If you’ve been around the fitness industry for even a small amount of time you’ve likely heard the echo chamber proclaiming that you have a small window of opportunity after your workout to get specific post workout nutrition into your body in order to have your muscles recover properly with nutrient timing.
This seems like a reasonable claim. However, does the research back this up? Or is it just a convenient and cleverly devised way to sell you another protein shake?
In today’s video we’re going to do a deep dive into the actual research, and I’m going to show you that – the anabolic window and this type of nutrient timing in general – is indeed a myth.
Claim – eating immediately after workout can inhibit the proper inflammation response to signal recovery pathways to begin. The increase in muscle protein synthesis and insulin sensitivity lasts far longer than the proclaimed 30-45 min window.
Definition – Also known as the metabolic window, commonly referred to as nutrient timing, is the period of time after training where insulin sensitivity and protein synthesis is increased and allows for more nutrient uptake of cells.
The Current Bro Strategy – Ingestion of quick digesting protein and carbohydrates within 30-45 minutes post workout to see benefits in body composition, performance, and recovery.
Is This Post Workout Meal Strategy Best?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21289204 (This study shows that the sensitizing effect of exercise lasts for at least 24 hours post exercise.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9044226 (This study shows that there was no difference in glucose and insulin between groups who were fed 0-4 hours post exercise or 2-6 hours. As long as sufficient carbs are ingested there is no difference in either group during recovery period.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2055849?dopt=Abstract (This study shows that 2 hours post exercise without caloric intake there was still significant replacement of glycogen storage.)
https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-5 ( evidence suggesting that anything within 3-6 hours of post workout activity will still allow for anabolic recovery. Also claims that most evidence to support this post-workout anabolism theory is hypothetical.)
http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/12750588 (This study goes to support that muscle protein synthesis doesn’t even increase until 195 minutes after exercise.)
https://nebraska.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/the-effects-of-whey-protein-and-leucine-supplementation-on-streng (This study showed that the consumption of whey plus leucine during a workout had no effect on strength, muscle endurance or body composition.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19214338 (This study done on older individuals showed that a higher dietary protein intake had no difference on body composition, skeletal muscle fiber size in responses to resistance training.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19106243 (This study showed that in men who consumed adequate amount of protein in their diet had no benefit in muscle mass or strength when consuming protein before or after exercise.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17609259 (In this study the subjects were given co-ingestion of protein and carbs during a 6 hour post workout window and showed now difference in carb supplementation as long as adequate protein was consumed.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22460474 (Shows that protein supplementation has no advantageous effect on positive adaptations of exercise when consumed before and after exercise.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26154345 (This study shows that in untrained males there was no benefit in consuming post exercise protein supplementation.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28328712 (Showed post exercise protein supplementation had no effect on muscle size and strength and maintenance during a 2 week period of detraining.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25355074 (Shows that there is an increase in f-free mass with protein supplementation in older adults but has no effect on muscle strength or size.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19478342 (This 10 week study showed that protein timing in athletes had no added benefit to strength, power, or body composition.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16896166 (Show that there is no benefit to of anabolic response to ingestion of timed post workout meal intact protein.)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20977582 (This study showed the obese individuals there was no benefit from protein timing in a calorically restrictive diet with resistance training.)
https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/jphysiol.2009.177220 (Shows anabolic hormones increased from exercise does not increase protein synthesis within the cell.)
Confused about post workout nutrition and how to eat – take the Thermo Diet quiz – https://thermodiet.com/quiz