Should I be consuming protein or carbs after a workout? Or both? Which macro is more important for muscle building or are they equally?
Protein is by far the most important macro for muscle building, which is why people can build muscle on a ketogenic (high fat, low carb) diet.
But while the hype is always around post-workout nutrition (recovery and protein shakes), in my opinion it is your pre-workout nutrition that’s more important. What you consumer before your workout will be in your system and available when it’s needed.
There isn’t a requirement for food directly after training it should be said. When you train, you up-regulate protein synthesis (the building of new protein in the muscle) but this lasts for hours post training so there is no urgent or frantic rush to down a protein shake as soon as you finish.
That said, to optimise results I would have the protein serving before training (30-40g between 60-90 mins pre training) and then have the same again within two hours of finishing training. It makes sense to add some carbohydrate to the post-workout feed to aid muscle repair and restore muscle glycogen but is not essential.
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