Are you doing this after your workouts?

That headline is total click bait..

But if you clicked on this post because you were curious then…well…:-)

Years ago, my big brother had a roommate who was really into lifting weights and had the massive biceps and limited shoulder range of motion to prove it. I can remember going to visit them and seeing Justin’s tub of what I presumed was steroids, on the kitchen counter.

Kidding. I didn’t think it was steroids. 

 I used to think this stuff was some illegal substance that inflated your muscles. Turns out it's just vanilla protein. 

I used to think this stuff was some illegal substance that inflated your muscles. Turns out it's just vanilla protein. 

I just assumed it was something that was inflating his muscles. 

As it turns out, it was "inflating" his muscles. 

It was protein powder. 

And protein promotes muscle growth. 

When I first started lifting weights, I thought protein was a bro thing that guys like Justin used to get swole or jacked or whatever the current lingo is that I don’t know because I’m suddenly old. Somewhere along the way, a coach finally talked me into consuming 15-20 grams of protein within an hour after working out, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Consuming protein after a strength training workout helps to build lean muscle, which is especially helpful after you’ve spent that past 60 minutes lifting weights and causing those micro tears in your muscles. 

Protein maximizes muscle retention, and especially for those trying to drop some body fat, helps to ensure that most of the weight loss is actually fat and not muscle. And as an added bonus, protein also provides the highest thermogenic effect - i.e. you burn more calories by consuming protein. (Ever heard of the meat sweats?)

Regardless of whether or not you do resistance training, increased protein intake is helpful with fat loss. Of the three macronutrients (Fat, carbohydrates and protein), protein is the most satiating. That shake you drink after your workout is going to keep you fuller longer and cause an overall lower calorie intake. 

Protein doesn’t have to come in the form of a meat head container, though you’ll see in the picture to the right that mine does. You could consume some cottage cheese or greek yogurt after a workout, but protein powder is convenient, and if you find the right kind, is also low in carbs, calories and high in flavor.