Updated: Jan 17
Most have heard the concept that following strength training or high intensity exercise there is a small, approximately 30 minute, “anabolic window” of time where you have to get protein in your system to drive muscular repair and preserve the gains you just made while working out.
And if the window is missed?
Gains. Lost. Gone. Bye.
Fortunately, this is not the case. What needs to be discussed is when you’re training relative to your last meal. The idea of the “anabolic window”, is largely based on training in a fasted state. Typically, an overnight fast.
For instance, eating dinner at 7PM, not eating again before your 7AM workout and waking up hungry.
Quick Concept Time!
When you exercise, muscle protein breakdown (catabolism) increases and following exercise there is an increase in muscle protein synthesis (anabolism). You break muscle down during the workout and your body uses proteins/amino acids to rebuild you. To make you better, faster, stronger.
Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.
When you exercise in a fasted state, catabolism is amplified, so the post-workout meal/shake is more important to pull you out of the catabolic nosedive and get the body back in the business of building muscle. But remember, this only applies if you work out in a fasted state!