Most often, we see people who go to the gym complaining about the slow rate of muscle growth, less mass gain and muscle soreness. It usually happens when they fail to take proper protein-rich food after a workout. The foods that you eat post a gruelling session will decide whether or not you will build muscle. That's why, it's important to eat protein-rich meals after a workout so that you can bulk up. If you are worried about your gains, keep scrolling down to know why proteins are required after a workout. We also have some options for protein-rich food that help in muscle gain. Number of Push-Ups You Can Perform Could Indicate Your Heart Attack Risk! Step-by-Step Method to Perform the Exercise Correctly.
How does Our Muscular System Work?
Before speaking about muscle growth and protein-rich foods, let us first understand basic about our muscular system. There are three types of muscles in our body: cardiac, smooth and skeletal.
Cardiac muscles are those in the heart; smooth muscles found in places like stomach and blood vessels; and finally, we have skeletal muscles attached to our bone.
Cardiac and smooth muscles are not under our control as they are involuntary muscles, whereas the skeletal muscles attached to our body are voluntary and we can manage its development.
Skeletal muscles are made up of muscle cells known as myocytes. These muscular fibres are further made up of little sections called sarcomeres, which have an alternating pattern of filaments where actual muscular function takes place.
The two significant filaments which decide our muscular abilities are actin and myosin. These two filaments run parallel to each other and myosin grab onto actin when it gets the signal from the nervous system. Myosin bends towards actin and that is the reason why we can lift weights. Carb Loading: What are The Benefits of Increasing Carbohydrate Intake and How to Do It.
Why do we need to take protein post workout?
Our muscle grows when it breaks down, and we need to give them stress for that. We can do that by lifting heavy weights or performing different types of body weight resistance exercise.
Now when these muscles breakdown by actively involving actin and myosin, they have to be repaired for muscle growth. When the muscle breaks down, it enters into a catabolic state and when it repairs it goes into the anabolic state. We must ensure that our muscles are always in the anabolic state when we are at rest. And the two most important things for that are a protein-rich diet after a workout and adequate sleep.
If we fail to take adequate protein after a workout, our muscle will not get repaired, which will lead to muscle loss known as atrophy. And if we give our muscle tissues enough rest and proteins, then it will lead to muscle gain which is known as hypertrophy. So apart from resting, we need to eat right.
Protein Rich Foods that you should eat after a workout:
1. Eggs: It is the best protein, after dairy protein like whey, in terms of biological value. Consuming eggs after a workout is easy. One can keep two to three boiled eggs in the gym bag and have it after exercise. People who are on weight loss can eat boiled egg whites after a workout, since whites can increase your metabolic rate tremendously. As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 33gm of egg whites contain around 3.6 gm of protein and 0.06 gm of fat along with 0.24 gm of carbohydrates. On the other hand whole egg of 35 gm includes 4.4 gm of protein along with 3.7 gm fat and 0.39 gm carbohydrates.
2. Cottage Cheese: You can slice it into cubes and have it by sprinkling some salt and pepper on it. This cheese contains the right amount of protein which can help you recover after the workout. As per USDA, 100 gm of cottage cheese contains 10.62 gm of protein, 1.33 gm of fat and 5.31 gm of carbohydrates.
3. Quinoa: It is an ideal post-workout food because of its protein and fibre content, at the same time it is also gluten-free. According to USDA, 100 gm of quinoa contains 4.4 gm of protein, 1.92 gm of fat and 21.3 gm of carbohydrates.
4. Chicken: Protein from chicken helps in right hypertrophy. One can boil pieces of boneless chicken and have it after the workout. According to USDA 100 gm of cooked chicken(boneless) contains 21.18 gm of protein, 1.76 gm of fat and 1.18 gm of carbohydrates.
5. Fatty fish like Salmon and Tuna: These are a rich source of protein containing omega 3 fatty acid too. Omega 3 fatty acids in fish are necessary for a healthy heart. If USDA reports are to be believed 100 gm of tuna contains 29.91 gm of protein and 6.28 gm of fat and zero carbs. Even 100 gm of salmon is carb free with 26.48 gm protein and 5.57 gm fat.
Even if you are not ready to spend on expensive post-workout protein supplements, you can build good amount of muscles by including these foods in your meal after the workout. Make sure that you measure your calorie intake and also give your body the protein required as per your body weight. Ideally, if you are into general weight training then 1 gm of protein is needed per pound of your body weight, e.g. if you weigh 160 lbs then your body needs 160 gm of protein every day to repair your muscles.
(This article is written for an informative purpose and should not be substituted for medical advice. Kindly consult your doctor before trying any tips.)