For a long time, I’ve used protein shakes after (and sometimes before) a ride on the bike. After doing some online research into the effects of protein on muscle regeneration I felt it was worth trying to see if it did in fact aid in reducing post training muscle fatigue and decreased recovery times.
While I took the information online on board, I’d never tested it for myself until a few sessions ago where I simply didn’t take my usual protein shake afterwards (Sci-MX being my preferred make of protein powder). This was totally unintentional, but I quickly noticed that the following training sessions (usually around 2-3 days apart) were considerably harder on my legs. I found that my warm up period lasted considerably longer, and many times the whole session was a lot more uncomfortable due to aching and stiff muscles.
So I consciously tested the effects of taking protein after training out a few sessions ago, and have (personally) noticed a marked improvement post training and on subsequent training sessions.
For example, I did a quick 20 mile ride 2 days ago, had a good serving of protein post session and today (1 days rest in between sessions) did a 36 mile (4 hour) ride and found that my legs felt great after around 20 minutes of riding.
So, for me I think the effects speak for themselves, that a good quality protein shake after a prolonged or intensive training session definitely help to recover and repair fatigued or tired muscles.