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What Is The Post Workout Anabolic Window?
The post workout anabolic window refers to a period of time immediately following intense exercise, when the body begins the process of rebuilding damaged tissue and restoring energy supplies. The body completes this task by turning simple substances like protein and sugar into the complex materials of living tissue. The simple example is an athlete who bench presses until he or she can no longer move the weight. This muscle failure is caused by small tears forming in the muscle fiber and the exhaustion of atp and glycogen stored in the muscle. The body, in response, recruits materials from the content of our diet to repair the muscle. Because the body is always evolving, to better prepare itself for life, it begins by rebuilding the muscle with more tissue and expanded atp and glycogen capacity. This causes the muscle to grow in size and increases its overall endurance. The athlete, therefor, becomes stronger and in future bench press sessions will be able to move more weight for longer periods of time.
Understanding the post workout anabolic window is important to athletes because it allows them, to tailor their body's post workout response, to match their athletic goals. By eating the right foods, in the right amount, at the right times, an athlete can ensure that the body is receiving all the materials it needs. If the athlete combines overall healthy nutritional habits with the right quantity of food and in an efficient and easily digestible form, he can maximize the body's recuperating capacities. The athlete has already put in the work; now he is simply trying to make sure that he gets the best physical return for his efforts. Think of it like making sure you get the best value for your money when you make a purchase, or the best rate of return on your savings.
So, what do we know about the post work out window? Unfortunately, much of the scientific study is contradictory, regarding everything from the duration of the window, to the amount of material the body can absorb, to the best types of foods to eat. It has been suggested that the post workout window is anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours long! There is, however, a general consensus that during the window the body needs water and protein more than any other material. And, that the best way to get protein into the body is by drinking multiple, easily digested, protein shakes.
Although, the scientific research is unclear, it is clear that an overall healthy diet and plenty of post workout protein shakes are essential to maximizing your body's ability to get bigger, stronger and stay healthy.