You know your muscles crave protein after a workout, but a new study in theJournal of Applied Physiology shows that they crave protein from bothdairy and soy.
For the University of Texas study, 16 healthy adults ages 19 to 30 downed either a soy-dairy protein or a whey (dairy) protein beverage one hour after completing a resistance workout. Researchers then took blood samples and muscle biopsies from the exercisers and found that the soy-dairy protein drink prolonged the delivery of certain amino acids to the muscle for an hour longer than whey protein alone did.
Dairy contains casein and whey protein, and soy contains just soy protein. The body absorbs each at a different rate, and when you combine them, it turns out that they stick around longer than when you consume them solo.
Why does that matter? Well, amino acids are your muscles’ building blocks, so the more amino acids that reach your muscles, the more muscle-building and post-workout recovery can happen.
It sounds complicated, but taking advantage of the soy-dairy power combo after your workout is actually pretty easy. Try this: When making a post-workout smoothie, just use both dairy (like milk, cottage cheese, or yogurt) and soy (like soy milk or tofu). Or, if you’re into protein powders, mix one part soy protein and one part whey protein with two parts casein protein (that’s the ratio researchers used in the study).
MORE: Easy Whey Protein Drinks