So just so you know this is for people who are doing resistance training! And here are the links to the two papers:
- Stark et al.
- Aragon et al.
Quick take home message for everyone! 1.2-2.0g protein per kg body weight, and >44-50kcal per kg body weight
Luckily the truth is the anabolic window is hardly definitive (good news!) as most research bases this on the fact that exercise is done fasted (not us!).
pre-exercise protein ingestion is superior to post-exercise ingestion to promote protein synthesis.
Anabolism is increased 3h postprandial, maximal protein synthesis drops back to baseline and amino acid levels stay high! So the suggestion is whey protein as it’ll be rapidly digested, initiate maximal protein synthesis and provide 3-4g leucine (for max maximal protein synthesis)
MORNING GYM BUNNY?
So research suggest if you are a morning person you should really consider
“immediate nutritional intervention”
combination of protein and carbohydrate (see below, to build muscle and stop it breaking down) and your catabolic state becomes anabolic (win!). The paper even goes so far to claim that if you use this method long term you could cumulatively make an increased rate of gains!
(1-2 HOURS BEFORE EXERCISE)
Because (see above), not everyone is a morning gym buddy and therefore considering exercise in a fasted state. If like me you aren’t good with food prep, research says your pre-workout can function as your post-workout snack depending on size and time of ingestion.
So you need some high-quality protein (e.g. 20g whey protein) 1-2h before your workout and you can forget your post-workout snack! And your next protein rich meal 1-2h later can be used for maximising recovery and anabolism.
(4-6 HOURS BEFORE EXERCISE)
This would be people who might train before lunch or after work. So a post-workout is needed here! Consume 25g protein as soon as possible should be able to reverse the catabolic state. But then if you want to get into it you need to take into consideration how trained you are and how old you are etc.
- Whey protein = increases in strength
- Casein = does not promote strength
- Fat-free milk = promotes increase in lean body mass, strength, muscle hypertrophy and decrease in body fat
- Milk proteins have been shown to be superior to soy proteins in promoting lean body mass and muscle mass development
- However milk doesn’t contain the recommended amount of leucine (3-4g) to promote maximal maximal protein synthesis
Yup it’s not all about the protein! So have a fast-acting carbohydrate (maltodextrin or glucose) with your protein. And the insulin will help leucine modulate protein synthesis efficiently! Lean body mass is increased more with protein + carbohydrate combo than protein alone!
And again amino acids and dextrose are most effective at evoking protein synthesis before to rather than after resistance exercise!
So a quick summary:
- Don’t get too hung up on timings, and if you’re working out close enough to your last meal it will work as your post workout snack!
- Combine protein and carbohydrate for those gains!
Train hard everyone!