Written by: Ethan Kanofsky
"Anabolic Window:" A term used in strength training to describe the 30-minute period after exercise during which nutrition can meaningfully shift the body from a catabolic state to an anabolic one. In other words, nutrient timing post-exercise is thought to be critical in effectively rebuilding muscle tissue for enhanced body composition and performance.
Is this fact? Or fiction? Fear not, we are here to answer that very question!
For many, it is routine to intake some form of Protein after a hard workout, but why? Protein is imperative in the muscle-building process. More specifically, amino acids, the building blocks of the protein itself, are essential in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, and if consumed are known to increase the effectiveness of your training. Simply put, an adequate consumption of protein is immensely helpful in maximizing your training results. Protein is one of the many things your body needs to efficiently recover. Whether that's improving your mile time or gaining mass through hypertrophy-based training.
Scientists' Opinions on the "Anabolic Window:"
The old belief that the anabolic window closes just 30 minutes after a hardcore training session has since been proven unsound. Two decades of research in fact shows contradicting conclusions on this belief. Evidence suggests that this window can extend up to 3 hours before and 4 hours after a workout! This is much longer than the common misconception of 30 minutes! So stress no longer, get your protein within this window and those gains will come!
FICTION! The Anabolic window certainly exists, but the common misconception that it only lasts up to 30 minutes post-exercise is unquestionably questionable. Now, do not use this as an excuse to skip out on nutrition! A healthy pre or post-workout meal consisting mainly of proteins is necessary for continuously making progress inside the gym and out. In order to make the most of your workouts, we recommend you prepare convenient nutritional food options to eat before and after the gym. You have the option of either preparing your own meals or a protein shake or simply purchasing a frozen pre-made meal. You'll be surprised at how many convenient, healthy, and inexpensive alternatives can be found at your local grocery store!
Studies show, that the most efficient way to build muscle mass is to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight! Therefore, you should attempt to consume protein with every meal. It'll make hitting your protein goals 10x easier! A protein rich snack in-between meals definitely wouldn't hurt either. Finding snacks that are low in calories and sugar but high in protein are beneficial in supporting muscle protein synthesis. Don't forget to stay hydrated as-well!
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