I’d like to discuss a concept or term most of us will be familiar with – the post-training anabolic window, or “Window of Opportunity” as it has came to be known. For those unfamiliar with this concept, it is basically the time period after a workout where the body is most accepting of nutrients to refuel fatigued muscles and begin the repair/ rebuilding process.

Now, I would like to discuss the importance of this window and the long term impact it has on physique changes if strictly adhered to – ie, if a post-workout meal is always consumed within 30 minutes of the end of a workout.

My views on the subject are that it is not a singular workout that creates an impressive physique. Similarly, it is not a singular meal which completely replenishes fuel and rebuilds the muscle. Rather it is an accumulation of workout after workout and meal after meal that slowly builds and changes ones structure to whatever he/she is intending (if training and eating correctly).

Therefore, I do not truly understand the obsession with having to immediately consume a post-workout shake after training – I believe that, as long as a post-training meal is consumed consistently within a reasonable timeframe, then the body will have all tools necessary to begin and complete the desired rebuilding processes.

There is too many people out there in the training world putting too much emphasis on this post-training shake that all other meals during the day seem to fade into insignificance – believing that one shake will be enough for them to reach their goals, that 25g of protein powder will be all the body needs until the next workout.

Which brings me to a side discussion – whether whey protein concentrate is inferior to whey isolate or hydrolysed whey post-workout. I have no doubt that science has proved that whey isolates and hydrolysed whey absorb quicker into the bloodstream than whey concentrate, but is whey concentrate really that slow in comparison? And is it worth paying the extra premium for the faster digesting proteins in the long run? Sometimes people prefer to have whole food meals post-training instead of a shake, which is perfectly fine – as your body is still going to be receiving the nutrients it craves so long as you are consuming a lean protein source and carbohydrate source.

What I am trying to conclude here is that it is not the immediacy of a trainees post-workout shake, or the quality of their protein powder which will make the biggest difference to their physique, it is the training and diet quality and consistency that is the decisive factor. You aren’t going to obtain a better physique than someone who is training hard and eating well all day just by consuming your post-workout shake 10 minutes earlier than they do. It takes years to build a physique you can truly be proud of. So save your money; buy a whey protein concentrate; have it as soon as you can after your workout – but don’t worry if its sometimes an hour afterwards; train hard and eat right for the rest of the day according to your goals. But most of all, train and eat well consistently.

Now, relax and watch your body evolve into what you dreamed of.

Consistency is King !


Martin Barrett

Smokin’ Guns Fitness

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