Is Post Workout Shake Necessary For Muscle Growth

By | October 23, 2015

Is Post Workout Shake Necessary For Muscle Growth?

Most of the folks lifting iron in the gym believe that you have to be chugging down your post workout shake as soon as the workout ends to move from catabolic state into anabolic state where you can build muscle.

But is the post workout shake really necessary for muscle growth in the big picture?

In this article I’m going to clear out some of the myths that have been circling around these shakes that enjoy far more important position that they actually are.

What Are Post Workout Shakes Made Of?

Usually the shakes enjoyed after weight training consist at least of whey protein. Other nutrients that often find their way to shakers are some form of carbohydrates, creatine or other performance enhancing supplements.

Lately there has also been a trend of taking these pre workout powders that will give you a crazy energy boost and improve the pump in muscles.

And to try to mellow down that high after heavy weight training, it is not uncommon to see people taking some other powder that will counteract the effects of the pre workout in their post workout shake.

There might be some other powders that people enjoy in their post workout shakes but these listed here are by far the most common ones.

The Post Workout Anabolic Window

So the biggest thing in the whole post workout shake thing is the acute demand of protein by your body.

As soon as the workout is over, you should be chugging down that whey to move yourself from catabolic state into anabolic so that you will start building muscle as soon as possible.

People believe that this post workout anabolic window lasts 1-2 hours after you’ve done your last set and got done with your workout of the day.

And praise the lord if you forgot your shaker at home and you cannot drink your shake immediately as you’re done with your last set of bicep curls.

But now let’s get a bit more serious.

  • Yes it is true that Whey protein gets absorbed really fast by your body after your workout.
  • Yes it is true that Whey mixed with water will be absorbed quicker than mixed with milk.
  • Yes it is true that there are some minor benefits regarding muscle growth if you drink your whey mixed with water immediately after you’re done with your workout.

But the question that you should really ask yourself is: How much of a difference all this stuff really makes in the big picture?

There was a study conducted where they compared the increase of lean muscle mass in individuals who drank their whey mixed with water immediately after their exercise and group that did not do it at all.

And the conclusion that they made from that study was that the group that did drank the whey shake after workout had more increase in muscle mass but only by 1%.

So let’s say you could build about 10 pound of muscle over the course of one year. Including a post workout shake into the mix you could gain 0.1 pound more muscle per year.

On top of this studies have shown that the post workout window is not actually just 1-2 hours after your workout. It is rather something that can stretch into almost 20 hours.

But still I do believe that it is a good idea to eat good big meal after your workout session that has a lot of proteins, carbs and fats to kick start that muscle building progress again and replenish the glycogen stores of your muscles.

The point I’m trying to make is that you shouldn’t stress so much about this post workout anabolic window or else you will lose all your gains.

If you eat a big meal after 2-4 hours after your workout you will be just fine and you’ll not miss any of your potential gains you can make.

I personally enjoy my post workout whey shake because it has become a habit, I just like the taste of that stuff and it feels good to chug that whey down after hard practice as a congratulation of job well done. Sometimes I have it sometimes I don’t but I couldn’t care less. My muscle growth does not depend on this minor matter.

Paying Attention To The Big Picture

The reason why these minor details using supplements are being made to sound way too important they actually are, is the fitness industries goal to maximize profit.

The whole industry if full of gimmicks and empty promises and they have been and will figure out new ways to get rid of your money.

Instead of worrying about these small little things you should make sure that you’ll not lose the sight of the bigger picture.

  • Train with correct intensity and aim for progressive overload.
  • Structure your workouts upon compound exercises.
  • Eat enough calories so your body has the fuel to build muscle.
  • Eat sufficient amount of protein so that your body has the building blocks for that muscle growth.
  • Eat enough healthy fats so your body will produce the sufficient amount of anabolic hormones.
  • Eat enough carbohydrates to fuel your workouts and replenish glycogen stores.
  • Rest enough so you can recover from your workouts.

These are the facts that will make all the difference to your muscle growth, not some bogus supplements or other gimmicks.

If you keep the proven basics in pristine condition over long period of time you will make all the gains you possibly can.

Stop over analyzing and looking for the next big thing!

Conclusion On Is Post Workout Shake Necessary For Muscle Growth

When it all comes down to it, post workout shake is not necessary in any way to make the best progress you absolutely can.

If you’re a top level athlete that is looking for gaining the smallest advantage of possible, then post workout shakes should be included in your regimen.

But if you’re just an average Joe who wants to build muscle and strength and wants to look good with their shirt off, this is nothing to be concerned of.

I hope you find this article helpful and got something out of it.

I’d love to hear if you have any ideas or suggestions in mind regarding this topic. Drop me a line down below and I’ll get back at you.

Remember to train hard and train SMART!

2 thoughts on “Is Post Workout Shake Necessary For Muscle Growth

    1. Jesse Post author

      Thanks a lot Steve. Really appreciate your input 🙂


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