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Muscle-Building Secrets for 2018 – Post-Training Sports Nutrition

By: Miri Haddad, Clinical Dietician

אבקות חלבון איזולט - מה מייחד אותן?

Muscle-Building Secrets for 2018 – Post-Training Sports Nutrition

What is an anabolic window, and how long is it?

Know those people who open a tub of cottage cheese or tuna in the dressing room at the gym? And the ones who always have a protein bar in their workout bag to eat on the way home after their workout? It’s not because they’re so hungry or they can’t wait. Actually, they probably don’t really enjoy eating in a cloud of steam or while their walking or driving. If you ask them what’s so urgent, they’ll answer that they’re rushing to eat. They’ll give you the usual speech about how after a workout, there’s a 45-minute anabolic window when you need to consume a large quantity of protein, in order to build muscle.

That’s what we used to think. Today, we know that the anabolic window – breakdown of muscle protein – continues for up to 24 hours after the workout. Sports nutrition is still very important post-workout to help build muscle and for optimal recovery. But you don’t have to eat that meal on the wet bench in the shower room, and you don’t have to eat your protein bar while driving – you can keep both hands on the steering wheel.

When should I eat?

The best plan is to spread out protein consumption throughout the day and divide it equally among your meals. In other words, if you’ve eaten properly throughout the day, you can take the time to finish your workout, shower and then eat the meal or protein bar. Still, it’s important to make sure that the break between the pre-workout meal and the post-workout meal is no longer than 4 hours.

What should I eat?

A balanced meal that supplies the optimal sports nutrition includes several components:

  • One serving of protein, such as cheese, egg, chicken, fish, soy or legumes. Try to vary the protein servings on your menu.
  • One serving of vegetables
  • One serving of healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, tahini, walnuts, almonds
  • One serving of whole grain carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, quinoa, rice, burghul, sweet potato. The carbohydrate serving is necessary mainly if you are combining resistance training with aerobic exercise or planning another workout soon after the first one.
    If you don’t have time or energy after the workout to prepare a balanced meal, you can eat a balanced protein bar that will give your body everything it needs.

How much should I eat?

The recommended quantity of protein is 20-40 grams of protein at every main meal and especially the post-workout meal. In addition, it’s important to eat 10-12 grams of vital amino acids, especially leucine. To reach these recommended rations, combine animal protein with soy plant protein. The recommended quantity of carbohydrates post-workout depends on the type of workout, intensity, targets, and recommended daily calorie count.

Post-workout meal recommendations

  • Whatever’s in the fridge: half a tub of cottage cheese + 1 egg + 1-2 slices of whole-wheat bread + 1 TB tahini + vegetable salad
  • Quick muscle-building protein shake: 1 scoop protein powder + 1/2 cup regular or soy milk + one serving of fruit
  • Tasty granola: 200 grams white 3% yogurt + 1 serving of fruit cut into chunks + 3 TB sugarless granola + 3 walnuts + 1/2 TB protein powder
  • Protein bar: read the nutrition information on the back of the bar. Make sure it’s balanced and contains an adequate amount of protein, optimal quantities of fats and carbohydrates, and added vitamins and minerals.