Should you drink protein shakes on rest days? Protein shakes are a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders. They are often consumed on training days to help repair and rebuild muscle tissue broken down during exercise.
But what about on rest days? Are protein shakes still beneficial, or even necessary, when you’re not working out? This article will explore the pros and cons of drinking protein shakes on rest days.
What Is Protein?
Before we dive into the pros and cons of drinking protein shakes on rest days, it’s essential to understand what protein is and why it’s so crucial for athletes and bodybuilders. Protein is a macronutrient essential for many bodily functions, including cell repair, hormone production, and immune system function.
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. When you exercise, your muscles are broken down and damaged. So they need an adequate supply of protein to repair and grow back stronger.
Protein shakes are a convenient way to get more protein into your diet. There are two major types: whey and casein. They are typically made by blending protein powder with milk or water and can be flavored with fruit, nuts, and other ingredients.
Protein shakes are usually high in calories and protein but low in fat and carbohydrates. This makes them an ideal post-workout snack, as they help to replenish glycogen stores and promote muscle growth.
However, protein shakes are not just for post-workout recovery. They can also be consumed on rest days to maintain a high protein intake and prevent muscle loss.
Rest Days Are Important For Recovery
Rest days are an essential part of any workout routine. They give your body time to recover from the stresses of exercise and allow your muscles to repair and grow stronger. Without adequate recovery, you may start to feel fatigued, both mentally and physically. This can lead to decreased performance and an increased risk of injury.
Therefore, it’s important to listen to your body on rest days and take it easy. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to do nothing all day; gentle activities such as walking or stretching are fine. But it would help if you weren’t doing anything too strenuous or intense.
Should You Drink Protein Shakes On Rest Days: Looking At The Pros and Cons
PRO: Protein Shakes Can Help You Stay On Track With Your Nutrition
Protein shakes can be helpful if you’re trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet. They’re quick and easy to make and can help you hit your daily protein goals. This is especially important on rest days, when you may be less likely to feel like cooking or preparing a meal.
CON: You Might Not Need The Extra Protein
If you’re eating a balanced diet, you may not need the extra protein from a protein shake. However, consuming too much protein can be detrimental to your health. It can lead to weight gain, increased risk of certain diseases if consuming too much red meat, and other problems.
If you’re eating enough calories, you might not need the extra protein from a shake. But on the other hand, drinking too many protein shakes could potentially lead to weight gain due to the extra calories you’ll be consuming.
Protein shakes can be a helpful tool for meeting your nutrition goals, but they’re not necessary for everyone. For example, you probably don’t need to drink protein shakes if you eat a balanced diet and get enough protein from whole foods. However, if you’re struggling to meet your protein needs or trying to build muscle, shakes can be a convenient and easy way to get the protein your body needs.
PRO: Protein Shakes Can Help You Recover From Exercise
Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. Therefore, drinking a protein shake after your workout can help you recover from exercise and reduce soreness.
CON: Protein Shakes Might Not Be The Best Choice For Everyone
If you’re lactose intolerant or have another condition that makes it difficult to digest protein, shakes may not be your best choice. There are other ways to get protein, such as through whole foods or protein bars.
PRO: Protein Shakes Help Maintain and Increase Muscle Mass
Protein shakes can help you maintain and grow muscle mass, even on rest days. Your body needs protein to grow your muscles after weightlifting. Protein supplements are especially important as you age and your body loses muscle mass.
Is it OK to drink a protein shake every day?
You can drink a protein shake daily as part of a healthy diet and exercise routine. A protein shake can help you reach your daily protein needs and can be a convenient way to get additional nutrients like vitamins and minerals. However, choosing a protein shake low in sugar and calories is important, and pair it with other healthy foods to create a balanced meal.
How much protein should I have on rest days?
On days when you’re not working out, your protein needs are lower. Most fitness experts recommend that all adults consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim for 54 grams of protein per day. On days when you’re not working out, you can still get some of your protein from shakes, but you may also want to focus on other protein sources like lean meats, fish, tofu, legumes, and eggs.
What happens if we take protein without working out?
Protein can still be beneficial if you’re not working out, but choosing a protein shake low in calories and sugar is important. Protein can help you feel fuller longer and may help to reduce your overall calorie intake. However, if you’re not burning many calories, you may gain weight if you consume too much protein.
There are a few things to remember if you decide to drink a protein shake on a rest day.
First, ensure you use a quality protein powder low in sugar and calories. Second, don’t overdo it; one or two scoops of protein powder are all you need. And finally, don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
The Bottom Line
The question of whether should you drink protein shakes on rest days comes down to a personal decision. There are pros and cons to consider. Generally, if you feel you need the extra protein and you’re trying to prioritize muscle growth, then you absolutely should consider drinking protein shakes on your rest days. If you do drink them, choose a quality protein powder and mix it with other healthy ingredients. And remember, moderation is key. Too much of anything, even something seemingly innocuous as a protein shake, can be harmful.
Jason Chapman has a degree in Exercise Science and is a personal trainer with 10+ years of experience in fitness and strength coaching. Jason spends his time with BodyCapable researching the latest strength training trends and writing science-backed, informative content. Jason likes to spend his spare time hiking, traveling, and of course training!
Body Capable’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment; we encourage you to seek out a medical professional whenever necessary.