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Protein right after a workout?

Old 08-25-15, 03:38 PM
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Protein right after a workout?

I've heard it said that it's very important to eat a goodly portion of protein within 30 to 40 minutes of a strenuous workout.
Personally, the thought of food after working out is kind of nauseating.
I will drink some kind of juice to re hydrate and get my metabolism in balance, but it's usually an hour or more before I eat.
I do not want to limit the benefits of hard work on the bike or in the gym by not doing what's best.
Do you make sure to eat protein soon after a workout?
If so why?
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Old 08-25-15, 03:45 PM
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It's just a marketing gimmick by the makers of whey protein. If anything, your body would prefer that you had eaten some amount of protein *before* the workout so that it would be trickling through your system right as it's needed.
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Old 08-25-15, 03:47 PM
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All the research I've read (judiciously summarizing here) says (1) If you have another event on the same day, protein with carbs will help you recover, but that you shouldn't count the calories from the protein in the amount of refueling you need. (2) There is about a 2 hour window where your body will uber-rejuvenate where you can fuel it back. (3) Recovery starts when you eat, regardless of how long it's been since the exercise. (4) If the next ride is more than 24 hours in the future, don't be as concerned with the 2 hour window, you'll likely be refueled by then anyway. (5) eat more carbs (6) eat'n's cheatin.Ok, all but (5) and (6) are real..
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Old 08-25-15, 03:56 PM
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I feel the same way so I usually make a "recovery drink" before my ride and just guzzle it the second I get home. Depending on your taste you can use chocolate milk, coconut water, whey protein or a little bit of all of them. I usually drink whey protain with some coco water and add in a scoop of creatine, and L-Glutamine and a few other goodies.
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Old 08-25-15, 05:26 PM
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Endurance exercises like cycling, running and long duration cardio is very catabolic to your muscles. If you want to maintain or build muscle then it's very important to have some protein after your workout and then have another recovery meal later on.
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Old 08-25-15, 06:31 PM
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I just eat a banana and drink a big glass of chocolate milk after a ride. Pretty sure there isn't that much protein in that mix, but I do feel better after that.
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Old 08-25-15, 06:37 PM
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I've read that chocolate milk works very well as a recovery drink because it has a near ideal ratio of protein and carbohydrates.
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Old 08-25-15, 07:05 PM
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I find that if I drink a recovery drink as soon as I get home from a hard ride, I can either lessen or completely avoid being sore the next day. Not so if I just have a banana or don't eat at all. By the same token, I like to pack an energy bar on the bike when I'm on tour, and I eat it as soon as I get to camp, before I get my baggage from the truck. Whether I'm hungry or not. I know it'll always help make the next day better.
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Old 08-25-15, 08:08 PM
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It does seem to help with next day soreness.

Less than 30 miles and I won't do anything special. Over that the routine is, as soon as the shoes are off, a dill pickle half (electrolytes) followed by a whey shake with usually pineapple (more potassium) Then a couple of beers (Carbs, more electrolytes and analgesia)

Then a nap.
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Old 08-26-15, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GuitarBob
I've read that chocolate milk works very well as a recovery drink because it has a near ideal ratio of protein and carbohydrates.
True, for those that are already at ideal biking weight. For those of us that still need to lose some weigh, I find this works pretty well.



Orgain organic protein drink.

This way I don't drink back all the Calories that I just worked off.

GH
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Old 08-26-15, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by KBentley57
All the research I've read (judiciously summarizing here) says (1) If you have another event on the same day, protein with carbs will help you recover, but that you shouldn't count the calories from the protein in the amount of refueling you need. (2) There is about a 2 hour window where your body will uber-rejuvenate where you can fuel it back. (3) Recovery starts when you eat, regardless of how long it's been since the exercise. (4) If the next ride is more than 24 hours in the future, don't be as concerned with the 2 hour window, you'll likely be refueled by then anyway. (5) eat more carbs (6) eat'n's cheatin.Ok, all but (5) and (6) are real..
OP, having been in and around biological literature for a number of years now, I concur with KBentley. It would make more sense to consume protein as part of a post weight lifting routine, but not so much for cycling. Cycling, even hill climbing, does not really build muscle more than it tones and develops efficiency in the muscle you already have. Besides, if your diet is anywhere near adequate, even if you live off of fast food, chances are you consume more protein than your body requires.
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Old 08-26-15, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
It's just a marketing gimmick by the makers of whey protein. If anything, your body would prefer that you had eaten some amount of protein *before* the workout so that it would be trickling through your system right as it's needed.
Not true. There's research evidence that eating protein immediately after a workout stimulates the system to begin to repair the muscles more quickly. If you want/need to recover in time to train effectively the following day, a protein shake or equivalent immediately after the ride is a good idea.
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Old 08-26-15, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
Not true. There's research evidence that eating protein immediately after a workout stimulates the system to begin to repair the muscles more quickly. If you want/need to recover in time to train effectively the following day, a protein shake or equivalent immediately after the ride is a good idea.
I'm not saying it has no benefit over consuming nothing, but it's the second-best option after being properly fed during the exercise. And regular food works fine for that. No need for any specialty foods, although some of my weightlifting friends in the past used special pre-workout shakes, too.
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Old 08-26-15, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
Not true. There's research evidence that eating protein immediately after a workout stimulates the system to begin to repair the muscles more quickly. If you want/need to recover in time to train effectively the following day, a protein shake or equivalent immediately after the ride is a good idea.
Ahhhh you've bought into the GNC hypnohype. Unless you are an elite athlete, there is no need to alter molecular repair times with silly things like specialized food products and ice baths; the body already has a pretty good system in place, and chances are the op already consumes enough protein.

Something your missing in this equation is blood flow, which is just as important in recovery as it is the vehicle which enables the recovery process. Slamming a protein shake (bro, do you even lift?), if anything, hampers recovery somehwat by stimulating the vessels around the GI tract which effectively takes some blood flow away from the sight of recovery. Just resume an adequate diet and you'll be fine; there's no evidence to suggest that normal people like you and I actually benefit from a recovery protein shake. Feel free to link an academic journal if you disagree.

I ride my arse off to work and back all week, and I feel no discernible difference in recovery time whether my post-ride consumption consists of a granola bar, a protein shake, a greasy breakfast burrito or just a cup of coffee. I'll tell you what does make a difference - walking around the block on my breaks and drinking 3-4 liters of water between my am and pm rides.

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Old 08-26-15, 02:19 PM
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Protein right after a workout?

I just listen to my body.. Hungry - eat, thirsty -drink, tired - sleep... Nature is wise
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Old 08-26-15, 02:20 PM
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I'm usually hungry after a long ride...most end when it is close to meal time for me anyhow. I try n eat a little something before I go out as well. munching on an apple as i type. Protien shakes seem like a waste of money to me as I am not some elite athlete who works out all day. Regular food should be fine unless you are on par with what the pros do

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Old 08-26-15, 03:00 PM
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I agree with others- this isn't a thing to worry about. Way more important to watch overall calorie, protein, vegetable consumption overall.
The only special consideration I give to eating as it pertains to riding is- did I eat enough to feel ok for whatever length of ride I'm doing.

That said, if you can eat protein right after, there seems to be some benefit, so why not? But if you don't get it in, it's nothing to worry about.
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Old 08-26-15, 03:04 PM
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I wanted to provide some evidence (completely against internet rules, I'm aware) of my claims, so here is the abstract of one of the papers that claims 24hrs to complete muscle gylcogen repletion. (Muscle glycogen repletion after high-intensity intermittent exercise. - PubMed - NCBI) "Six subjects exercised to exhaustion on a cycle ergometer at intensities corresponding to approximately 140% of their maximal aerobic power. Subjects attempted to pedal for 1-min intervals with 3-min rest periods between, and continued until 30 s of exercise could no longer be maintained. Venous blood was sampled for lactate and glucose analysis. Muscle biopsies were extracted from the quadriceps before and immediately after exercise and at 2-, 5-, 12-, and 24-h intervals thereafter for total glycogen analysis. Three subjects consumed a mixed controlled diet (approx. 3,100 kcal) during the 24 h after exercise, and three consumed the same diet plus an additional 2,500/kcal carbohydrate. Following exercise, glycogen concentration had dropped to a mean value of approximately 28% of its preexercise value. After 2 h, it had recovered to 39%, at 5 h to 53%, at 12 h to 67%, and at 24 h to 102% of its preexercise value, with no difference in resynthesis rate between the two groups. It was concluded that, following glycogen depletion through intense intermittent exercise, complete recovery to preexercise values may be accomplished within 24 h; and that within this time period, the rate of resynthesis cannot be accelerated by a higher than normal carbohydrate intake."
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Old 08-26-15, 03:20 PM
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Another paper (though limited in sample size) (Effects of a carbohydrate-protein beverage on cycling endurance and muscle damage. - PubMed - NCBI) showing the benefit of additional protein on recovery, for rides seperated by less than 24hr. "In the first ride (75% (.-)VO(2peak)), subjects rode 29% longer (P < 0.05) when consuming the CHO+P beverage (106.3 +/- 45.2 min) than the CHO beverage (82.3 +/- 32.6 min). In the second ride (85% (.-)VO(2peak)), subjects performed 40% longer when consuming the CHO+P beverage (43.6 +/- 12.5 min) than when consuming the CHO beverage (31.2 +/- 8.7 min). Peak postexercise plasma CPK levels, indicative of muscle damage, were 83% lower after the CHO+P trial (216.3 +/- 122.0 U x L) than the CHO trial (1318.1 +/- 1935.6 U x L). There were no significant differences in exercising levels of (.-)VO(2), ventilation, heart rate, RPE, blood glucose, or blood lactate between treatments in either trial."
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Old 08-26-15, 03:21 PM
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Pubmed is a great source for this kind of stuff. Usually the related papers on the right hand side of the page will guide you around similar topics.
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Old 08-26-15, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jfowler85
Ahhhh you've bought into the GNC hypnohype. Unless you are an elite athlete, there is no need to alter molecular repair times with silly things like specialized food products and ice baths; the body already has a pretty good system in place, and chances are the op already consumes enough protein.

Something your missing in this equation is blood flow, which is just as important in recovery as it is the vehicle which enables the recovery process. Slamming a protein shake (bro, do you even lift?), if anything, hampers recovery somehwat by stimulating the vessels around the GI tract which effectively takes some blood flow away from the sight of recovery. Just resume an adequate diet and you'll be fine; there's no evidence to suggest that normal people like you and I actually benefit from a recovery protein shake. Feel free to link an academic journal if you disagree.

I ride my arse off to work and back all week, and I feel no discernible difference in recovery time whether my post-ride consumption consists of a granola bar, a protein shake, a greasy breakfast burrito or just a cup of coffee. I'll tell you what does make a difference - walking around the block on my breaks and drinking 3-4 liters of water between my am and pm rides.
KBentley has kindly provided an abstract from one research paper that gives a pretty clear indication that recovery - measured through performance the following day and reduced muscle damage - is enhanced by consuming additional protein post-ride.

As far as personal anecdote is concerned, I've never been what one might describe as an elite athlete. But I have raced bicycles, and therefore trained for it. My experience is different from yours. It's my opinion that my ability to train effectively on the day following a race or a HIIT session was influenced positively by my paying attention to post-ride nutrition. Of course most of us get plenty of protein (and everything else) in pur normal diets. But that does not mean that the timing of one's intake is immaterial; and it isn't, if you want to train systematically.
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Old 08-26-15, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
KBentley has kindly provided an abstract from one research paper that gives a pretty clear indication that recovery - measured through performance the following day and reduced muscle damage - is enhanced by consuming additional protein post-ride.
It's important to note that the subjects were also fed during the exercise (when it would seem to make the most sense), and that the CHO+P beverage ended up with more calories than the CHO-only drink, so that confounds the results a little. It's too bad they didn't note what the subjects ate before the exercise, or whether it was even controlled.

I'm sure that the studies finding the most "magic" to post-workout protein and carbs will also involve subjects that were the most depleted by the end of the exercise.
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Old 08-26-15, 04:15 PM
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@thermonicScott - I was thinking that also while reading that specific paper. I don't have all the links, But I seem to recall reading a few studies where groups of cyclist consumed a set amount of calories during and post exercise. One group was CH during exersie with CH+P post exercise, and one group was CH only. The result was that the CH + P group performed better in a time trial that was preceeded by what was essentially a criterium level effort, separated by something around 5 or 6 hours. It's all hearsay until I find the paper again, I'll look for it this evening.
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Old 08-26-15, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
It's important to note that the subjects were also fed during the exercise (when it would seem to make the most sense), and that the CHO+P beverage ended up with more calories than the CHO-only drink, so that confounds the results a little. It's too bad they didn't note what the subjects ate before the exercise, or whether it was even controlled.

I'm sure that the studies finding the most "magic" to post-workout protein and carbs will also involve subjects that were the most depleted by the end of the exercise.
I'm certainly not suggesting that one shouldn't eat while riding. When taking part in multi-day events we used to say that one should eat whether or not one felt the need, because one was eating for the following day's ride.

But I'm not persuaded that this negates the need for post-ride protein. Food consumed while riding - protein as well as carbs - is likely to be taken up immediately to fuel the effort. It isn't clear to me that it will stimulate muscle fibre repair in the same way as protein consumed at rest following the activity.
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Old 08-27-15, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
I'm certainly not suggesting that one shouldn't eat while riding. When taking part in multi-day events we used to say that one should eat whether or not one felt the need, because one was eating for the following day's ride.
Right, I just wanted to make sure we were scrutinizing any studies properly. Eating before, during, and after exercise is best. Why wouldn't a smart person?

But I'm not persuaded that this negates the need for post-ride protein. Food consumed while riding - protein as well as carbs - is likely to be taken up immediately to fuel the effort. It isn't clear to me that it will stimulate muscle fibre repair in the same way as protein consumed at rest following the activity.
Certainly one should resume eating food at some point after exercise, and there would be no good reason to omit protein. What I'm reacting to in this thread, and perhaps should have been clearer about, is the "bro-science" that has taken the findings from studies like the ones we've seen here, and produced this dire need to slam a fancy whey and sugar shake in the minutes after their exercise, lest their muscles fall right off again. That's the sort of thing I figured the OP had heard about. If you're eating normal meals and not waiting excessively long after exercise for your next one, I just don't buy all the handwringing.
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