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I've just begin training in Judo but I strength train independently. After gym workouts, I drink a protein drink to help with recovery and muscle growth.

Does anyone else take protein or any other supplements as a recreational martial arts practitioner? If so, what do you take them for?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because there is no single objective answer and it has little to do with Martial Arts (it's more about nutrition) – THelper Aug 1 '15 at 6:19
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While it is essential that you get enough protein (and calories by the way) in your daily diet if you want to build muscle, it turns out that the timing of it is not important at all. Studies show that consuming protein right before, after, or during a weight-training workout doesn't gain you anything. This is despite what you've heard from weightlifters and just about anyone in sports.

The bottom line is: Just worry about your total protein intake in a 24 hour period, rather than trying to time it before or after a workout. You'll achieve the same result, and you won't get as stressed out about it.

Citation: http://www.jissn.com/content/10/1/53/abstract

Recovery is another subject altogether. Recovery is aided primarily by replenishing the muscle glycogen, which you do more effectively by consuming simple carbohydrates (sugars) immediately after a workout. Simple carbs, because you want to absorb them as quickly as possible during this window of time. You might also need to replenish sodium and potassium (electrolytes). And of course, water. But protein isn't important, so long as you're getting enough in your daily diet.

As always, check with a doctor before you change your diet or exercise regimen. Downing tons of simple carbohydrates might increase the risk of type II diabetes. Downing tons of protein might increase the risk of kidney stones, gout, and kidney failure in some people. And increasing calories can lead to excess body fat unless you balance it with exercise.

Hope that helps.

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    "As always, check with a doctor before you change your diet or exercise regimen." This should be emphasised and bold. Overall, this is a very good answer. – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Jul 27 '15 at 6:50
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    While I agree the timing of protein isn't that important, carbohydrate replacement is somewhat time dependent after exercise. It's also best replenished with a 3:1 carb:protein ratio drink (such as, oddly enough, chocolate milk). – JohnP Jul 27 '15 at 17:59
  • You wouldn't happen to have a study or preferably a meta-study to back up the claim of 3:1 carb to protein ratio improving recovery? I don't even see how protein would improve recovery from a theoretical perspective. If anything, it should hinder it (because it might slow down the absorption rate of the carbohydrate). – Steve Weigand Jul 27 '15 at 23:01
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After a judo class I'm more concerned with getting carbohydrate for glycogen depletion than I am with protein for muscle growth. A mix of both after class is fine.

However, it's good to be skeptical of supplements and protein powders. They are above all a heavily-marketed consumer product for which advertising is trying to convince you that you need. Most people who train judo, or who lift, used no such supplements and did fine. Most people probably don't need these expensive drinks. Try training without them, or replacing them with a chicken breast and sweet potato, or with a homemade milk-and-berries shake. Be critical of why you use them.

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