Research suggests that people who engage in strength training need higher levels of protein. But how much?
The Recommended Daily Allowance for protein consumption is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. However, studies have shown that this amount may need to be doubled for people who engage in vigorous exercising. At 0.72 grams per pound, a person weighing 120 pounds would want to consume 86 grams while a person weighing 180 pounds would want to consume 130 grams of protein.
This additional protein will help support muscle recovery as well as growth. It’s also important to consume protein throughout the day as opposed to one or two massive protein meals.
One method of increasing protein intake is to drink protein shakes between meals. But when exactly? Before a workout? After a workout?
While the pre- vs post-workout debate rages on in gyms across the world, researchers who studied the effects of protein intake before vs. after a workout found no significant differences in muscle growth and strength between the two groups.
So ultimately, it’s up to personal preference. Just remember to eat protein at every meal in addition to any protein shakes. The main takeaway is the total amount of protein consumed throughout the day is more important than the exact timing of when it is consumed.
To hit your daily goal, both animal and plant-based foods are great sources of protein. While fish, poultry, red meat, and diary are all packed with protein, nuts, beans, and soy products can also provide high levels of protein.
Good luck in fueling your fire!