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Timing It Right

Strength training is an essential part of any sustainable weight-loss routine, and how you fuel your body after your workout can have profound effects on your body's recovery. A tough strength-training session causes slight tears in your muscle fibers, and when your body heals the fibers, muscles strengthen, grow, and become more defined. In order for this process to happen, your body needs the amino acids in proteins to rebuild your damaged muscle tissue.

According to Tim Rich, a fitness manager at Crunch Gym, anyone doing endurance or strength training needs at least 10 grams of protein right after an intense workout to make sure the body receives the proper nutrients to aid in muscle repair and recovery. This is important to keep in mind as you're choosing the perfect post-workout snack.

Nike Master Trainer Marie Purvis has a breakfast mantra when it comes to losing weight, getting lean, and staying energized: "Thirty grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up." She says this boost of energy helps you perform at your best, while keeping fatty cravings at bay. If you're concerned about how you'll ever be able to eat that much protein when you first wake up, blend up this quick banana bread smoothie that meets her requirements.

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