Protein! Recently I have found that there is a common misconception when it comes to why and when you should eat protein. Many people believe that protein is only useful in and around when you exercise! While there is a lot of discussion about there being an “optimal window” of time after a workout to get your protein in, it is not the only time of the day where eating protein is good for you.
This phenomenon probably comes from the classic gym bro chugging a protein shake the second he is done with his workout! It has been proven that there is a period of time after a workout in which getting sufficient protein intake can aid in recovery and muscle growth, however this period of time is much much longer than the 30 minutes after you exercise. If you get a protein-dense meal in your body within a couple of hours after your workout, you are golden!
How important is it really as far as when you eat your protein? Not as important as you think (for most people). If you are an active person, it is far more important that you hit your daily protein intake goal than it is that you try to down the biggest protein shake ever right after your workout. Protein is not some magical thing that will turn you into the hulk; it is one of three macronutrients (carbs and fats being the others) that your body needs to function properly! Generally, you should aim to get .8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you are able to do that and prioritize protein in your meals, you are setting yourself up for success.
If you are interested in learning more or getting grocery suggestions for some awesome protein sources, check out www.balancewithshaheen.com for online coaching and guidance!