovery and muscle anabolism.
Not only it contains the egg white contains albumin, which is a dietary supplement, but the yolk is also rich in monounsaturated fats and omega 3, which helps reduce inflammation that occur during training and improving muscle recovery.
A food rich in protein, which, like milk, cotiene simple sugars that help you store muscle glycogen. Ideal for post-workout.
Salmon, sardines and tuna
Not only are excellent sources of protein, but they are also rich in Omega 3, which, as in the case of egg yolk, helps to reduce inflammation and improves muscle recovery.
Whey protein isolate
A simple, fast and effective way is to use whey proteins, known as isolated whey proteins that allow you to ingest the necessary amount, without any cargo of fat or carbohydrates associated.
For those who practice sports and want to build muscle mass, we suggest taking a protein shake before and after training. However, since each person has different goals and needs, the advice I always give is to consult a professional certificate that will help you prepare a customized plan designed and ad hoc.