Nutrition is a hugely integral part of any healthy pursuit, be it sport specific training, rehabilitative training, weight loss, or muscle gain. I have stressed many times over my 20 years as an Austin personal trainer, the importance of a proper and balanced diet that not only caters to your taste buds, but one that works for you and the pursuit of your health and fitness goals. If the menu items are unappealing to you, there’s a much diminished chance that you’ll stick with it and conversely, if the menu items aren’t nutritionally sound for your body’s needs and goals, you’re just spinning your wheels. Let’s say you have an idea of what to eat in order to maximize your gains, but the big remaining question that looms is “when should you eat”?
Technically, the anabolic window does exist! After you train and break down your muscles, your body’s rate of protein synthesis increases, but it doesn’t just last for 2 hours. In fact, the “anabolic window” lasts for approximately 36 hours post training! Here is a well-controlled study on this specific topic. If you don’t like reading studies, the study simply observed an increase in protein synthesis by 50% post training and 109% 24 hours AFTER your training session! By the time it has been 36 hours, protein synthesis rate declines and returns to baseline levels. However, this is only if you DO NOT train within those 36 hours. If you are following an intelligently designed exercise program, you will most likely train within 36 hours of every training sessions. Thus, your protein synthesis rate will probably stay elevated as you long as you are training frequently. So, according to these finding, should you eat whatever 24 hours after your training sessions? Obviously, not. Which shows why consuming “fasting acting carbs” and fast acting protein immediately after training is mere speculation.