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Protein Timing

posted in: Fit n´ Lean | 0

In the world of strength training, nutrition plays a crucial role in optimizing performance and achieving desired outcomes. One key aspect that often receives considerable attention is protein timing. The timing of protein intake before, during, and after workouts has been a topic of interest among athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and researchers alike. In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of protein timing in strength training and explore how it can impact muscle growth, recovery, and overall results.

man sitting on flat bench

1. Pre-Workout Protein:

Consuming protein before a strength training session is essential for priming the body and providing the necessary amino acids for muscle repair and growth. Aim to consume a protein-rich meal or snack approximately 1-2 hours before your workout. This will ensure a sustained release of amino acids during the training session, promoting an anabolic environment within the muscles.

I like to train in the morning, so I have one vegan protein bar before going to the gym. Also the evening before the trainingday I have a snack consisting of half a glass of mashed apples with müsli, sukrin gold sugar-alternative and oat milk. It tastes so good and your body has a lot of nutrients and fibers to digest through the night, making the muscles ready for exercise in the morning.

2. Intra-Workout Protein:

While pre-and post-workout nutrition often takes the spotlight, the importance of intra-workout protein should not be overlooked. Some athletes opt for branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) or Essential Amino Acids (EAA) supplementation during their workouts to support muscle protein synthesis and prevent muscle breakdown. However, recent research suggests that consuming a complete protein source, such as whey protein, during the workout may have additional benefits in terms of maximizing muscle protein synthesis.

The problem for me is that I am allergic to dairy and milk protein. As a substitute, I choose vegan protein bars as well as EAA amino acid supplements. And it works just as well as a protein powder containing Whey (Milk protein).

During the training season I have two half-liter bottles as hydration source. One is filled with instant coffee, two teaspoons sugar and some oatmilk. The other one is filled with EAA-amino acid supplement, the daily intake of creatine, and filled with water.

By having this as hydration throughout the session I make sure that amino acids and sugars are available in the bloodstream for the muscles when they train. It is also an easy way to optimize the recovery that happens shortly after the session has finished.

3. Post-Workout Protein:

The post-workout period is widely recognized as a critical window for optimal protein intake. Consuming protein within 1-2 hours after a strength training session helps kickstart the recovery process, repairs damaged muscle fibers, and stimulates muscle protein synthesis.
Meat protein, especially minced chicken meat, is what I recommend and eat as an ideal post-workout protein source. A dish made with 500 grams of minced chicken meat, 1 deciliter of rice, 2 deciliters of water, pineapple, curry, salt, and pepper, is well-tasting and tastes just plain good. Put it all in a pot or a microwave rice cooker and you have a delicious protein-rich dish that is made in about 20 minutes. On top of all that it is quite cheap and easy to make.

Another good protein-loaded option after my strength training session is to prepare a minced beef patty in the toaster. It is so easy and you will eat a protein of the highest quality and with a complete amino acid composition. This is one of my favorites since I buy the minced beef patties when they are on sale in the supermarket.

4. Bedtime Protein:

Another emerging area of interest is bedtime protein consumption. Recent studies have shown that ingesting a slow-digesting protein source before sleep can enhance overnight muscle protein synthesis and improve recovery. This strategy can be particularly beneficial for individuals engaged in intense strength training programs.

5. Total Daily Protein Intake:

While protein timing is essential, it is equally vital to meet your daily protein requirements. Ensure you’re consuming an adequate amount of protein spread throughout the day to optimize muscle protein synthesis and maintain a positive nitrogen balance. Aim for a protein intake of around 1.6-2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, depending on your individual goals and training intensity.

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Incorporating proper protein timing into your strength training routine can significantly impact your muscle growth, recovery, and overall performance. By strategically consuming protein before, during, and after workouts, as well as considering bedtime protein intake, you can enhance muscle protein synthesis, prevent muscle breakdown, and support optimal recovery. Remember to consult with a nutritionist or dietitian to tailor your protein intake to your specific needs and goals. Fuel your body right, and maximize your strength training gains.