Post-workout, you probably feel pretty great; make the most of your hard-earned results with a healthy snack designed to help your body build muscle

By Shape Editors
February 20, 2015
Muscle Milk

For the best results, you need to properly fuel up post-workout. Here's how.

So you've just finished a super-tough spin class or interval training session. Congrats! But hold on-you're not exactly finished yet. The trick to making the very most of that workout? Experts say it's protein.

First off, protein requires more energy for your body to digest and utilize than other foods, which means you'll keep your metabolism in overdrive even after you've left the gym. And of course, protein is crucial for helping your body build muscle. And the more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolism-which means that more of the total calories you eat are burned as fuel rather than stored as fat.

For the typical gym-goer, the ideal post-workout snack should pack a protein punch without providing a lot of extra calories. But does the kind of protein you eat matter? According to a research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,* when it comes to recovering from exercise, the type of protein does make a difference, and whey-an easily-digestible, complete protein made from milk-seems to help the body recover more quickly than other types of protein.

Another milk protein, casein, has the benefit of keeping you feeling full longer, as it's absorbed by the body more slowly than whey. To ensure you're getting the purest form of this particular protein source, look for the ingredient "calcium caseinate" on the label.

Timing matters, too. To refuel, rebuild muscle and keep your metabolism revved up without undoing all your hard work, pack a portable pick-me-up in your gym bag-one containing up to 20 grams of high-quality protein that's also 200 or fewer calories-and enjoy it within the first 30 minutes after your session, according to experts.

One great option? Muscle Milk® 100 Calories protein nutrition shakes. This power-packed, ultra-portable sipper comes in a convenient 100-calorie carton and offers high-quality protein, including whey and casein. It's gluten and sugar free, and with great-tasting flavors like Chocolate and Vanilla Crème, it will help fuel your recovery deliciously.