Should protein powder only be consumed on training days? This is a common misconception we hear all the time here at Neat, and you’ll find many threads discussing the pros and cons online!
Although a protein shake is great taken post-workout, making sure you’re refuelling your muscles to help them to repair (and therefore grow!), that doesn’t mean that this is the only time you can take a protein supplement. Rest days are an essential part of your training routine, as they give your body the time it needs to repair, and protein will help aid this recovery process.
Instead of stressing about the finite details, we’d recommend just looking at whether or not you’re consuming enough protein in your overall diet on rest days. If you’re struggling to eat plenty of protein from meat, dairy, pulses and other whole foods, then a shake or protein smoothie is an awesome way to increase your intake. It’s also a lot more convenient than cooking up a chicken breast, especially if you’re someone who is always on the go.
Likewise, if you struggle with a constant sweet tooth, which many people find can be stronger on non-training days, homemade protein-based snacks, shakes or healthier desserts are all great alternatives for reaching in the cookie jar. It’ll also keep your blood sugar levels steadier and will likely leave you feeling more satiated than high-sugar treats.
You also may want to consider your goals, and how protein supplements could help you reach them. If you’re looking to lose weight, eating a higher protein diet can help to ensure you don’t lose muscle mass whilst in a calorie deficit (e.g. eating less than your body burns). Likewise, if you’re looking to grow muscle, protein plays a huge part in this.