There is a lot of talk about pre and post-workout meals. And the most discussed drink among fitness freaks is protein shakes.
Your body requires protein for muscle building. The question here arises when to drink a protein shake.
Nutrition plays an essential role in both training and your rest days. To increase the intake of protein, protein shakes are a convenient option.
But should you drink protein shakes on your rest days? Increased protein improves muscle growth and recovery.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits and proper ways of taking protein shakes on rest days.
Table of Contents
- What Is Protein and Why Do You Need It?
- How Much Protein Does Your Body Require?
- Different Types of Protein Powder
- How To Choose The Suitable Protein Powder?
- Should You Drink Protein Shakes On Your Off Days?
- Do Protein Shakes Make You Gain Weight?
- Tips For Your Rest Days
What Is Protein and Why Do You Need It?
Our diet is mainly composed of 3 macronutrients, each having a specific role and requirement.
Amino acids are organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen of which protein structure is made. Organic compounds Proteins are involved in muscle building.
As the proteins are called building blocks of muscle, they are essential for muscular growth and repair.
If you are undergoing resistance training, your muscle might experience some tears or damage. The protein helps in restoring the damage and provides strength.
How Much Protein Does Your Body Require?
Protein requirement varies from person to person. It also depends upon the goal you are trying to achieve.
An average person with no specific training routine or goal can have 0.8 grams per kg of body weight. For weight lifters and athletes, the requirement goes up to 1.2 to 1.5 grams per kg weight in a day.
If you want to know about the exact protein requirement according to your body composition and routine, you can consult a nutritionist.
Different Types of Protein Powder
To deal with the increased protein demand, people often opt for some protein powders as they are easier to consume and fulfill the requirement.
There is a variety of protein powder supplements available in the market. You can choose the protein powder by determining your needs and type of protein.
Here’s a list of protein powders commonly used:
- Hemp protein
- Egg protein
- Soy protein
- Whey protein
- Casein protein
How To Choose The Suitable Protein Powder?
The selection of protein powder is dependent on individual needs. Some important points are highlighted that can help you choose the suitable protein powder.
If you are aiming for weight loss, find a protein powder with no added sugars. The added sugars can make the process of weight loss slower.
People on a weight loss journey are discouraged from having protein powder with branched-chain amino acids as they promote muscle gain, which can cause a slight increase in weight.
When you are planning to build muscle, go for high-biological value proteins. They significantly promote muscle growth as the body can readily absorb such proteins. Whey proteins work best for muscle growth.
For vegetarians, managing protein is a task. Vegetarians avoid milk-based protein shakes. To meet your protein needs, you can opt for plant-based protein powders like soy and hemp.
Protein shakes can give you enhanced results on the days you are training. The primary purpose of taking protein powder is to meet your nutritional goals, even on the rest days.
Should You Drink Protein Shakes On Your Off Days?
The significance of taking post-workout protein shakes is well known. But consuming protein shakes is not just restricted to the days you are training.
On your rest days, your muscles are in the recovery phase, and your body requires extra protein to fulfill the requirement. Around 2 to 3 days are ideally required for the recovery.
It is challenging to manage increased protein requirements with food only. So, we tend towards protein supplements to meet the requirement.
Protein shakes are a significant energy source for your daily activities and help you deal with cravings on rest days,
Instead of leaning on refined carbs or fried foods snacks, it is good to take a protein shake as it is healthier and gives you a feeling of fullness for longer than regular high-carb meals.
Some Of The Benefits Of Drinking Protein On Rest Days:
- Whey protein powder can help in recovering post-workout/ rest days.
- A convenient way to meet protein needs.
- Protein shakes don’t make you feel hungrier faster.
- Drinking a protein shake before bed will improve muscle growth.
- Keeps you away from snacking.
- Improves metabolism.
Do Protein Shakes Make You Gain Weight?
Weight gain is dependent on the number of calories consumed vs, burned. So, protein shakes, if consumed more than the requirement as per your activity level, can result in some fluctuations in weight.
But when you are working out, then, the excess protein is utilized well for muscle building. Weight lifters and athletes have higher protein needs for muscle strength and recovery.
So, there’s an increase in lean muscle mass. And when you are aiming to shed some pounds, you have to go for a calorie deficit diet.
Weight loss or gain doesn’t occur in a day, and these changes require weeks or months. So, always consult a dietitian for diet planning and supplement recommendation.
Tips For Your Rest Days
It is tough to handle a training routine for more extended and your body requires rest as well. For your rest days, follow these tips to feel fresh and happy.
Your body and muscle might experience tightness on your rest days. Stretching is an excellent idea to keep your body functioning even on rest days. Stretching exercises give you a better feel and keep you active.
It is nice to give your diet a break on rest days. If you are following a particular diet for weeks, you might need some relaxation. On your rest days, plan a cheat meal. Consider it a reward for your hard work.
Keep yourself hydrated. During the intense training days, you sweat more and water stores are depleted. To keep yourself safe from dehydration and muscle cramping, drink as many fluids as you can.
Protein is a macronutrient that your body requires whether you are training or not.
Meeting protein needs sometimes becomes difficult, and in such a situation, protein powders that are derived from natural sources can be used.
Rely on having a balanced nutritious diet to keep yourself healthy and fit. If you have a busy routine, then protein shakes are best for you as they are easier to prepare.
The protein shakes improve muscle recovery and strength even on rest days.