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Can You Eat Too Much Protein After a Workout?

When it comes to post-workout protein intake, is more always better? Get-Fit Guy explains the surprising results of a new study.

By
Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

Back when I was a bodybuilder, I used to think that the more protein I ate after a workout, the better it was. I remember sucking down 3-4 cans of liquid protein shake after my daily exercise routine.

But new research suggests that not only does excess post-workout protein not really do you any extra good, it might actually be bad for you.

In the study “Myofibrillar muscle protein synthesis rates subsequent to a meal in response to increasing doses of whey protein at rest and after resistance exercise,” researchers looked at the effects of ingesting 0, 10, 20, or 40 grams of whey protein isolate immediately after a weight training workout.

It was found that when it comes to muscle building and muscle recovery, 20g of protein post-workout seems to be the sweet spot. And 40g simply results in increased ammonia production due to higher protein breakdown rates – and all this extra ammonia has to be cleaned up and filtered by your kidneys, putting undue stress on these precious organs.

Approximately 20g of protein can be had from a couple of large eggs, or a 6-8oz portion of beef, chicken or fish, or a couple of scoops of whey protein, or a handful of seeds and nuts combined with a bowl of an amino acid rich grain such as quinoa. So don't overdo it! More isn't always better.

Do you have questions about whether it is bad to eat too much protein after a workout? Then leave a comment over at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.

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