What is an Anabolic Window – And How Can You Optimize Yours Post-Workout?

Do you want to get bigger and stronger muscles? Optimal muscle growth goes way beyond your actual weight training. It relies on post training nutrition, with proper protein and carbohydrate consumption. 

What is the Anabolic Window? 

Many people believe there is a thirty minute time period after training, called an anabolic window, in which it’s best to consume proper proteins and carbohydrates to get optimal muscle recovery.

The anabolic window is based on your body’s anabolic response after training. After training, your body is in an anabolic state, which involves a cellular process that assists with muscle repair and growth fueled by certain proteins and carbohydrates.

Achieving Net Muscle Protein Balance

The balance between muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown determines muscle growth in a process referred to as net muscle protein balance. To increase muscle size, the suppression of muscle protein breakdown would need to solely target specific proteins called myofibrillar. Unfortunately, muscle protein breakdown targets many protein types. This suggests that limiting muscle protein breakdown through post training nutrition may hinder proper recovery after training.

Remember, Many Factors Affect Muscle Growth

There are many factors that that affect muscle growth and recovery, like age, training routine and hormones to name a few. At this point, we do not know enough about the response of various individual proteins. We also know very little about how nutrition interventions impact other certain proteins.

How Long is the Anabolic Window, Really? 

There currently isn’t enough hard evidence to show that the anabolic window is only thirty minutes long. Some experts believe it may be as much as two hours after training.

Research shows that it is not as short or as simple as it seems. Every body is different! We encourage you to practice good nutrition and consume healthy proteins and carbohydrates after a workout. If your existing training and post-workout routine works for you, keep it going and stay strong.