This area of discussion over the last 20 years has been shrouded with information and assumption. When I first started training around 2001, the “Anabolic Window” was something that was thrown around a lot. It was though that if you didn’t consume the necessary food or nutrition within 20 minutes after the end of your workout or else your entire workout would go to waste!
Then it eventually moved from 20 minutes to 30 minutes, then a few years later it expanded to 45 minutes. The truth is that if you consume nutrition pre workout and post workout with in a certain time frame, your body will utilize these nutrients for muscle recovery and development.
The reality is that unless you have specific goals, or sports performance goals that you simply won’t require special nutritional needs. You’ll only need a well balanced meal within 1-2 hours pre workout for optimal performance and then another well balanced meal within 1-2 hours post workout for optimal recovery.
Needs for specific populations
Endurance Athlete or Sports – If you are performing in regular games/matches or competitions on the weekends and require long hours of exercise your caloric intake is likely needing to be higher. You could also add a protein and carbohydrate drink during training or a carbohydrate drink.
Protein recommendations would be to add a somewhat slow release protein like Whey Protein Concentrate. For taste sake I would add an unflavored protein since most of the carbohydrate drinks a fruit flavored.
Bodybuilding – IF you are looking for serious size and strength then again calories are likely to be higher. Similar to endurance athletes you could also utilize a carbohydrate and/or protein during your workout.
Fat loss – Your carbohydrate intake is likely to be much lower and as such you will benefit from performance enhancing supplements such as EAA or BCCA.
EAA Recommendations: All Day You May
Here is a table which would help you decipher your requirements.
|Ectomorph||Muscle gain or endurance support||Eat 1-2 hour prior||P+C Drink, EAA or BCAA During||Consume 1-2 hours after|
|Mesomorph||Fat loss or intermittent sport support||at 1-2 hour prior||P+C Drink, EAA or BCAA During||Consume 1-2 hours after|
|Endomorph||Fat Loss or Strength Support||at 1-2 hour prior||EAA or BCAA During||Consume 1-2 hours after|
As you can see this is basic guideline to pre-workout, intra-workout and post-workout nutrition. IF you stick with these basic principals you’ll be getting exactly what you need most of the time, and as always consult a medical physician prior to any exercise program to ensure safety.
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