I got this question from a client at my Timonium personal training gym today:
Q: How soon after a strength training workout should I have a protein drink bar to help repair muscle damage?
Once upon a time …
There was a popular thought that you should eat (or drink) protein within 30-120 minutes (the so-called “Anabolic Window”) after strength training.
More recent research, however, shows this “window” doesn’t exist.
You just need to make sure you eat sufficient amounts of protein over the course of the day.
And (as you’ve read here before) eating at least 30 grams of protein (about 4 oz of chicken, for example) triggers the muscle rebuilding you’re looking for.
In short …
Don’t worry about the timing, just make sure you’re getting your 30 gram doses throughout the day.
Most important …
Current research shows this is even more important for seniors to help them (us?) prevent the loss of muscle that can lead to decreased metabolism, falls, and loss of independence.
[Geek out: Protein pulse feeding improves protein retention in elderly women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 1999]