Performance Tips

3 Ways to Maximize Muscle Recovery

Posted on June 02, 2023

3 Ways to Maximize Muscle Recovery with Protein

As a student athlete, maximizing muscle recovery is crucial for your performance on the field or in the gym. One of the most important nutrients for muscle recovery is protein. Here are three ways to maximize muscle recovery with protein:

Eat Protein at Every Meal.

Eating protein at every meal provides a steady stream of amino acids to your muscles throughout the day, which can help support muscle repair and growth. Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston Texas found that spreading protein intake evenly throughout the day led to greater muscle protein synthesis compared to consuming the same amount of protein in fewer, larger meals.

Action Plan: Make sure to include a protein source in each of your meals, such as eggs at breakfast, chicken at lunch, and fish at dinner. Snacks such as nuts or Greek yogurt can also be a good source of protein between meals.

Have Protein After You Train.

Consuming protein after a workout can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of building new muscle tissue. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that consuming protein after resistance training led to greater gains in muscle mass and strength compared to consuming a placebo.

Action Plan: Within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, have a protein shake or snack that contains at least 20 grams of protein. Good options include a beef jerky, a whey protein shake, or Greek yogurt.

Aim to Eat 1 gram of Protein per Pound Body Weight.

Consuming enough protein is crucial for muscle recovery and growth. The general rule of thumb for athletes is to consume around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. A 2018 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that in women that were training with weights, a high-protein diet resulted in greater gains in muscle mass and strength compared to a low-protein diet.

Action Plan: To help meet your daily protein needs, aim to include a protein source in each meal and snack. Good options include chicken, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein shakes.

It's worth noting that while beef can be an excellent source of protein, it's important to choose lean cuts to minimize saturated fat intake. Good options include sirloin, tenderloin, and flank steak.

In summary, maximizing muscle recovery with protein involves eating protein at every meal, having protein after you train, and aiming to eat 1 gram of protein per pound body weight. By implementing these tips and including a variety of high-quality protein sources, like beef, in your diet, you can support your muscle recovery and take your athletic performance to the next level.



References

Mamerow MM, et al. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-h muscle protein synthesis in healthy adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014; 101(6): 1317-1325.

Hulmi JJ, et al. Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010; 7: 51.

Morton RW, et al. A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults. Br J Sports Med. 2018; 52(6): 376-384.

Cribb PJ, Hayes A. Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2006 Dec;3(2): 82-92. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-3-2-82. PMID: 18500942; PMCID: PMC2129150.

J├Ąger R, Kerksick CM, Campbell BI, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14:20. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8

Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Carey MF, Hayes A. The effect of whey isolate and resistance training on strength, body composition, and plasma glutamine. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006;16(5):494-509. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.16.5.494.

Campbell, B., Aguilar, D., Conlin, L., Vargas, A., Schoenfeld, B., Corson, A., Colquhoun, R. (2018). Effects of high versus low protein intake on body composition and maximal strength in aspiring female physique athletes engaging in an 8-week resistance training program. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 37(7), 607-616. doi: 10.1080/07315724