Everyone from professional athletes to occasional exercisers have long sung the praises of protein for performance. Studies continue to show that getting the right amount of quality protein at the right time can boost performance and muscle growth and aid athletic recovery.
But how much protein do you need, and when should you consume it to get the most benefit? Here’s everything you need to know about pre- and post-workout protein to help you level up your performance and achieve your loftiest fitness goals.
What is protein?
Protein is an essential macronutrient composed of 20 different amino acids, nine of which are considered “essential” because your body cannot produce them, and they must come from your diet. These 20 amino acids are considered the primary building blocks of your body since they are found in tissues (including organs, bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and skin), hormones, enzymes, red blood cells, and more.
The benefits of protein for workouts
Studies show consuming additional protein after strength training can increase muscle size and strength [1
]. Furthermore, consuming 20-40 grams of protein every 3-4 hours throughout the day is associated with improved body composition and performance outcomes [2
Getting adequate protein can also boost exercise recovery. Research shows protein supplementation can reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, ease soreness, and speed the recovery of muscle function after exercise [1
Elo Smart Protein was designed with recovery in mind. Each blend is hand-mixed just for you and is optimized to deliver the right amount of protein and key amino acids after each workout to help you recover faster. Learn more about Smart Protein, including how we build your blend and why it can help accelerate post-workout recovery, here.
How much protein after workout?
Research shows both pre- and post-workout protein supplementation can be beneficial for boosting physical performance and recovery, as well as increasing lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy, and strength [4
If you’re looking to maximize muscle building and repair, studies show consuming 20-40 g of high-quality protein within two hours of exercise stimulates robust increases in muscle protein synthesis that can benefit both recovery and future performance [2
Experts agree though —total protein intake matters more than whether or not you have protein after a workout [2
]. For this reason, meeting your daily protein goals (preferably by consuming 20-40 grams of protein every 3-5 hours) should be your first priority
The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein is as follows:
If you’re not sure how much protein you should be consuming each day or whether or not you might benefit from a personalized protein supplement, there’s no need to worry. At Elo Health, we take the guesswork out of the equation by using science to recommend the right nutrition and supplements for you with our personalized protein
, smart supplements
, and 1:1 dietitian support.
Best sources of protein after a workout
Dietary protein provides the amino acids your body needs to maintain healthy tissues, make red blood cells, synthesize hormones and enzymes, and build and repair muscles after exercise.
The best sources of protein you can have after a workout are complete proteins, meaning they provide all nine essential amino acids the body can’t produce on its own. Some examples include fish, eggs, meat, poultry, dairy, quinoa, tofu, and edamame.
Leucine and post-workout recovery
Leucine is an essential amino acid that plays a key role in muscle protein synthesis. Research shows consuming 2-3 g of leucine shortly after a workout can stimulate muscle growth and repair while reducing the rate of muscle protein breakdown and enhancing overall recovery [2
Good sources of leucine include salmon, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, chicken, beef, and tofu, as well as high-quality protein powder like Elo’s Smart Protein
blended into a convenient protein shake after a workout.
Elo Smart Protein
can help you boost recovery and enhance performance. Unlike other custom protein products, Elo Smart Protein uses your goals, health history, workout data, and dietary preferences to craft the right protein blend for you and provide specific protein dosing recommendations after every workout.
Elo Smart Protein is also backed by the latest science to help you recover faster and get the most out of every scoop of protein powder. Try it out for yourself today
Other FAQs about protein & recovery shakes
Protein is an essential macronutrient that has been shown to have key performance and recovery benefits for athletes. Consuming 20-40 g of high-quality protein shortly after exercise stimulates robust increases in muscle protein synthesis that can benefit both performance and recovery, however, experts agree total protein intake matters more than whether or not you supplement with protein before or after exercise.
The best sources of protein for athletes include salmon, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, chicken, beef, and tofu. When combined with a healthy diet, protein supplements like Elo Smart Protein
can be a convenient and cost-efficient way to boost protein intake and meet your nutrient needs.
Disclaimer: The text, images, videos, and other media on this page are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to treat, diagnose or replace personalized medical care.