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After exercising, do you drink protein shakes to give your hard-working muscles more protein?
If you work out, especially if you do resistance training exercise, you need more protein than a sedentary person, but drinking protein shakes may not be the optimal way to get it.
It may be best to get your after-workout protein from solid foods instead. Here’s why.
After-Workout Protein: Should You Drink Protein Shakes?
Protein shakes have become a popular way to “refuel” after a tough workout at the gym.
But according to a study published in the journal Obesity, drinking protein shakes and liquid forms of protein like milk doesn’t suppress hunger as well as eating foods such as eggs, fish, poultry, red meat, and vegetarian protein substitutes.
This can lead to greater calorie consumption when hunger strikes again too soon after drinking a protein drink.
On the other hand, a thick protein drink like a shake or a high-protein smoothie may be more satisfying than simply drinking milk because it has a heavier texture and consistency, which makes it more satiating.
Why Are Protein Shakes and Drinks Less Appetite-Suppressing?
There are a variety of reasons why liquid calories aren’t as satisfying.
Liquids move through the gastrointestinal tract more quickly than solids, which may be a factor in why they’re less filling.
Plus, the brain doesn’t seem to register liquid calories as readily as it does solids, and liquids may not elicit the same gut hormone response as solids.
The bottom line is most people don’t always compensate for drinking liquid calories by eating less food the rest of the day.
What Does This Mean?
Get your after-workout protein from solid foods – not by drinking protein shakes.
Good sources of lean protein for an after-workout snack include lean chicken or turkey, tuna fish packed in water, eggs, salmon, and vegetarian meat substitutes.
Don’t forget to add some complex carbohydrates to your after-workout protein to replace the glycogen you’ve burned during your workout.
Make a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread – or enjoy a cup of yogurt with berries and nuts.
With all of the good food sources of protein, who needs to drink protein shakes?