For the longest time, fitness enthusiasts have been lead to believe that they need to consume their post-workout shake within one hour after completing their workout, as anything above that would result in you losing all the benefits of the workout. The myth known as the anabolic window has resulted in gym bros carrying their post-workout powders in their shakers to the gym and immediately adding water to their shakers once they're done with their workout. But does the anabolic window even exist?
What does science say?
Research has repeatedly shown that the anabolic window is an absolute myth. While consuming a protein shake post-workout can help you reach your daily protein goals, it is important to understand that what you eat throughout the day determines how fast you build muscle and hit your fitness goals. Research has shown that maintaining constant levels of amino acids in your body/bloodstream is the best way to ensure that your muscles get a constant supply of amino acids that help repair the damage done to them while in the gym.
Can you build muscle without protein shakes?
The short answer is Yes! and anyone who says otherwise does not have your best interest at heart. Supplements should only add value to your overall nutrition and should help you reach your protein goals. How fast you build muscle depends on how much sleep do you get, how well do you eat throughout the day, your hydration, and the amount of physical activities you do during the rest of the day. Understand this, protein powders aren't a magic formula that will help you transform your body overnight. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Do you need a post-workout shake?
A post-workout shake may be convenient, but is not an absolute necessity, as it has been proven repeatedly that the anabolic window is nothing more than bro-science. Rather than focusing on consuming a post-workout shake, you should ensure that you meet your daily protein intake ranging anywhere between 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. While supplementing may be convenient, not everyone has access to it and is not a necessity.
So the next time your gym bro tells you about the anabolic window, refer him to our blog and help him gain clarity.