Do you need Protein Shakes?
Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash
You have to remember that endurance athletes don’t need massive amounts of protein to recover to maintain muscle mass. Most endurance athletes get all they need by consuming 1.2-1.7 grams per kilogram per day from REAL food. Older athletes (50+) may benefit from slightly higher protein intake, up to 1.7-2.0 g/kg/day. It’s also best for protein intake to be spread throughout the day, rather than concentrated in one meal or directly after training.
Endurance athletes rarely need a protein-focused post-workout recovery drink. If you reach for a post-workout shake or recovery drink, choose one that delivers more carbohydrate than protein.
Yes, CARBS are ESSENTIAL post workout.
Remember that your BRAIN requires on average around 500 calories a day for healthy function and guess what? It can only get them from the oxidation of sugars!
The exact carb:protein ratio is less important than the concept replenishing carbohydrate is the priority and adding protein to the drink may accelerate glycogen replenishment.
It is also important to realise recovery drinks are best saved for your longer and more strenuous training days. For cyclists I like to see an athlete accumulate 1500 kilojoules of work before considering a recovery shake, particularly if there’s another training session or competition the following day.
Always have a post workout plan that you can repeat without much fuss every time. This routine will help you maximise new habits and make sure you can get the most from your workout.