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

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

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

7 Rules That Would End PED Use in Baseball Immediately

4 Creatine Myths Exposed

7 Sketchy Marketing Phrases Used By Supplement Companies

Ask the Experts: Is Caffeine Safe for Athletes?

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

6 Supplements That Power Quality Workouts

The 5 Essential Sports Supplements

Demystifying Popular Smoothie Boosters

This Just In: Boost Your Workout With Peppermint

5 Rules You Must Know Before Taking a Fish Oil Supplement

The Best Time to Consume Creatine

Should I Take Creatine?

4 Best Supplements for Football Players

Make Sure You're Getting Enough Calcium

Soy vs. Whey Protein

2 Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

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

7 Fiber Supplements: More Than Just For Weight Loss

3 Tips on Choosing the Best Post-Workout Creatine

Blueberry Supplements: Better Than Actual Blueberries?

Do Athletes Need Zinc Supplements?

DHEA Supplements: Should You Take Them?

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Right For You?

The Powerful Health Benefits of Turmeric

Should You Be Taking BCAAs?

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

Why You Need Vitamin D in Your Diet

Use Sodium Bicarbonate to Get More Out of Creatine

Can Baking Soda Improve Your Training Gains?

How to Select a Healthy Protein Bar

Creatine Supplements: Benefits, Concerns, Types and Dosage

The Best Post-Workout Supplements and Nutrition

Iodine: An Overlooked Essential Mineral for Female Athletes

4 Muscle-Building Supplements That Don't Work

The 6 Most Promising Weight-Loss Supplements

3 Supplements to Boost On-Ice Performance

The One Thing You Need to Do to Build Muscle

ZMA: Is This Mysterious Supplement Right for You?

3 Reasons Why You Should Take a Fish Oil Supplement

The Truth About Muscle-Enhancing Supplements

Why Creatine Is the Best Sports Supplement

Fuel for Thought: Gels, Bloks and Beans

Workout Supplements: Do You Really Need Them?

HGH Use Among Teens on the Rise, According to Survey

The Positive Side Effects of Creatine (Besides Building Muscle)

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