What exactly is Post workout nutrition or the Anabolic window ( AKA “ the window of opportunity”)
Post workout nutrition has generally three purposes:
1. Replenish glycogen or energy stores 2. Decrease protein breakdown (increase muscle size and/or muscle quality) 3. Increase protein synthesis ( repair any muscle damage during the workout)
Various studies have indicated that proper post workout nutrition have the following benefits: • Improved recovery • Less muscle soreness • Increased ability to build muscle • Improved immune function • Improved bone mass • Improved ability to utilize body fat
In order to restore energy and to decrease protein breakdown and increase protein synthesis your post nutrition should be carbohydrates and protein. A recovery drink that contains rapidly digesting carbohydrates and proteins is recommended as typically a whole meal is not tolerable. Studies show that recovering with your post workout drink within 30 – 45 minutes and eating a meal within 1-2 hours after your workout aids in rebuild and recovery.
Your post workout drink should be saved for your strength, interval, and endurance training, If your workout is cardio based and your goal is weight loss focus on the calorie deficit and not the recovery drink unless your overall energy intake from food is low.
As always, be sure to discuss your goals with a registered dietitian.