If you've read our article about eating enough protein and want to get really serious about getting the most out of your exercise program, then you might want to consider how much protein you eat after you exercise to get the most muscle-building benefits.
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Once you're able to nail your daily protein intake goals (because that's still pretty important), you can focus on nuanced factors like eating the "ideal" amount after exercise. According to the current research, like this study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 20 to 25g of protein -- a can of tuna, a 85g chicken breast or four eggs -- in a meal some time after exercise is sufficient to jump start the whole muscle repair and growth process in your body.
That amount of protein seems reasonable for the average person. A recent study in Physiological Reports, however, suggests that up to 40g might be better. But as Examine.com teases out in their article, that depends on your workout. In the study published in Physiological Reports, the subjects underwent full-body strength training workouts, as opposed to leg-only workouts in previous protein dose studies. Taken altogether, this suggests that if you use a lot of muscle groups (like with squats or deadlifts) in a strength training workout, you would benefit from eating at least 25 grams of high-quality protein after your workout.
In the big picture, it is important to get enough of said high-quality protein. Getting "only enough" is of less importance, assuming there are no underlying health issues or dietary restrictions that contraindicate the increased amount of protein. At the best, bumping up post-workout protein consumption from 25 to 40 grams may be helpful. At the worst, "excess" protein is consumed: 60 extra kcals from 15 grams of additional protein will likely not disrupt even the most stringent of diets.
Check the article below for the full details.
A second look at protein quality after exercise [Examine.com]