Forget the special postworkout protein drinks. Have a glass of this if you want to maximize muscle toning: milk.
For reasons not yet understood, it seems that milk proteins are particularly ideal for the muscle-building process. In studies, exercisers who drank milk gained 6 pounds of lean muscle mass over the course of 11 weeks.
Not Created Equal
We all know that resistance training builds muscle. Some of us also know that a protein-rich snack after strength training can give that muscle-building process a boost. But now, researchers are discovering that not all proteins are created equal. Every protein source is made up of different amino acids, and the types may affect the way different protein sources are broken down and used by the body to build muscle. (Have a handful of this fat-burning snack before your workout.)
Made for Muscles
If dairy isn't your thing, you can still reap some muscle-building rewards by getting other kinds of protein into your diet. In the study, milk bested soymilk when exercisers added 20 grams of protein from their chosen source every day. But the soymilk drinkers did gain muscle, too. Just less of it -- about 3 pounds' worth. Whatever protein source you choose, try eating some anywhere from 30 minutes before to 2 hours after you work out for best results. (Watch this video to find out how much fat a woman can burn with just a few extra pounds of muscle on her body.)