If you have been around the fitness industry for a long time then you probably have heard a lot of dedicated trainers tell you that you must consume protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes after your workout or you missing out on the anabolic window.  Meal timing has been gospel since the 80’s and the supplement industry has made millions of dollars on this concept.  But with recent research this concept may not be a mandatory ending to the perfect workout.

Since the early 2000’s studies have been somewhat mixed on the “anabolic window concept” or meal timing widow.  In the early years it was believed that consuming carbohydrates immediately after an intense workout session could help people perform better, get leaner, and stronger.  However most of those studies were short lived.  This means that they may work for the short term meaning for a few weeks or months; but what about the long term?  Will this nutrient timing help for several months or even years?  Unfortunately as long term information began to surface it seemed as though it may not be as important as originally thought.

Does this mean that meal timing may not be all that important?  Well that depends.  You see research studies aren’t perfect.  There are so many different factors that affect how our body responds physiologically it is very difficult to pin point something that will work for everyone.  It is nearly impossible.  The fact of the matter is that nutrient timing is not important for those just trying to look and feel better.

There are several people out there who are so focused on nutrient timing that they often miss out on the other important factors like sleep, lifestyle factors, and eating enough micronutrients.  They get locked in to their training and what is important before and right after while missing out on so many other factors that they often fall short in reaching their goals.  The theory that our bodies are nutrient processing powerhouses right after an intense workout may not be as important as was once thought.

Meal timing

In reality the meal timing window that so many are accustomed to is actually much bigger than once thought.  Studies have shown that it is much larger than a worm hole and more like an airplane hangar door!  Recent studies imply that the total amount of protein and carbohydrates you eat throughout the course of the day has more of a drastic effect on body composition and performance than religiously consuming that post workout protein and carbohydrate shake.

Please do not get me wrong, there are some areas that post nutrient consumption maybe important but for the majority of people it may not be necessary.  The next time you see someone telling you or one of your friends or family members that “this is the only way to get lean or gain muscle mass, or perform better” it may be time to think outside of the box they are trying to put you in.  You see we are all different; not only in personality and beliefs but also in our bodies.  What works for me may not work for you and visa versa.

What I do know is that it takes a lot of trial and error to see what works best for you.  Knowledge is your best friend when it comes to health and fitness.  There is not one blue print that will work for everyone.  If anyone tells you there is then run for the hills!

There are so many factors that contribute to reaching your fitness goals whether it is to gain muscle mass, lose body fat, run faster, run longer, jump higher, and feel better and meal timing is not at the top of the list.  It takes someone who is well versed in body mechanics and nutrition to create a plan to help you.  Even then they will have to change things up a lot in the beginning in order to figure out what will work for YOU.

Studies are being conducted every day in order to try and figure out just how the body works.  Just when they think they have an answer someone comes in with a body that throws all of the data off.  Then they start over.  Just like you, trial and error.  Once they find something that works for one test subjects they find that it does not work for the others.

In summary, meal timing may not be as important as once thought especially for those who are just looking to look and feel better.  It still has some solid data that shows it is important for some of the elite athletes out there but not so much for the everyday fitness enthusiast.  What is REALLY important, and seems steady through all studies, is that making sure you are getting the right amount of protein and carbohydrates, and other important nutrients, throughout the day is a sure way to make sure your body has what it needs to fulfill the demands you place on it.

Leave a comment

Follow DedicatioPT

Welcome to our website, where your journey to a healthier, stronger, and more vibrant you begins! At DedicationPT, we’re thrilled to embark on this wellness adventure with you.


DedicationPT © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Designed by KetchupConsulting.com | Web Design and Consulting in Temecula