Protein After Workout Time Frame
If you've ever found yourself in the protein trap, where you are terrified of your hard-earned muscle wasting away without more protein, then you'll know that it's not just about the quality and how much protein you take in.
The proteins you ingest are broken down into small building blocks called amino acids which are the basic requirements for synthesizing muscle. Sports science tells us that the protein window that will help your muscle repair from an intense workout is around 90 minutes.
But more protein does not mean more repair, according to Dr. Nate Miyaki, that is a nutrition specialist who wrote the Intermittent Feast, says "there is only so much protein the body can use for tissue construction". In his book it is less than 1 gram of protein for each pound of bodyweight a day. He says explains that consuming any more than that, will just go to waste.
The timing, or the "anabolic window" is the period of time just after your intense workout that will lead to your best recovery rate. This time frame will range from person to person but it is between 45 minutes and 1-hour post-workout.
According to Miyaki, it is vitally important post workout because you need to provide your body immediately with fuel source, preventing it from turning catabolic and breaking down its own muscle-tissue for energy. Miyaki advises weight trainers to include fast digesting carbs together with protein after a workout.
The protein helps to repair the muscle and the simple, fast digesting carbs help to spare your body's energy source. Miyaki cautions that not consuming protein within the anabolic window is as important as what you do in your overall diet. He explains that the ability of your body to access the amino acids it needs when required will speed up recovery. Suggesting that if you eat all your protein requirement for the day in one sitting, you'll not get the full benefit.
To get the most out of your training, you should consume a meal, whole-food or in liquid form within the first hour after working out. Your meal or shake should contain protein with fast-digesting carbs. This prevents your body using its own muscle-tissue and encourages muscle synthesis, getting better results with a faster recovery for the next workout session.
Immediately after your workout, you will enter a process sports science calls EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). This is your body's elevated rate of metabolism it uses to help it recover, to refuel and to adapt to the intense workout you've just completed. Your EPOC levels will be highest immediately after exercise, thus creating an ideal time frame for a post-workout drink.
Sports science took a close look at the best time for protein post-workout and concluded the prime muscle recovery time is to consume your protein within the first 30 minutes after exercise. This is when the depleted muscles are at their best to receive fuel to power recovery. Your protein you consume doesn't act alone when feeding your muscles. Your body prefers the carbohydrates and protein combination of 3-to-1 ratio for best recovery.
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