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The power of protein and exercise

first_imgMost people grab for their water bottles after a tough workout. But personal trainers suggest also reaching for a protein snack.Whether you’re an average gym-goer looking to stay in shape, someone trying to drop a few extra pounds or an elite athlete in training, consuming protein after working out is important, said Brian Stecker, a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness on Fourth Plain.“On a scale of one to 10, I’d say it’s a 10,” Stecker said.During intense training, muscle tissue is broken down. In order for it to repair and rebuild, the body needs protein, said Erica Hurd, a certified strength and conditioning specialist at LA Fitness in Orchards.“Protein is the building block of muscle tissue,” she said. “As the proteins rebuild the muscle tissue, the muscle becomes stronger.”Think of the muscle as a quilt. The patched material is now stronger than the unpatched material, Hurd said.Eating protein within 30 to 45 minutes after a workout will give the body the amino acids it needs to begin repairing the muscle, according to the trainers.That protein can come from a variety of sources.“Shakes are the most convenient way to refuel within this window, which is why they are often recommended,” Hurd said. “But if whole food options are available, that’s always a better option.”Supplements such as bars and shakes come with a warning. Many include high amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners or fillers, Hurd said. The best option is a supplement with the fewest ingredients and lowest amount of sugar, she said.last_img read more