Protein is essential for supporting muscle recovery on rest days. It's important to consume high-quality protein sources on non-workout days to optimize recovery. One high-quality protein source to include on both active and rest days is protein shakes.
In short, yes. Your muscles need protein even on the days you're not spending time in the gym. Your muscles and other tissues are actively recovering on rest days, and recovery can take up to 24-48 hours. Therefore, it's not likely that your protein needs will decrease on rest days.
It is safe to drink protein shakes every day, but be sure to obtain the majority of your protein and other foods from whole food sources. Without whole food sources, you'll be missing out on other valuable nutrients that are vital for health and supporting your workout performance and recovery.
“If you want to slim down or need more protein in your diet, feel free to have a protein shake on your off-training days. For example, if you skip breakfast or have a meeting to rush to in the morning, drinking a protein shake can provide you with the energy needed to function optimally.
"Protein has calories, so if you eat a little too much, and don't exercise, it can get stored as fat." ...
It comes down to hormones and genetics. Chances are, you've probably heard before that every body is different, and on a physiological level, that's really true. For example, some bodies are primed to put on muscle more easily than others.
If you work out regularly and you're trying to build muscle, two protein shakes per day is plenty. And if you're not that active, you likely don't need more than one protein shake per day.
Your rest day nutrition should include plenty of protein from a variety of sources, complex carbohydrates to fuel recovery, and healthy fats to help bring down inflammation created by training. Aim for 20-30g protein every 2-4 hours throughout the day.
If you're of average build and go to the gym regularly, two protein shakes a day is enough to maintain your body mass. But if you're seriously involved in athletic sports, fitness practices and strength exercises, you may need to drink three to four protein shakes daily to sustain your physique and performance.
General recommendations are to consume 15-25 grams of protein at meals and in the early recovery phase (anabolic window) — 45 minutes to one hour after a workout. Studies show higher intakes (more than 40 grams) are no more beneficial than the recommended 15-25 grams at one time.
When building mass and muscle, mixing your protein with milk will yield better results. For lean builders, trimmers and toners, water is the way to go. It comes down to nutrition, as that's exactly why you are drinking protein shakes in the first place.
Your body uses the nutrients from your meal or snack to build muscle for somewhere around four to five hours, says Brad Schoenfeld, assistant professor in exercise science at Lehman College. “That means that to stimulate muscle growth throughout the day, you should consume protein every four hours or so,” he says.
Downtime between workouts (whether you're lifting, doing cardio or training for a sport) is when our bodies have a chance to actually build muscle. Strenuous workouts cause muscle breakdown, while rest allows our bodies to build it back up.
Bodybuilding, or weight training, incorporates rest days by rotating the muscles worked. After exercising a specific muscle group, let it rest for one to two days. This gives your muscles a chance to repair and heal. On the other days, train different muscles.
Consume more carbs and calories than usual (or have a cheat meal) to replenish your glycogen stores and recover faster.
Protein plays an important role in repairing and rebuilding your muscles after exercise, and many people use protein shakes after their workouts to aid this process. However, research suggests it doesn't matter whether you drink a protein shake before or after your workout.
In addition to promoting weight loss and rounding out your diet, drinking a protein shake first thing in the morning may be especially beneficial for your workout routine. Protein is necessary for tissue repair and muscle growth and can help your body recover after an intense workout ( 9 ).
Protein shakes do offer an immediate post-training boost, and this intake of protein will help build muscle after exercise. Only use protein shakes as a compliment to your diet. And remember – in order to see any benefit from protein shakes, you must be exercising regularly as well.
The lats are great for building strength and muscle size relatively fast due to the muscle fibres they comprise. They are also easily targeted. Provided you can work an assisted pull-up machine or a lat pulldown, you will be able to hit your lats.
Most beginners will see noticeable muscle growth within eight weeks, while more experienced lifters will see changes in three to four weeks. Most individuals gain one to two pounds of lean muscle per month with the right strength training and nutrition plan.
Some research suggests that you can start to lose muscle in as quickly as one week of inactivity - as much as 2 pounds if you are fully immobilized (3). And another study suggests your muscle size can decrease by about 11% after ten days without exercise, even when you aren't bed ridden (4).
It's recommended to rest for 72 hours before working out the same muscle group again. This gives your body the time it needs for muscle recovery and growth without risking injury from overtraining or under-recovery.
Whey protein contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. It's particularly rich in leucine, the amino acid that kick-starts the muscle-building process ( 1 ). This makes it a good option for men who want to grow muscle or just maintain what they have.