Add Lean Muscle With The Two-Hour Protein Rule | STACK

Add Lean Muscle With The Two-Hour Protein Rule

March 8, 2011

Must See Nutrition Videos

Consuming protein after training is a proven method for increasing muscle size and strength, as it provides muscles with the amino acids they need to rebuild and recover. Experts recommend consuming approximately 20 grams of high-quality protein—such as lean meat, chicken, fish or a protein supplement, together with 40 to 80 grams of simple carbohydrates such as pasta or fruit—within 30 minutes following a workout.

In addition to these standard post-workout consumption guidelines, new research shows that consuming another 20 grams of high-quality protein two hours following a workout optimizes muscle size and strength gains. Hence, the two-hour rule: 20 grams of protein immediately after working out and another 20 grams two hours later.

According to Dr. Kim White, senior scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, muscles fully absorb the initial 20 grams of protein within two hours post-exercise. Contrary to popular belief, adding more protein in this initial dose provides little or no benefit, since the body is only able to absorb approximately 20 grams in two hours, and any excess is removed via urination. Consuming a second serving of protein two hours after working out enables the body to digest and absorb another 20 grams, resulting in a blast of amino acids to help your muscles finish off the recovery and rebuilding process.

For optimal muscle recovery and rebuilding, experts recommend consuming a whey protein supplement, because it has a higher absorption rate and a greater ability to stimulate muscle growth than other protein sources. Although protein supplements are generally considered safe, make sure the one you take has been certified free of contaminants, to ensure you fall within your sport’s dietary guidelines.

Photo:  askgeorgie.com

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Supplements to Boost On-Ice Performance

The 6 Most Promising Weight-Loss Supplements

Powder Hour: Is It Time to Add Protein Powder to Your Diet?

Why Creatine Is the Best Sports Supplement

Why You Can't Ignore Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition

Ask the Experts: Is Caffeine Safe for Athletes?

Workout Supplements: Do You Really Need Them?

The Powerful Health Benefits of Turmeric

ZMA: Is This Mysterious Supplement Right for You?

7 Sketchy Marketing Phrases Used By Supplement Companies

Blueberry Supplements: Better Than Actual Blueberries?

This Just In: Boost Your Workout With Peppermint

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Right For You?

4 Muscle-Building Supplements That Don't Work

L.A. Galaxy's Safe Supplementation for Soccer Players

DHEA Supplements: Should You Take Them?

7 Rules That Would End PED Use in Baseball Immediately

How to Select a Healthy Protein Bar

Fuel for Thought: Gels, Bloks and Beans

3 Tips on Choosing the Best Post-Workout Creatine

Creatine Supplements: Benefits, Concerns, Types and Dosage

Use Sodium Bicarbonate to Get More Out of Creatine

Do Athletes Need Zinc Supplements?

The Positive Side Effects of Creatine (Besides Building Muscle)

Should I Take Creatine?

Should You Be Taking BCAAs?

7 Fiber Supplements: More Than Just For Weight Loss

5 Rules You Must Know Before Taking a Fish Oil Supplement

Make Sure You're Getting Enough Calcium

2 Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

"Real" Fat-Burner Supplements

Why You Need Vitamin D in Your Diet

BCAAs Effectively Build Muscle and Trim Fat

The Best Post-Workout Supplements and Nutrition

Soy vs. Whey Protein

Iodine: An Overlooked Essential Mineral for Female Athletes

4 Best Supplements for Football Players

HGH Use Among Teens on the Rise, According to Survey

What's Missing From the Female Athlete's Diet, Part 2: Iron

Can Baking Soda Improve Your Training Gains?

The 5 Most Effective Supplements for Baseball Players

Demystifying Popular Smoothie Boosters

The Best Time to Consume Creatine

4 Creatine Myths Exposed

6 Supplements That Power Quality Workouts

The Truth About Muscle-Enhancing Supplements

3 Reasons Why You Should Take a Fish Oil Supplement