Post Training Nutrition – Anabolic Window
When looking to make gain in lean muscle mass you must take advantage of the Anabolic Window. This is the period of time after hard training when you have depleted your muscles of glycogen (the energy used in anaerobic exercise). If you dont supply yourself with the energy and protein needed to start immediate repair to the damage you’ve done to yourself, your body will go catabolic (muscle watage) and attack your muscle tissue to find these nutrients. To maximise results you cannot overlook this window of opportunity.
But what to take in.. Glycogen is made in your body from sugar, which is broken down from carbohydrates. As your body is in such immediate need for sugar you go for High GI carbohydrates, the fast acting carbs (as opposed to oats etc, low Gi which takes too long to absorb). Which sugar you go for is also important. Fruit (fructose) is not ideal as this sugar is lower Gi and likely to be stored. Starch (potatoes, rice etc) is ok and will do he job, but again not perfect. Everyday sugar (glucose) is half fructose, half dextrose, so is a bit better (sugary sweets etc). The best fastest acting sugar to have is pure dextrose, which can be bought in health food stores, or found in powdery suagry sweets (jelly tots). Dextrose is the perfect fast acting sugar to quickly restore muscle glycogen.
With these fast acting carbs you must also take in Protein, which are amino acids (which is muscle tissue). So taking in carbs and protein while Anabolic makes sure you are getting the bricks and mortar to the muscles at a vital stage. A liquid protein/carb source is best because of its easy absorption. Fats or fibre of any kind will only slow down the absorption process (as they are slow digesting).
Aim to take in 0.5gms of protein and 0.5gms of carbs per kilo bodyweight directly after training to replace lost glycogen stores.
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Thanks Izetta. Its primarily for my PT clients to gather some extra info, but if other people can learn from it too.. brilliant :)