Protein window - myth or reality?


Protein window - myth or reality

Anyone who has ever tried to learn the basics of proper nutrition, faced with popular opinion that after an intense workout offers so-called protein-carbohydrate window.

Indeed all the popular fitness magazines, books, online portals promote the same theory, which States that – "In the next 20 to 30 minutes after a workout, you need to take foods rich in protein and carbohydrates. This is the only time it is acceptable to include in the diet of carbohydrates with relatively high glycemic index, that is, fast carbohydrates.

In this period of time in the body open so-called post-workout, anabolic or protein-carbohydrate window. For this reason, the nutrition after a workout is necessary, mainly for muscle recovery and activation of their growth, as almost all nutrients are included in anabolic processes."

Actually it's no more than a theory. But if to consider this question from a scientific point of view, it becomes clear that this is nothing more than out-of-context facts and they are entirely contrary to human physiology.

After workouts in the body really start the recovery process.


After the working condition of the body called the recovery period. Distinguish between urgent (early) and delayed restoration (late period).

Urgent restoration is the process of eliminating accumulated during the exercise products of metabolism (metabolites), and elimination of the formed oxygen debt.

It takes place directly after the end of each exercise and lasts for 30-90 minutes after the training.

Delayed recovery return to baseline energy resources of the body, increased synthesis of structural proteins and enzymes. It applies to many relaxing hours after work.

During the period of delayed recovery, the accumulation of glycogen in muscle and liver; these reduction processes occur within 12 to 48 h. What is the source of glycogen synthesis? First of all getting into the blood lactic acid.

It enters liver cells, where the first synthesis of glucose, and glucose is the immediate construction material for glikiencintetaza that catalyzes the synthesis of glycogen.

If the consumption of glycogen in the muscles was very high and to synthesize it in large quantities, glycogen content in the liver at the beginning of the rest may even slightly decrease because of enhanced delivery of glucose in the muscles.

For resynthesis of glycogen in muscle is not sufficient internal funds of the substrate, it is necessary to intake extra carbohydrates with food.

That is, in simple words – after training you must consume carbohydrates for recovery, but not in the next 30-60 minutes, and within 12-48 hours. Then there is no need to worry about post-workout food will take.

Unable to eat immediately after the workout – nothing.


The main significance for the organism is the total number of carbohydrates consumed per day!

After resynthesis of body energy reserves significantly strengthens the processes of resynthesis of phospholipids and proteins, especially after heavy power operation, which is accompanied by a significant collapse. The restoration of the level of structural and enzymatic proteins occurs within 12 - 72 hours.

That is, there is no urgent need immediately after your workout to consume a large amount of proteins. Until the body will not restore glycogen stores, protein synthesis will not start. Again it only matters the total quantity consumed per day of protein.

Here is the situation from the point of view of physiology. And it's not just a theory. There are many studies confirming this concept.

So stop believing the popular fitness magazines, books, diet forums, and would-be trainers that repeats the same myth.

Read the textbooks of biochemistry and physiology, believe only scientific facts!

Protein-carbohydrate window no! Rather it is, but wide open within 12-72 hours after exercise.

There is no need immediately after your workout to sit at the table, no need to be afraid of catabolic processes and destruction of muscles.

Your main task – to keep an accurate count of the total number of nutrients entering food during the day. You really need to know how much protein, fat and carbs per day you consume. Well, one of them already under construction total calorie intake.

To summarize. Protein-carbohydrate window after a workout does not exist.

Only matters the total quantity consumed per day of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
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