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The anabolic window: what is its importance in bodybuilding?

Posted by Jean Baptiste on

The anabolic window: what is its importance in bodybuilding?

The "anabolic window" is a concept in bodybuilding that refers to a period of time after training during which the body is more sensitive to absorbing nutrients, particularly protein, for recovery and muscle growth . According to this theory, consuming protein within 30 to 60 minutes of training is essential for maximizing muscle growth. There have been several studies on the anabolic window that suggest that consuming protein post-workout can be beneficial for muscle growth. Here are some examples of studies:

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 1992 showed that muscle protein synthesis was higher in subjects who consumed a protein supplement immediately after training compared to those who waited two hours after training. .

Another study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 showed that consuming a mixture of protein and carbohydrates after exercise stimulated muscle protein synthesis and improved muscle recovery in elderly subjects.

Finally, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2013 showed that post-workout protein consumption was more effective in improving muscle protein synthesis and muscle recovery than pre-workout protein consumption. training or during training.

However, it should be noted that not all studies are unanimous on the existence and duration of the anabolic window. Some studies have shown that muscle protein synthesis can be stimulated up to 24 hours after exercise, while others have shown that consuming protein after exercise is not more effective in stimulating muscle growth. than consuming protein at other times of the day. It is therefore important to consider the results of different studies and consult a health professional or nutritionist to determine individual nutritional needs.

There is no clear scientific consensus on whether an anabolic window exists or how long it lasts. Some studies suggest that there may be an anabolic window that lasts up to 48 hours after exercise, while others have shown that there is no clearly defined anabolic window.

Despite this controversy, it is important to note that post-exercise protein consumption is important for recovery and muscle growth, regardless of the existence or duration of an anabolic window. Protein provides essential amino acids that help repair damaged muscles and stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which is the key process in muscle growth. You can consume concentrated whey protein , the most common product, which remains very effective. You can also opt for a protein isolate or Whey Isolate, which is generally more concentrated, and contains no lactose, fat or sugar thanks to slightly different filtration. Another choice with the advent of vegetable proteins, pea or soy in particular, which are generally very concentrated, and offer an increasingly optimized dissolution profile.

Protein consumption after exercise is important for recovery and muscle growth for several physiological reasons:

  • Muscle Protein Synthesis: When you exercise, muscles experience microscopic damage that must be repaired to allow muscle growth. Consuming protein immediately after exercise provides muscles with the amino acids needed for muscle protein synthesis, which are used to repair damaged muscle tissue and promote muscle growth. Note that this synthesis will be all the easier if you take a BCAA supplement, ideally supplemented with Glutamine, as in BCAA Instant .
  • Increased insulin: Consuming carbohydrates after exercise increases insulin secretion, which can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis by increasing the delivery of amino acids to the muscles.
  • Decreased muscle protein breakdown: During exercise, the body releases catabolic hormones like cortisol, which can break down muscle proteins. Consuming protein after exercise can help reduce this breakdown by providing amino acids for muscle tissue repair.
  • Metabolism regulation: Consuming protein after exercise can also help regulate metabolism by increasing basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn at rest) and decreasing appetite, which can help control weight gain.

In summary, although the concept of the anabolic window is controversial, it is important to consume protein post-exercise for recovery and muscle growth. Optimal protein intake after exercise will depend on factors such as the type of exercise, intensity, duration, and each individual's fitness goals. However, according to the latest recommendations from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), it is suggested to consume approximately 0.4 to 0.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight within 2 hours after training to maximize the muscle protein synthesis and promote muscle recovery. For a 70 kg individual, this represents approximately 28 to 35 grams of protein post-workout. Recommended protein sources include protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes and protein supplements. It is also important to note that consuming protein throughout the day and not just after training is essential to maintain a positive protein balance and support muscle growth, which is why Stimium has released the ProBar bars, 11 grams of low-fat and low-sugar proteins, to supplement daily protein intake. Myth or reality about this notion of anabolic window: whatever the nutritional needs of each individual, protein consumption remains key to effective training and the search for performance.

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