Yogurt, the Secret Ingredient to Strength Training? Anyone who has been in the health and fitness scene long enough knows that are many factors in play to building muscle.
There’s exercise, nutrition, hydration, rest, the list goes on. But, have you ever wondered how what you eat, specifically protein, makes a difference?
In this article, we will touch on how consuming Greek yogurt could be your ticket to building stronger muscles with your strength training routine.
But, first, we must understand how protein, in general, is important to muscle health.
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1. Protein Helps Build Muscle
Protein contains what are called amino acids, which aid in building stronger muscles. Unlike fats and carbs, our bodies do not naturally keep protein reserves for those times when extra is needed, so we need to ensure that we are taking in enough protein daily. Having enough protein in our system will help to replace what is lost during a strength training workout, resulting in stronger muscles.
2. Protein Helps Repair Muscle
A strength training routine deliberately damages muscle tissue. The amino acids in protein will naturally help in restoring damaged muscles, as long as there is an adequate supply. Eating protein will increase muscle recovery, help the muscles to grow back stronger, and can be effective in preventing muscle aches.
At this point, you might be wondering, “Do I eat protein before or after my strength training session?” Great question! Let’s take a look at reasons for doing both.
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3. Eating Protein Before a Workout
Like was mentioned before, the body does not keep protein in reserves. Therefore, it is a good idea to eat some protein before you start your exercise program so that your body has it when it will be most needed. Some research indicates that a high protein light meal or snack will have the greatest impact if eaten several hours before you start strength training.
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4. Eating Protein after a Workout
Post-workout, the body is naturally starting to repair itself from any muscle damage done from the strenuous activity. Having a little something high in protein will allow the amino acids to work in tandem with this process, along with spiking insulin levels. An increase in insulin will send amino acids and glucose to the stressed muscle tissue, aiding in recovery.
But why Greek yogurt? What’s so special about it that makes it a good source of protein in a strength training program? Won’t traditional yogurt do?
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5. Higher in Protein
Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular it. Non-Greek yogurt has between 7-10 grams of protein for every eight ounces. Whereas, Greek yogurt has a whopping 15-20 grams per eight-ounce serving. This makes it a better choice than traditional yogurt since many strength trainers focus on a high protein and low carb diet.
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6. Provides Fuel for a Workout
Protein helps you to feel satisfied. Eating a serving of Greek yogurt before you begin a workout will help keep you feeling full, but not stuffed, and give you the necessary energy during your exercise program. Therefore, you will be able to stay focused during your workout session and help you avoid any stomach discomfort from working out on a too-full belly.
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In our efforts to be strong and healthy, there isn’t a magic bullet. It’s a combination of healthy choices. And, choosing Greek yogurt as part of a strength training program to provide your muscles with important protein for growth and recovery is a great place to start.