“I eat extra protein after my big workouts to repair the damage from it and refill my glycogen stores.”
Yes, you may, but no, it doesn’t.
Eating after your workout does not build muscle or repair anything.
It doesn’t replenish your glycogen stores, and your muscle doesn’t benefit and is not lacking without it.
Muscle growth and repair do not happen right after a workout or even that same day.
Muscle growth and repair take time and consistent behaviors.
Also, muscle repair doesn’t happen in a fed state.
When you eat, you activate your fed state metabolism, where the body breaks down the food you eat and tissues in the body. You break down more muscle tissue eating than you do when you fast because your whole body is in the same state of breakdown, not just your stomach.
During any given day, your body will turn over or recycle 700% more protein than you eat in your diet. The roughly 4% of your daily protein needs coming from that particular meal is not making much of a difference, never mind repairing your strained muscles from your workout.
After eating in time, your body will shift into the metabolic state of repair, where the different tissues of your body start rebuilding. You can’t force your body to shove protein into your muscles after a workout, but you can decrease its ability to repair and grow with that post-workout meal.
When you force some specific amount of protein or any nutrients into your body, you will negatively impact your body’s efficiency and ability to heal and express health.
Instead, I would respect my body’s intelligence and promote improved efficiency by allowing the natural recycling system to work without interference.
By overeating protein and especially at the wrong times, you stop this natural process, the very process of repair and growth that you were initially trying to promote.
Your body is a demand-driven machine, not supply-driven. Eating more protein or taking denatured fragmented amino acids labeled as protein powder will not make you healthier or change your physic alone.
If you create the demand through your lifestyle efforts and respect the body’s processes, then when you eat, you will get all that you can from it, including growth and repair.
When you eat is often as important as what you eat for your metabolic health. Most people do not eat themselves into illness.
They behave themselves into it.
The how and when we eat will cause more damage than what’s on the plate and could be the exact reason you are not seeing the muscular growth you desire, losing weight, or reversing health issues.
Counting calories, carbs, or macros is not the key to a healthy diet and resulting healthy life. How you engage with food and life is, regardless of the numbers you are chasing.
There is no food list, magic macro, or carb number, especially no hack that will make you healthy. You must do the work, learn a new way to do things, and change how you do them, then stick to it.
You must do things differently. You must live differently; for that, you must want to and be willing to change everything.
If not, you get what you have.
We can do better!