Protein Shakes May Not Do Much for Your Muscles After a Workout
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If you drink a protein drink after a weight training session at the gym, you may not be doing the good you think you are.
In fact, bodybuilders and even everyday sports enthusiasts have been told that the key to successful muscle repair after an intense bodybuilding session is to drink protein shakes.
But a new study from Lincoln University in the United Kingdom suggests that protein shakes are no more effective in rebuilding muscles and stimulating recovery than high carb drinks, such as sports drinks.
British researchers say that neither whey protein shakes nor milkshakes allow you to increase muscle recovery or attenuated pain compared to a carb-only drink.
This refutes a lot of knowledge about the exercise, so it is important to review the details of the study.
What is the best post-workout recovery drink?
For the study, published in the Journal of Human Cinetics, researchers recruited 30 men from 20 to 30 years old. All participants had at least one year of experience in resistance training before the study.
The 30 participants were divided into three groups. Each group had to consume a whey hydrolyzate drink, a milk drink or a flavoured carbohydrate drink after intensive resistance training.
After training, participants were reassessed and asked to rate their level of muscle pain on a scale of zero (“no muscle pain”) to 200 (“muscle pain as intense as possible”). The researchers also asked participants to complete a series of strength and power assessments, which include throwing a medicine balloon in a sitting position and jumping as high as possible from a squatting position.
At the beginning of the study, all participants rated their muscle pain between 19 and 26 years, or quite low. Then, they reevaluated these measures 24 and 48 hours after the bodybuilding session. All participants rated their pain above 90, which is quite high.
In addition, during physical evaluations, participants showed a reduction in muscle power and muscle function.
However, there was no difference between recovery response scores and pain scores between the three different groups. The study authors concluded that there was no additional benefit from consuming protein shakes or protein shakes for muscle recovery.
“Although proteins and carbohydrates are essential for the effective repair of muscle fibres after intensive strength training, our research suggests that changing the shape of the protein immediately after training does not strongly influence the recovery response or not reduce the muscle pain, “lead author, Thomas Gee, PhD. , head of the sports strength and fitness program at Lincoln University, said in a statement. “We would presume that well-balanced daily nutritional practices would have a greater impact on the recovery of late-onset muscle pain.”
Defects in the study
These results seem surprising, precisely because they refute common wisdom in training. Previous search
Source of trust
It showed that proteins can relieve pain, speed recovery and help repair broken muscles during weightlifting. In addition, a review of almost 50 studies found that protein supplementation significantly increased muscle strength and size during resistance training.
Therefore, it is important to point out some problems with this study that you should consider when asking if you should have a drink after a leg day.
First, the study is quite small: it only had 30 participants. Many small studies are reported, and many studies in this area are also small, but it is important to stay alert that larger and larger studies are needed to verify the results.
Second, despite the use of three different drinks, the researchers did not use any control. In other words, they didn’t have a group that only consumed water. As a result, they may have been able to determine if nutrient-rich drinks have any value in terms of recovery.
“Muscle recovery and repair is not just a protein,” says Melissa Morris, EdD, professor of applied kinesiology at the University of Tampa. “You should also consider the type of training, rest, hydration and nutrition in general, which makes it difficult to link proteins for repair and recovery.”
In fact, muscle repair and reconstruction require protein and carbohydrates. Proteins help restore muscles and build strength; Carbohydrates restore glycogen levels Glycogen is a substance stored in the muscles and used by the body to produce energy.
In the short term, for example, 24 to 48 hours after a workout, the nutrient mixture may be less important. But in the long run, a high-quality protein that contains carbohydrates can outweigh carbohydrates or proteins alone. More research would be needed to verify this.
“In my 15 years as a coach, what seems to matter to recreational athletes or ordinary people is the total quantity and quality of the proteins consumed during the time instead of the precise moment of protein intake,” says Jonathan, a nutritionist sports. Wong, CEO and founder of Genesis Gym.
The final result
Perhaps this study points out that proteins and carbohydrates alone are not the answer. The next study in this area could offer advantages when comparing drinks that contain a combination of proteins and carbohydrates with those that contain a single macronutrient.
“The goal is not just to think about protein,” says Rachel Fine, MS, Dt.P., RD, owner of To The Pointe Nutrition. “To optimize post-workout muscle repair, a combination of carbohydrates and proteins is the key.”