How Do Protein Shakes Work to Help Swimmers with Muscle Recovery?

When swimmers are training for competitions or just keeping in shape in the off-season, they're putting their bodies through rigorous workouts in the pool, weight sessions in the gym, and ultimately demanding a lot from their bodies. Muscle recovery is an important element of helping your body perform at its best throughout the season, so getting the right nutrition is crucial. One way to help this process is with protein shakes; but how do protein shakes work to help swimmers with muscle repair? Let's read on and find out.

 

Preseason

Beyond just eating a balanced diet of healthy carbs, protein, and fats, your body needs a bit more protein at the beginning of your season when you're trying to add and strengthen muscle. Getting protein from sources like lean meats like chicken or fish, low-fat dairy like cheese or yogurt, and low calorie protein shakes are great ways to fuel your body for building muscle.

When adding extra protein into your diet to help build muscle early in the season, it's important to eat more small amounts of protein throughout the day than pile your plate in one sitting. Since your body can only efficiently metabolize about 25-35 grams of protein per meal, you want to have meals that are rich in protein, but also add in snacks or post-workout protein shakes to get a steady stream of this important nutrient.


Partners with Carbs

While protein is essential for muscle repair, it works in conjunction with carbohydrates to ensure that your body is performing at its peak. If you're just ingesting protein, you are doing your muscles a disservice since long workouts deplete muscle glycogen and may cause muscle protein to be broken down for energy. Keeping your glycogen storage at the proper level should be done with the right carbohydrates, ensuring that your body is using carbs for energy.

Optimal Functioning

Besides just helping your body with muscle recovery, protein helps the body produce enzymes, create hormones, and transport nutrients that are essential for optimal body functioning. For example, when you put your body through a tough workout, you're breathing harder, which builds up and releases molecules called free radicals. These free radicals can damage your muscle fibers which leads to that soreness that we've all experienced after a long swim. To combat this post-workout soreness, it's important to refuel with protein to begin the muscle repair process. Try our Nutriboost shake, which is made with high quality ingredients and tested safe to ensure the best product for swimmers.

Your protein shakes should also have a proper mix of high quality casein and whey protein. Whey protein has essential amino acids that your body doesn't produce on its own, as well as the highest content of cysteine. Cysteine assists with the biosynthesis of glutathione, a key amino acid involved in the muscle repair process. And combined with casein, which delivers a slow absorbing protein to your body in between the short bursts of fast absorbing whey, your body is getting a steady stream of this important nutrient that many swimmers are deficient in - and don't even know it.

Make sure that you are getting the right nutrition to fuel your workouts and repair your hard-working muscles. For more articles about proper nutrition for swimmers, check out our blog at P2Life.com!


 

Sources:

https://swimswam.com/8-nutritional-recommendations-for-swimmers/

http://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?aid=369

http://www.swimming.org/masters/the-perfect-protein-shake/

May 12, 2016 by Michael Shead
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