‘1 Hour Anabolic Window’ Or ‘24 Hour Anabolic Window’?

Silly question? Maybe, maybe not…everyone knows about the anabolic window right, the time when muscle protein synthesis potential is at its highest? If you don't then our experienced customers will have probably heard of it, but just because you know about something, does that necessarily make it right? Let’s take a look…

Protein ingestion timing is a hot subject in the fitness and supplement world, and for good reason, because what and when you eat is a key element to the efficacy to stimulating post-exercise muscle protein i.e. growing muscle! It is well established how the direct ingestion of protein following cessation of exercise leads to a more positive protein balance than if the protein is consumed later on. So it is important to ensure that you get protein in as soon after exercise as you can in order to maximise muscle growth, hence the 30-60min anabolic window!

This said though, what is important to remember is that the ‘muscle synthesis effect of exercise’ on stimulating muscle growth after eating is maintained up to 24 hours after exercise. Consequently, the optimal time for protein ingestion is not just within 1 hour after exercise, but also within the 24 hours after! Yes, you might argue that you always need to be feeding your muscles with protein, and you’d be right, the best rule is to consume 20-25g protein every 2-3 hours, but the optimal window i.e. when muscles are at their most anabolic (ready to grow) is within 24 hours after exercise.

So in order to feed your muscles most effectively, consume a whey protein shake within 30mins after exercise, and a casein protein shake before bed at night.

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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