To properly recover from any type of training, you need adequate protein to repair the tissue that is getting torn, or to make up for a lack of carbohydrates available for energy.
You can use the Men’s Fitness Food Pyramid to determine how much protein you should be taking in each day. As for when you should consume protein, a 2013 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition review suggests that protein timing (eating it 1 hour pre/post weight lifting) does not significantly affect muscle building or strength. A recent Journal of Applied Physiology study found that timed protein ingestion in combination with resistance exercise, intervals, stretching, and endurance training decreases body fat while increasing lean body mass.
Whether you time consumption or not, protein is an essential component of training. But the same old “chicken, beef or fish” can get boring. Try these eight unique ways to incorporate protein into your diet for bigger muscles, faster recovery, more energy, and improved training performance.