Do you need protein after cardio?

Do you need protein after cardio?

In order to maximize muscle growth after cardio and to prevent going into a catabolic state, you should aim for a 3:1 distribution between carbs and protein in your post-workout meal. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you should drink your shake or eat a snack 45 minutes after your workout session.

What to eat after a cardio session?

The first thing you should replenish in your body after tiresome cardio is water. Hydration is of utmost importance and plays a major role in distributing resources across your body. After intense cardio, aim to drink at least half a liter (2 cups) of water in order to replenish your reserves.

In order to not lose muscle mass after an intense cardio session, you need to replenish your body, not only with water, but also with carbs and protein. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests a good 3:1 ratio between carbs and protein in your post-workout meals. Protein serves as the building block in all your cells, tissues and muscles, whereas carbohydrates are used to spike glycogen levels in your muscles.

A great example of a good post-workout meal is a banana paired with a casein or whey protein shake, chocolate milk, Greek yogurt with some fruit, or lean meat and wholegrain bread.

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How long after an intense cardio session to eat

Restoring the glycogen in your muscles after an intense workout is essential to you being able to recover properly and workout in the next couple of days. It is a good idea to eat between 45 and 60 minutes after working out.

Muscles store energy in the form of sugar molecules, called glycogen. When you exercise, glycogen levels are depleted and afterwards, your body starts burning fat. When that happens, and you do not consume any calories for a longer period of time after working out, your body can surely start burning muscle, as well.

Therefore, it is a good idea to consume protein and carbs after 45 minutes and not much later than 60 minutes after a good workout.

More about protein and cardio

What to eat after a long cardio in order to not lose muscle mass

It is a good idea to keep the 3:1 ratio between carbs and protein in a post-workout meal after doing long cardio. The reason for that is spiking your glycogen levels, as well as the protein to rebuild. Good examples to eat are cereal and eggs, oatmeal, a protein shake with a banana, or even smoothies with fruit and protein powder.

Is drinking a protein shake after working out an absolute necessity?

No, for the regular non-professional athlete, drinking protein shakes is not a must. You can almost always achieve your daily recommended protein target if you have a good idea of what you are eating and how much protein you actually need.

Eat good foods like eggs, chicken breasts, tuna, tofu, Greek yogurt and chickpeas. A protein shake, on the other hand, is often quicker and easier to prepare than food and digests more quickly.

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Do you need protein after cardio?

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Why Protein After Cardio Can Help You Get More Muscle

Most nutritionists and fitness trainers recommend taking protein after cardio because of its direct effect on the muscle recovery process. Every training session involving cardio depletes your energy reserves and put both your joints and muscles at risk. On top of that, the intense physical activity often associated with cardio makes you perspire. To counter these effects, you should take protein after cardio to replenish the nutrients that have been depleted during your workout session.

First of all, let’s define what muscle is. Muscle is the fibers of the body that are used when performing exercise. In order for your body to build and repair your muscles, you need to consume carbohydrates, fats, proteins and essential vitamins and minerals. A person who fails to take in sufficient carbohydrates and proteins is considered to be malnourished. This can lead to improper weight management, poor health and a weak body which may eventually lead to a loss of muscle as a result of fat loss.

After you finish a workout session, the last thing that you want to do is to deplete your glycogen stores as this serves as the source of energy for your muscles. Without glycogen, your body cannot perform certain activities such as digesting food, making hormones and building muscles. You can easily replenish glycogen stores by consuming carbs such as pasta, bread and rice during your workouts. However, the problem comes in when you lack the willpower to consume them. Thankfully, carbohydrates from protein are a much better choice as they are easily metabolized by the body. Protein after cardio exercises can help ensure that you get the energy and nutrients that you need to recover from your workouts.

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We all need protein to increases muscle mass and strength. We all need muscles. I have always found molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics interesting, and I really want to understand how nutrients affect us.

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