Eating paneer after a workout is good, but not right away. You can eat paneer after a one hour gap from the workout. If you eat paneer immediately after a workout, it will not digest properly.
Bottomline – Eat paneer one hour after the workout to get all the benefits from paneer.
What is the most crucial nutrient after a workout?
It’s protein. Everyone knows this.
But what should be the best post-workout protein source if you are a vegetarian?
One of the best protein sources for Indian vegetarians is paneer. But is it good to have the paneer after a workout?
In this article, we will clear all the doubts about if paneer after the workout is a good option or not.
First things first, let’s start with how beneficial eating paneer after a workout can be for you.
Benefits of eating paneer after workout
Paneer contains complete protein
Paneer is among the few vegetarian sources that contain complete protein.
A complete protein means that it carries all 20 essential amino acids that are important for the growth and repair of the muscles.
Without good quality protein, your body will be incapable of achieving the optimum level of muscle development.
Paneer protein is anti-catabolic
Paneer contains casein protein.
Casein is a slow-digesting protein that releases amino acids at a slow and steady pace over a long duration. This constant supply of amino acids from paneer protein prevents the body from breaking down muscle protein, thus creating a positive protein balance.
Positive protein balance means more muscle development and less muscle breakdown.
Paneer is nutrient-dense
High-quality protein is not the only reason paneer is a favourable post-workout meal.
Paneer is rich in essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which are important for strong bones and healthy teeth.
It also contains trace elements like zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Along with protein, these nutrients play a significant role in the growth and repair of muscles after an intense workout.
Wait! Don’t eat paneer immediately after a workout
Paneer is heavy to digest. That means your digestive system has to work hard to break down the protein from the paneer to use it efficiently.
This heavy digestive work requires the blood flowing towards it because the blood carries the oxygen and energy for the digestive system to work efficiently.
During the workout, blood flow is towards the muscles, as the working muscles demand more oxygen and energy. And immediately after the workout, the repair and rebuilding of damaged muscles keep the concentration of blood flow towards the muscles.
Your body requires at least one hour to stabilize the blood circulation.
So, if you immediately eat paneer after a workout, there will be a clash of demand for the blood flow between the muscles and digestive system. The muscles will prevent the blood from going towards the digestive system.
Without proper blood flow, the digestion will not be proper. And incomplete digestion means that your body will not get all the protein (technically amino acid) from the paneer.
But not eating protein immediately after a workout will cause muscle loss?
You must have heard that if you don’t eat protein straight away after a workout, it will cause muscle loss. And there is an anabolic window of one-hour post-workout where your body can use protein most efficiently.
Many fitness trainers and gym-goers fall victim to this myth.
You will not lose muscle if you fail to eat protein right after a workout. Moreover, you do not have to eat anything immediately after a workout.
A study broke the myth of the anabolic window lasting only for an hour. The researchers found that postworkout your body can efficiently use protein throughout the day and not just in one hour after the workout.
Target to eat the amount of protein you require in a day and not sweat over the post-workout anabolic window of 1 hour. If you get enough protein in a day, you will not lose any muscles.
Eating raw paneer after workout – Is there a problem?
If you decide to eat paneer after the workout, you may wonder – whether you should eat raw paneer or cook it before eating.
Eating raw paneer or cooked paneer will not create a drastic difference in the nutrient quality, but cooked paneer (shallow fry, bhurji, roasted) will be a better option for two reasons.
1 – You do not know the freshness of paneer – Paneer can go stale quickly. Therefore, if you eat raw paneer, ensure that is it is fresh. There is no guarantee of getting fresh paneer from the dairy. So, if you want to eat raw paneer best option is homemade paneer.
2 – Cooked paneer is easier to digest – When you cook the paneer, the protein present in the paneer will be easier to digest.
You can eat (X) gram of paneer after workout?
In a post-workout meal, you can eat around 100gm of paneer. Eating 100gm of paneer will give you 15-20gm of protein. This is a good amount of protein for one meal.
But the exact quantity will vary depending on your daily protein requirement. For females, 50gm of paneer is a good quantity after a workout.
Can you eat paneer before workout?
You can eat paneer before workout but one hour before starting the workout. The reason is the same as why you should eat paneer one hour after your workout.
When you eat paneer, your body requires at least one hour to break down the protein from the paneer and use it in the body.
If you don’t maintain this gap of one hour, your body will not get enough protein during the workout, which beats the whole point of eating paneer before a workout.
It is perfectly ok to eat paneer after or before the workout. But you should maintain a one hour gap between eating paneer and starting the exercise.
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