Avid gym goers and body builders know full
well that they need to have a post workout meal if they want to capitalize on their muscle
gains. Eating within the feeding window of 1 hour after workout is a must if you want
to build muscle. But does this window actually exist or is it all bro science?
The feeding window belief stems from research showing that immediately after workout, insulin
levels spike rapidly for a few hours, priming the body for synthesizing new muscle, limiting
exercise-induced muscle loss, and restoring energy levels. By eating while insulin levels
are highs, the body will theoretically maximize the digested nutrients to take advantage of
these benefits. Fortunately, it’s not bro science at all.
Multiple studies showed that consuming 20-40 grams of protein within 2 hours following
workout indeed significantly increased muscle growth compared to consuming more than 4 hours
later. Along with muscle growth, strength and energy levels increased as well.
However, there might be some problems with these studies. Nutrition and fitness experts
Alan Aragon and Brad Schoenfeld found a couple of alarming problems . They pointed out that
in the majority of these studies, the subjects consisted of only elderly males or untrained
young males, making the results unsubstantial for any other demographic. Another problem
they found is that in most cases, tested subjects were consuming way more protein than their
control counterparts, skewing results in their favor. On top of these problems, there are
also several studies that DO NOT show any benefit to a post-workout meal.
With all this being said, having a post-workout meal still isn’t really a bad thing. Just
having any sort of planned protein consumption can improve your fitness results. Whether
you plan to have a post-workout meal or not, just know that, at the end of the day, it