Sales Popup
Someone purchased a
6 hours ago





Your Cart is Empty

May 06, 2024 6 min read

Protein shakes are a popular supplement among athletes, strength and muscle builders, and fitness enthusiasts due to their ability to support muscle repair, growth, and overall performance. While many people associate protein shakes with post-workout recovery, they can also be beneficial on rest days when the routine high-protein diet should be maintained.

After all, daily protein requirements are not only for training days.

In fact, consuming protein shakes on non-workout days can play a crucial role in muscle recovery and maintenance, ensuring that you're ready to perform at your best when you return to your training routine.

In this article, we'll explain the benefits of protein shakes for individuals looking to enhance their fitness levels and relieve muscle soreness, even on the days they're not actively training.

What is Protein and Why is it Important?

Whole food protein

The three macronutrients that everyone’s body needs every day are protein, carbs, and fats. Proteins are large molecules made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of life.

They play crucial roles in the body, including forming muscle tissue, enzymes, hormones, and other important molecules. The amount of protein required depends on body weight.

Resistance training causes damage to the muscle fibers, which the body repairs by fusing them. This repair by fusion brings about increased size and mass in muscles.

Are Protein Shakes a Suitable Option for Rest Days?

Protein shake for rest days

Muscle recovery takes longer than we think, and protein is essential for sustaining muscle recovery, even on rest days.  According to a study conducted in 2000, the protein requirements for physically active individuals are up to two times as much protein as those who are not.

Consuming high-quality protein on non-workout days is crucial for maximizing recovery. Protein shakes are an excellent source of protein for both active and rest days. For athletes, bodybuilders, or ordinary fitness enthusiasts, protein shakes is a convenient way to build muscle or lose fat,

Protein Shake Benefits

Although the protein needs can be met by eating whole foods like lean meats and whole grains, drinking protein powder shakes has multiple benefits.

Although research into sports nutrition is ongoing, the following are known benefits of protein shakes:

  1. Structure: Protein provides structure in hair, skin, bones, cartilage, and muscle.

  2. Muscle Growth and Repair: During exercise, muscle fibers undergo microscopic damage. Enzymes are involved in the process of muscle protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle repair and growth after exercise. They help convert amino acids into new muscle proteins, which are needed to gain muscle mass and strength.

  3. Muscle Maintenance: Even during periods of rest or when not actively working out, protein is necessary to maintain lean muscle mass. Protein shakes may also relieve post workout muscle soreness.

  4. Energy Production: While carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source during exercise, protein can also be used for energy when carbohydrate stores are low. During strength training, muscles require energy to contract and perform exercises. Enzymes help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy that can be used by the muscles.

  5. Satiety and Weight Management: Protein-rich foods can help you feel full and satisfied, which may aid in weight loss or reducing body fat by lowering overall calorie intake. A nutritionist or dietitian can help with designing a high-protein diet based on each kilogram of body weight.

  6. Removal of Waste Products: Enzymes also help remove waste products from muscles, such as lactic acid, which can build up during exercise and cause fatigue. Removing these waste products helps muscles recover faster and perform better in subsequent workouts.

  7. Immune Function: Proteins are essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, helping to fight off infections and illnesses, which is important for athletes who may be more susceptible to illness due to intense training.

Overall, ensuring an adequate protein intake is essential for fitness enthusiasts and athletes to support muscle growth, repair, and overall health. The guidance of a nutrition coach can be invaluable when it comes to the choice of taking protein supplements on recovery days.

Protein Shakes and DOMS

Anyone who has ever suffered the agony of DOMS will be familiar with seeking ways to alleviate its effects, which could continue well beyond the usual off days.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) refers to the muscle pain and stiffness that often occurs after intense muscle building or unaccustomed exercise. DOMS typically lasts longer than the usual muscle soreness that occurs immediately after a workout, and can last anywhere from a few days to a week or more.


DOMS is believed to be caused by microscopic damage to muscle fibers and the resulting inflammation. Although protein shakes are not a cure, they can help alleviate DOMS by providing the necessary building blocks (amino acids) for muscle repair and recovery.

Specifically, protein shakes that contain high-quality protein sources, such as whey or casein, can be beneficial.

Whey protein is rapidly absorbed and can quickly deliver amino acids to muscles, which is beneficial immediately after a workout when muscle repair processes are most active.

Casein protein, on the other hand, is digested more slowly, providing a sustained release of amino acids that can support muscle recovery over a longer period such as a rest day.

By providing these essential nutrients, protein shakes can help reduce the severity and duration of DOMS, allowing individuals to recover faster and return to their training routine sooner. However, for anything more than the usual muscle soreness after workouts, a consultation with a healthcare provider is crucial

Types of Protein Powder

The most common types of protein powder include:

Whey Protein

Derived from milk during the cheese-making process, whey protein is quickly absorbed by the body and is rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which are important for muscle growth and recovery. One study in 2017 found that whey protein may speed up recovery by enhancing protein metabolism.

Whey Protein Powder

— Casein Protein

Also derived from milk, casein protein is slower to digest compared to whey, providing a steady release of amino acids into the bloodstream over time, making it ideal for consumption before bed or between meals.

— Soy Protein

A plant-based protein derived from soybeans, soy protein is a good alternative for vegetarians and vegans. It contains all essential amino acids and is a source of antioxidants and phytoestrogens.

— Pea Protein

Another plant-based option, pea protein, is derived from yellow peas. It is easily digestible and contains a good amount of BCAAs, particularly arginine.

Plant-based Pea Protein Powder

— Rice Protein

Made from brown rice, rice protein is hypoallergenic and easily digestible. However, it is lower in some essential amino acids, so it's often combined with other plant-based proteins to improve its amino acid profile.

— Hemp Protein

Made from hemp seeds, hemp protein is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is also a good source of fiber, but it is lower in protein compared to other sources, so it's often mixed with other proteins.

These are just a few examples, and there are many other types of protein powders available, each with its own unique benefits and considerations.

Strong man drinking protein shake


Bottom line — Yes, you could drink protein shakes on rest days, but, like drinking pre-workout shakes, it is a matter of personal choice. However, protein shakes can be a valuable addition to your routine, including rest days. By consuming protein shakes on non-workout days, you can support muscle recovery and maintenance, ensuring that you're ready to tackle your next workout with strength and energy.

Whether you prefer to meet your protein goals with whey protein for its fast absorption or casein protein for its slow-release benefits, there's a protein powder out there to suit your needs.

So, next time you take a rest day, consider incorporating a protein shake into your routine to support your fitness goals and recovery. 

We have a selection of delicious whey and plant-based proteins that contain all the essential amino acids. There are over a dozen flavors to choose from, so no matter your taste, you'll find something you love!

But the best part?

If you're looking to try something new and delicious, we've got a sample box with all of our best-selling dairy-free proteins so you can try them all first to see which ones you like best!

The Steel Supplements Sample 1 Serving of Each TRY VEG-PRO