Ten grams of protein did what?
Most exercisers know that protein after a workout can enhance muscular gains. But did you know that the benefits of ingesting even a small amount of protein after a workout can go well beyond just a little extra muscle growth?
In 2004, researchers studied the effects of a post-exercise protein supplement on U.S. Marines during 54 days of basic training (Flakoll et al 2004). The 387 Marines were divided into three groups. Test group one received a non-nutritive placebo pill. Test group two received a post-workout supplement containing 8 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fat, but no protein. Test group three received the same 8 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fat, but the supplement also contained an added 10 grams of protein. At the end of the 54 days of training, the group with added protein had an average of 33% fewer medical visits, 28% fewer visits for bacterial or viral infections, 37% fewer visits for muscle or joint problems, 83% fewer visits for heat exhaustion, and significantly less post-exercise muscle soreness. These are pretty serious results from just 10 grams of added protein!
The best advice for those of you who engage in strenuous exercise is to ingest about 10-20 grams of protein, combined with 10-30 grams of carbohydrate, following a workout. And don’t worry―you don’t have to buy expensive and sometimes bloating protein supplements to meet this requirement. You can easily accomplish this intake in any number of ways, including a piece of fruit and 8 ounces of yogurt, half a turkey sandwich, or a fruit smoothie containing a scoop of basic whey or soy protein powder, spinach, and 4 ounces of almond milk.