Protein-carbohydrate window, or what to eat after a workout

Protein-carbohydrate window is the condition of the body caused by intense physical activity, in which the importance of consuming carbohydrate and protein foods especially justified.

Why the “window”? Because in this time and carbohydrates, and proteins from the digestive system into the body more rapidly than usual. At this time they are in demand as never before. Moreover, they fall into the

cells are physiologically much easier. There are different opinions about how long a period of time, but often indicated on the first 30-60 min after the end of classes.

Post-workout carbohydrates and proteins in demand and assimilate the best way for the reason that the body needs to replace worn out of energy. Therefore, the length of the protein-carbohydrate window is determinedby the recovery of energy losses (and this, nothing less – 24-48 hours – depends on the individual characteristics of each person and the degree of loading). However, the faster the body will receive the important macronutrients, the better. Since the recovery of muscles and the whole body is not the only task which could be solved using the power.

Other tasks that are solved the first meal after a workout:

the diet after the workout determines the duration of the burst catabolic reactions caused by athletic exercises. Indeed, during exercise our muscles do not grow, but rather depleted (although visually they become bigger thanks to the blood flow, which in large amounts is present in the muscles in the best case, an hour ).

the diet after exercise triggers a surge of anabolic processes that stimulate further muscle synthesis, and responding at the level of intensity of these processes.

Objective No. 1: to stop the high surge of catabolism

To stop the surge of catabolism is possible only in one way –a splash of anabolism. Catabolic and anabolic processes are controlled in the body by hormones. To initiate a burst of anabolism, it is necessary to stimulate anabolic hormones. In turn, anabolic hormones will block and inhibit catabolic (cortisol, adrenaline).

First anabolic hormone, easily managed diet is the insulin. Its level in blood can easily increase when you receive:

foods with a high glycemic index (listropadnyi products: gainer, white bread, confectionaries, sweets and other sugary foods);

foods with a high insulin index (milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, white rice, bread, bananas, apples, grapes, chocolate, fish, meat, all foods with saturated fats);

any food (a standard dose of insulin is produced in response to the intake of any food product to be transported derived from it the nutrients to the body cells).

To the negative effects of catabolism during training should begin in a state of high insulin concentrations in the blood. In other words, before you practice it is important to eat food that increases the hormone (many of the “chemists” to solve this problem of insulin injections).

Growth hormone and increase testosterone when taken carbohydrate-protein foods, fats omega-3 class. In addition, a stimulator of testosterone are vitamins E, A and b, as well as trace elements such as zinc and magnesium.

Problem # 2: run the replenishment of energy loss

The problem is solved by intake of foods rich in carbohydrates. A typical example — weight gainer . Other carbohydrate foods which are not worse gainer is fruit (especially bananas and grapes), honey, jam, all sorts of “Snickers” and other sugar-containing products.

Besides, as writes S. Shestopalov, ” legumes, such as beans or peas . very effectively recover after athletic training. Moreover, the impact of legumes is not so easy to explain, because they contain easily digestible simple carbohydrates, and complex, which are digested and absorbed not in the sample longer. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the legumes, along with bread and pasta is wonderful recover wasted glycogen if you eat them immediately after training” (S. Shestopalov Bodybuilding. Rostov-on-don, 2000. 192 p.).

Other sources said about the special properties of cacao , which restores depleted muscle is not worse than the gainer (Gilson SF, et al. Effects of chocolate milk consumption on markers of muscle recovery during intensified soccer training // Medicine &Science in Sports & Exercise. 2009. Vol. 41.). Moreover, scholars who have studied the influence of drink cocoa (with milk) at the athletes recognize it as the best available tool for muscle recovery after a workout.

Objective No. 3: to create conditions for further muscle anabolism

This task is in tune with the first, because the stop catabolism (surge) triggers the mechanisms of anabolism. However, to ensure muscle growth is necessary to create conditions deep anabolic background. This requires only one thing: increased amino acid levels in the blood. It can improve with the help of easily digested high-protein food. Traditional option – a protein drink (whey protein isolate or hydrolysate or a protein shake from «home» ingredients). Other sources of quick protein: boiled eggs, low fat milk and low-fat dairy products (cheese, yogurt, kefir), lean (cooked) fish (Alaska Pollock, hake, pike, perch, etc.). Products such as meat, fish fat content of more than 5-10% fat milk, cheeses, nuts, legumes, including soy, are proteins for a long period of assimilation. They provide a steady flow of amino acids into the blood (which is important for the ongoing maintenance of anabolic background), however, does not lead to a significant increase in amino acid level that is required at the time of the protein of the window.


Immediately after the actual workout is the consumption of carbohydrate and protein foods. At the same time — and vitamins.

Carbohydrates and proteins taken after exercise, decide a number of problems associated with the restoration of muscle tissue and its subsequent increase (hypertrophy).

There is a wide selection of products that meet the needs of protein-carbohydrate window. Most of them can simultaneously satisfy the conditions for the solution of all problems facing post-workout nutrition.

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