Nutrient Timing is commonly known as a planned macronutrient consumption based on how our body deals with different types of food at different times. One of the most frequently asked questions about nutrient timing is what to eat before and after the workout. When exercising (especially, if we talk about HIIT training), your body loses both fat and muscles. The right food at the right time may make your training way more effective. In this article, I decided to research what actually this anabolic window is and whether it’s really THAT important.
But first, let’s find out what each macro means for our bodies:
Protein is needed to literally build out our body. Without it, especially after the training (which is a stressful experience for us), our body is just breaking down and doesn’t repair itself.
Carbs are energy. We need them to have the power to do the push-ups, squats, and other exercises. When we fuel up ourselves with carbs, we are more enduring while training.
Fats are energy as well, yet they are more responsible for our hormonal balance. They transport vitamins through our body to help us function normally. Without them, it’s impossible to be fully charged.
The first thing that comes to mind when people hear about nutrient timing is the anabolic window. It’s the period after training when our body is in perfect condition to absorb the nutrients. 15–60 minutes after exercise are commonly believed to be the best to eat food. Many professionals and fitness lovers believe that after the workout you immediately need to:
- replenish yourself with carbs to maximize glycogen stores and recover faster;
- eat proteins to help your muscles repair and grow.
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It’s an important thing to mention, yet when your overall food intake wishes to be better, the anabolic window is sabotaged. If you’re not an athlete or professional sportsman, you don’t need to fill yourself with carbs and proteins right away after the training. As for the average person, it’s much important to pay attention to what you eat during the day. If your overall macronutrient diet is appropriate to your goal and body type, THAT’s the thing that matters. However, for most people, the best carb tolerance is 3 hours after the workout. A little reminder: carbs and fats have to be from healthy and nutritious food, not transfats.