Anabolic Window: Do You Really Need A Protein Shake 'Within Minutes' After A Workout?
Have you seen people running to grab their shakers immediately after they have finished the last rep of their workout? I am sure you have. That’s not unusual at all. Some are even scared that they have forgotten the protein shake at his home and need to rush. What if I told you that the so called ‘anabolic window’, is just a big myth and you can consume your protein shake within an hour and still have the same results? Well, before you roll your eyes, read on.
Understanding The Science Behind The Concept Of Anabolic Window
It’s actually believed that once you finish your workout, your body turns anabolic and to trigger maximum protein synthesis, you need to consume protein immediately post your workout or else, your body will suffer from muscle catabolism. Also, people training for hypertrophy (size building), need to have their protein shake immediately so that body starts the repairing process ASAP.
It’s Actually These Supplement Companies Who Are To Be Blamed For Creating This Myth.
Supplement manufacturers conduct in-house studies to show that their products give an edge over the others and show pro-athletes drinking protein shakes immediately after their workouts. People watch all this gimmickry and start believing that the secret formula is inside that shaker and head on to spend their hard earned money.
What The Research Actually Says
This is what the manufacturers tell you and this is what the actual science says. Studies conducted by NCBI (National Centre for Biochemistry Information) show that ‘despite the common recommendation to consume protein as soon as possible post-exercise, evidence-based support for this practice is currently lacking.’ Another study by Tipton et al. from NCBI, found no significant difference in net Muscle Protein Synthesis between the ingestion of 20g of whey immediately pre-workout versus the same solution consumed 1 hour post-exercise. Moreover, it’s actually your total intake of protein in a day that matters the most for overall muscle protein synthesis and not just immediate protein consumption.
So What Should You Do?
So does that mean that you should never carry your protein shake along to the gym? No, there is one situation where the ‘short anabolic window’ hypothesis holds true. When you are training in a state of fasting where you have not had anything overnight, a collateral increase in muscle protein breakdown causes the pre-exercise net negative amino acid balance to persist in the post-exercise period so it makes complete sense to feed your body immediately after your workout. Ideally it should be a combination of protein and carbohydrates and not just the protein shakes alone, for the purposes of promoting muscle protein synthesis and reducing proteolysis, thereby switching a net catabolic state into an anabolic one.
Stop Rushing For That Shaker Like Your Life Depends On It!
In simple words and to conclude, while post-workout nutrition is important, it is not necessary to rush for your protein shake immediately after completing your weight training. I know your gym trainers and bodybuilding gurus have been suggesting you take your shakes immediately after your workout but even if you drink that protein shake a few minutes later, your muscles will grow at the same rate. The immediate need for post-workout nutrition arises when you workout on an empty stomach after waking up in the morning or you have not had anything 4–6 hours prior to commencing your exercises in the evening.
Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer , Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of thewebsite where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him throughFacebook andYoutube.
Note- The article just lays down the properties of sprouts. For successful fat loss or muscle, you will need to align your calorie intake with your goal. Sprouts are one of the healthiest food items out there.
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