Are you doing this after a workout?

That headline is total click bait..

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

 This looks intimidating, but it's really just vanilla protein powder. 

This looks intimidating, but it's really just vanilla protein powder. 

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. He was so jacked I don't think he could actually comb his hair. 

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. 

But it was in a giant black container with gold letter and was probably called something like swole. 

I assumed it was something that dudes did to help inflate their muscles. 

Turns out I was right. 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.

At first, I ate low-fat cottage cheese after a workout which was fine but not convenient to store in a gym bag, so I caved and bought a container of protein powder. I didn't have a blender bottle, so I mostly chewed my way through a poorly mixed bottle of water with chocolate protein powder bubbles. 

Then I discovered the blender bottle. (The bottles that come with a little whisk ball). And then I started mixing my shake with almond milk. So much better.

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 for those trying to drop body fat, helps 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 throughout your day. 

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. You could also do a protein bar as well, but make sure you're checking out the nutrition labels before buying. Most of the protein bars you find at a convenience store are basically like eating a snickers bar. 

We carry the Quest brand in the gym, and we have single serving packets that you can try before investing in an entire container. We also carry a vegan protein powder for the non-meat-eaters out there. 

Either way, if you're not consuming protein after a resistance based workout, you're missing out.