You probably know that after working out you should have a protein-rich snack, but are you getting the right type to stimulate muscle growth?
A study from the University of Texas Medical Branch has found that eating a combination of proteins: whey, casein, and soy immediately after your workout might be more effective than just a single type.
The combination of the three proteins seems to help the body prolong the period of time in which it delivers amino acid to the muscles. Resulting in an overall increase in muscle building protein pumped into your aching muscles, at time when they are primed for growth.
So why is this happening? Different types of protein are digested and so absorbed at different rates by the body. For example, whey is quickly digested, releasing protein quickly into the body, soy takes a little bit longer to break down and casein takes a few hours to break down, and so release its protein.
The longer the period over which you can supply muscles with amino acids (protein), the more protein your body absorbs. This is better for growth and recovery, says Dr Mark Cope from the University of Texas.
Muscles actually need at least a full day to recover after strength conditioning. So combining multiple types of protein over a prolonged period of time best helps the body recover, repair and grow.
So how do you go about getting these proteins? Try ready-made protein shakes and bars that have a combination of whey and soy protein.
You could also fix up your own post-workout protein shakes with milk (a source of casein) with soy and whey powders. Maybe even try a protein ice cream and fruit combo after that big legs day!