You probably already know that having foods high in protein as soon as you can after training helps your muscles recover. For many, protein shakes are the easier options, especially when short on time.
Many people don’t realise that they don’t need these supplements to meet their protein needs. Even professional athletes are discouraged from including shakes in their diets. Instead, they’re told to plan their snacks and meals throughout the day to include enough protein from whole foods.
Also, our bodies can only absorb a maximum 0.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass in one sitting. So doubling up on the chicken breast in one meal will not help your muscles grow any bigger. Therefore, to maximise the absorption of this macronutrient, you want to have foods or drinks containing protein every 3-4 hours.
Now, let’s go back to post-training nutrition. Eating protein foods as soon as possible after exercise triggers the muscle recovery process. The image below provides a list of foods and beverages high in protein that are convenient and easy to bring with you to your workout. The items are also really easy swaps for protein shakes and provide more vitamins and minerals to nourish your body. Finally, always choose low-fat options as fat can slow the absorption of protein.
Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2016;48(3):543-68.