“If you are younger, the post-training window for protein doesn’t really matter,” Lyon explains. If you meet your overarching daily protein needs, you don’t necessarily need to pack in a protein-heavy meal after you workout. Translation: No need to pound a protein shake post-exercise in your 20s and 30s–unless you want to, then by all means, sip away!
For older age groups, however, protein post-workout becomes more important. “As you get older, the blood flow to the muscles increases post-training, and there’s really good data to suggest that older muscle can respond like younger muscle post-training with the addition of dietary protein,” Lyon says. Yes, you may be able to make your muscles act younger–which, in turn, may help you live longer, according to Lyon.
So how much protein should you aim for as you age? “I would say 30 grams of protein post-training is a great strategy for nearly everybody,” Lyon says. If you’d like to assess your daily protein goals, Lyon also offers a simple calculator: