Protein helps the development of lean muscle when paired with the right exercise routine and diet.
When we exercise, we create tears in our muscle which then repair and is how muscles build! Protein is made from amino acids which help to repair these damaged cells, as well as doing lots of other amazing things in our bodies while we get on with our day. We can source these protein building blocks from our food, or if you’re on the move and want convenience, from a protein shake.
Protein powder is designed to be broken down quickly by your body and transported where its needed (your muscles!) This is why a protein shake is a great way to repair and refuel after a workout.
You can mix protein powder with milk, alt-mylks or water, but mixing just with water is the quickest way to get it to your muscles for repair. If you mix your protein powder with milk, it will take longer to digest as milk contains casein, which turns into a gel in your stomach and is slow releasing (e.g. it takes longer to be broken down). Your shake will take longer to be broken down into amino acids and absorbed by the body, but it will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
There is no hard and fast rule of how quickly you need to have a shake after a workout, meaning - you don’t need to be chugging a shake in the shower! However, some studies have suggested that protein shakes can be absorbed into your system and start feeding your muscles in around 30 minutes.
Of course, with Neat you can choose between Whey Protein or Vegan Protein, or a mix of both sachets in our Protein Powder subscriptions. We’re often asked which all-natural protein powder is best, and the answer? They’re both awesome! It depends on your personal lifestyle choices and your training goals. If you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll want to avoid whey which is a dairy-based protein powder, likewise if you’re following a vegan diet. In these instances, vegan protein will be the best choice. If you have no dietary restrictions, whey protein powder is your best bet.
Let’s take it back to the beginning and look at what makes protein powder. Whey protein is sourced from milk, made by cows who spend their days grazing in fields. This milk is separated in curds and whey, with the curds going to cheese production and the whey heading to muscle repair and post-exercise! The liquid whey is spray-dried into a powder, but as soon as you add it to water or milk, it will break down easily. This is why whey protein shakes are always a little smoother than their vegan alternatives.
Vegan Protein isn’t quite as smooth due to the fact it’s made from plants. Neat Nutrition uses a blend of pea and hemp to ensure the best amino acid profile for our protein powders. After harvesting the hemp, seeds are removed from their shells and the oil removed, before being reunited and ground to powder. The peas are ground to pea flour and mixed with the hemp to create a tasty, optimum blend of proteins.
In conclusion, there’s no time limit to having a shake after you exercise – it’s all about what works for you and what your goals are. Our advice is that if you’re training to build muscle, you’ll want a shake soon after exercise so you can start repairing and recovering. If you’re using Neat shakes as a dietary protein supplement (following advice from a doctor or nutritionist), then you may not require a shake post-exercise but rather at any time of the day.