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Protein Meals Hasten Recovery from Intense Exercise

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
March 13, 2011

Three weeks ago I reviewed the latest research
showing that protein restriction may be more important than
calorie restriction in extending a person's life.
However, this week I found two studies showing that sometimes
it is better to eat protein-rich meals. One study showed that
eating a carbohydrate-protein meal immediately after a hard workout
helps you recover faster so you can take your next hard workout
sooner (Sports Medicine, November 2010). The second study showed
that eating a protein-rich meal immediately after exercising
hastens muscle growth and repair in both young and old men
(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2011).
All sports training for strength, speed and endurance
is based on stressing and recovering. You take a hard workout
intense enough to damage your muscles, feel sore the next day,
and go at a far less intense pace for as many days as it takes for
muscles to heal and the soreness to go away. If you can recover
from your hard workout faster, you can do your next hard workout
sooner and you will become a better athlete.
Anything that increases the rate that protein building
blocks, called amino acids, enter muscles helps muscles heal faster.
Insulin drives amino acids into muscles. Hard exercise makes
your muscles far more sensitive to insulin during exercise and
maximally for up to an hour after you finish exercising (see
ic/ezine101710.html ). So taking
a meal *rich in carbohydrate and protein, *within one hour of
finishing your hard workout, will help you recover faster for your
next hard workout. This will help you do more hard workouts that
make stronger and faster and give you greater endurance.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JREA24
    Have you find that middle path?
    2353 days ago
    I don't find a lot of merit in these studies. The prolonged life in a caloric restriction has been proven in mice. There is no direct evidence yet that calorie-restricted diets retard human aging. So goes the same with the next study. Fruit flies and mice. Meanwhile, there are many benefits to a protein rich diet. Those who increase protein (humans) consumption retain or build muscle mass better than those on a low protein diet. A favorable body composition (i.e. lean, fit, not skinny) holds far greater and proven health benefits.
    2600 days ago
    I cut back on my protein after reading Dr. Mirkin's earlier post on the longevity benefits of low protein, but I have really been feeling it in my slower muscle recovery, so I am going to find a middle path. Not too low and not too high. As Goldilocks said, "...just my size!"
    2600 days ago
    Great info! emoticon
    2600 days ago
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