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Thread: Anabolic Window

  1. #1
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    Anabolic Window

    Who subscribes to the Anabolic Window theory and why? This is the time period following a workout, some say up to 45 minutes, whereby a specific nutrition formula (usually in the form of a shake) is taken in order to shift the metabolic function from a catabolic state to an anabolic one. Further, if supplementation/nutrition is delayed more than 2 hours, you significantly reduce protein synthesis and muscle glycogen replenishment.

    I'm sure this has been discussed on here before, but it seems like a topic that a lot of people can learn from an open discussion. Personally, as a habit I try to do a shake within 30-45 minutes of my workout and follow-up with a meal 90-120 minutes later, but if for some reason I miss it I don't panic like my workout was wasted. I'm just interested in others' viewpoints from both a research and experiential standpoint.
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    Personally, as a habit I try to do a shake within 30-45 minutes of my workout and follow-up with a meal 90-120 minutes later, but if for some reason I miss it I don't panic like my workout was wasted.
    ^^^ This pretty much sums up my thoughts on it too.

    Although the only time I might "miss" either the shake or the meal is on the occassional Saturday workout if I run errands or something after the gym instead of going straight home. During the week I commute to work and drink my protein shake in the car then eat shortly after I get to work. Same routine every day.

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    No shakes for me I just eat within 30-60 minutes after
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    I have my shake as soon as i get home from the gym which takes about 15 minutes then follow up with a meal 60-90 minutes later.
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    Originally Posted by -=FLEX=- View Post
    ^^^ This pretty much sums up my thoughts on it too.

    During the week I commute to work and drink my protein shake in the car then eat shortly after I get to work. Same routine every day.

    -=FLEX=-
    Same here. I'm usually famished about 15 minutes after I finish lifting anyway, so I carry a shaker to the gym with me and fill it up on my way to the car.
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    One thing I noticed after I started supplementing with xtend (BCAA) during my workouts was that I wasn't craving my post wo shake afterwards. I almost have to remind myself to drink it sometimes. Before I started using xtend, my body would begin craving the shake immediately.
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    Funny I have been thinking about this very subject for the last couple of days. Alan Argonon has a study on his webpage that I was directed to in another thread that basically states it doesnt matter when you eat protein foods or how much you eat at once. Everyone is throwing it around in the nutrition section. These same people are still suggesting pre and post wo nutrition however. This is completely contrary to the way all pro bodybuilders that I know of eat and supplement. After giving this considerable thought it doesnt hold water IMO. In order for this to be right then the body would have to be able to store a 24 hour supply of the essential amino acids I would think. I dont believe that it can, aminos are used but can only be stored as muscle tissue as far as I know. It would be like saying my car can go 220 miles on a tank and I am making a 400 mile trip I dont feel like fueling up till I reach my destination.

    My other thought on this matter is if the cortisol we create by training hard is the direct cause of the legendary GH release do we really want to eat and blunt it?

    How this plays out in real life, I dont know but I am reexamining the conventional wisdom.
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    Originally Posted by rob440 View Post
    Funny I have been thinking about this very subject for the last couple of days. Alan Argonon has a study on his webpage that I was directed to in another thread that basically states it doesnt matter when you eat protein foods or how much you eat at once. Everyone is throwing it around in the nutrition section. These same people are still suggesting pre and post wo nutrition however. This is completely contrary to the way all pro bodybuilders that I know of eat and supplement. After giving this considerable thought it doesnt hold water IMO. In order for this to be right then the body would have to be able to store a 24 hour supply of the essential amino acids I would think. I dont believe that it can, aminos are used but can only be stored as muscle tissue as far as I know. It would be like saying my car can go 220 miles on a tank and I am making a 400 mile trip I dont feel like fueling up till I reach my destination.

    My other thought on this matter is if the cortisol we create by training hard is the direct cause of the legendary GH release do we really want to eat and blunt it?

    How this plays out in real life, I dont know but I am reexamining the conventional wisdom.
    I remember reading an article by Lee Priest he said it does not matter...so I tried it...I think based upon my super accurate study of just myself...it does not matter.
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    One thing I noticed after I started supplementing with xtend (BCAA) during my workouts was that I wasn't craving my post wo shake afterwards. I almost have to remind myself to drink it sometimes. Before I started using xtend, my body would begin craving the shake immediately.
    I have the Xtend before and after my workout, as well as the shake after.

    Immediately after my workout while I am getting showered and dressed I have a water bottle with Xtend, Creatine, L-Glutamine (I pre-mix it the night before). Then about 20 minutes later the protein shake that is in my cooler bag in the car. I have a 45 minute commute, and a meeting every morning at 9 right after I get to the office. As soon as the meeting is done, I eat 5 whole eggs with a teaspoon of olive oil.



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    I eat dinner right after lifting. That's just how it fits into my schedule. There's no delay (except cook time), since I lift in the basement and eat in the kitchen.

    I eat real food, not a shake.
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    I believe the "window" to be true , for me anyways ...

    For pwo #1 I do a carb shake ( waximaize ) asap after training and a protein shake 15 minutes after that.

    Pwo #2 is a solid food meal ( p-c ) 1.5 hours after.

    Ive done this for so long that if I go longer than the 1.5 hours for pwo2 I start getting hunger pains lol.
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    Originally Posted by rob440 View Post
    . Alan Argonon has a study on his webpage that I was directed to in another thread that basically states it doesnt matter when you eat protein foods or how much you eat at once.
    ^^^^^^^^^^ The man is accomplished, educated and has done a ton of research. I happen to agree with almost everything "nutrition" that I've found he's written, which I always have found out later, totally separate from my own findings.

    And yes, this topic has been beat to death in other..."open discussions", lol .

    There have been studies that I've read (not AA's) that seem to substantiate the fact that the anabolic window is nothing more than just one more BBing myth.

    Please read this, and pay specific attention to #3...and then #4: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...utrition_myths

    Obviously, this ^ isn't the end all authority, but it's a link I had handy that also closely mirrors other studies I've read.

    And I'd share what I do, but that hasn't got a damn thing to do with answering the question .
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    I think modern science has us all jedi mind f'ed into believing our bodies are so friggin' precise.

    Your body can raise it's own temperature to fight infection or heal bone back in the exact structure it was before breaking. It can repair skin, recruit muscle fibers, protect muscles/tendons through involuntary actions....

    Despite all this exercise is worthless if you don't have a shake within' 45 minutes of working out?

    There may be windows but I think they are a lot bigger than most believe. (Steve has a 1.5 hour one...he seems ok)

    Just my unscientific thoughts on it. (yes...I stick to the masses ideas on windows but this theory keeps me from panicking if walmart is a bit busy after my workout and I don't hit the "window")
    The mind leads the body...get your head right and the body will follow

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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    Who subscribes to the Anabolic Window theory and why?
    I do, and here is why.

    I been following the supplementation and nutrition schedule outlined in this thread for the last 15 months and I've had the best period of lean mass development in my life: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=584191

    I've referenced the thread many times. It is titled, "The perfect supplements before/following exercise"

    Of particular interest is the actual supplementation schedules on post 34: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpo...5&postcount=34

    And the references on post 35: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpo...9&postcount=35
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    Originally Posted by rob440 View Post
    In order for this to be right then the body would have to be able to store a 24 hour supply of the essential amino acids I would think.
    Why?

    I will agree that any amino acids that are not used within a short time cannot be stored for future use, but that is not the same as concluding that you need a 24 hour supply of aminos in order to take away the brotastical importance given to nutrient timing by bodybuilders.

    Keep in mind that many bodybuilders are successful IN SPITE of what they do. Is being OCD about nutrient timing interfering with success? No, but it places an unnecessary restriction on the bodybuilder.

    When an educated person comments that meal timing is far less important than hitting total daily targets both calories and protein, they are not saying that meal timing is irrelevant and useless.

    The reason that the post workout nutrient timing is not some magical 30 minute window as the supplement companies want us to believe is because we should be training in a fed state. If you train fasted, then you are setting yourself up for certain conditions that are not optimal from the perspective of promoting muscle protein synthesis and inhibiting muscle protein breakdown.

    So, if you properly design your PRE-workout nutrition, you will be getting high levels of protein via either a shake or meal near the beginning of your training (the closer to training, the more useful liquid nutrition becomes).

    So, if you get in protein pre workout, then INTRA-workout BCAAs is not really going to do much (this is controversial) but my comment is based on the concepts that the pre-workout protein (which contains BCAA), combined with a standard-length training session (about an hour or so) will have your body such that it is digesting that pre-training meal/shake during the training session. This will be providing your body with amino acids which the body will absorbed during training. I know that some people dispute whether protein bound BCAA is good enough or whether you need free form BCAA, but that is not really the issue here.

    Okay, so if you properly design your PRE-workout training nutrition, then it will raise blood amino acid levels during training. That, combined with the training itself, will promote muscle protein synthesis and inhibit muscle protein breakdown.

    Did you realize that the peak amino acid levels from a pre-training protein nutrition is not immediate, but rather an hour after you ate/drank the protein, and the AA levels remain elevated for a couple hours afterwards.




    Keep in mind that many of the bros who follow traditional nutrition timing dogma have been following this because of the early studies that all dealt with endurance athletes, and that most of the nutrient timing research has actually been done on overnight-fasted subjects, which obviously confounds application to any bodybuilder who does not train in an overnight fasted state.

    Now, muscle protein synthesis seems to be a goal for many, but did you realize that it does not peak in some magic anabolic window 30 minutes after exercising? Did you know that MPS peaks about 24 hours after the exercise?

    So, that is one reason that it is important to have aminos in your blood on non-workout days (reason to keep protein levels high on off-days).

    Now, I will admit that if you are taking intra-training supps such as BCAA and those supps improve your mood, then, it is possible to obtain better performance because of the supps (placebo effect).

    Lots of this stuff I mentioned is controversial, but it covers some of the newer beliefs supported by those of us who follow the research.
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    I take Sizeon during my workout, and do not really feel hungry till like 30 minutes later at least, having said that I always stay within the windows( just in case it does matter) : )
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    There was a small study performed in the late 90s on the subject of when the most effective time for a weightlifter to consume protein was. I don't remember the details because what I read was an extrapolation in All Natural Muscular Development back in...I don't even remember when, 1999 or 2000.

    Anyway, the gist is ~30 subjects, all trained athletes, broken up into equal groups. Over a period of twelve weeks, the groups were fed a protein shake before, within 30 minutes of training, and later than 30 minutes after training. The group that consumed the shake within 30 minutes gained "more lean mass" than the other two.

    I probably don't have any of the details exactly right, but that is the gist. Maybe that's where the whole debate started.
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    Originally Posted by snorkelman View Post

    Why?

    I will agree that any amino acids that are not used within a short time cannot be stored for future use, but that is not the same as concluding that you need a 24 hour supply of aminos in order to take away the brotastical importance given to nutrient timing by bodybuilders.
    Insurance, If you have a construction crew to build something but they get there and there are no materials then they cant build anything.I dont know what is going on inside my body on a cellular level and I dont worry about or fool myself into thinking I can control or time it but I would like to think when its time to build the materials are on site.

    Originally Posted by snorkelman View Post
    When an educated person comments that meal timing is far less important than hitting total daily targets both calories and protein, they are not saying that meal timing is irrelevant and useless.
    Meal timing has proven to be very important to my personal progress, If I allow myself to get hungry I am finished I will loose weight or maintain at best. Not my goal, but I can see that that could work for someone with a very low caloric requirement.

    Why not one giant protein drink in the morning say 300gms and be done for the day?



    Originally Posted by snorkelman View Post
    So, if you get in protein pre workout, then INTRA-workout BCAAs is not really going to do much (this is controversial) but my comment is based on the concepts that the pre-workout protein (which contains BCAA), combined with a standard-length training session (about an hour or so) will have your body such that it is digesting that pre-training meal/shake during the training session. This will be providing your body with amino acids which the body will absorbed during training. I know that some people dispute whether protein bound BCAA is good enough or whether you need free form BCAA, but that is not really the issue here.
    Intra? I have never even considered doing that it seems like over the top just thinking about it.

    Originally Posted by snorkelman View Post
    Keep in mind that many of the bros who follow traditional nutrition timing dogma have been following this because of the early studies that all dealt with endurance athletes, and that most of the nutrient timing research has actually been done on overnight-fasted subjects, which obviously confounds application to any bodybuilder who does not train in an \
    So, that is one reason that it is important to have aminos in your blood on non-workout days (reason to keep protein levels high on off-days).

    Now, I will admit that if you are taking intra-training supps such as BCAA and those supps improve your mood, then, it is possible to obtain better performance because of the supps (placebo effect).

    Lots of this stuff I mentioned is controversial, but it covers some of the newer beliefs supported by those of us who follow the research.
    I read tons of material ever month on this subject but I temper it with my experience. I may not always be right but I do have a formula that works.

    Thanks for responding Its interesting to see the different points of veiw and the results of other peoples research.
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    Originally Posted by dbx View Post
    ^^^^^^^^^^ The man is accomplished, educated and has done a ton of research. I happen to agree with almost everything "nutrition" that I've found he's written, which I always have found out later, totally separate from my own findings.

    And yes, this topic has been beat to death in other..."open discussions", lol .

    There have been studies that I've read (not AA's) that seem to substantiate the fact that the anabolic window is nothing more than just one more BBing myth.

    Please read this, and pay specific attention to #3...and then #4: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...utrition_myths

    Obviously, this ^ isn't the end all authority, but it's a link I had handy that also closely mirrors other studies I've read.

    And I'd share what I do, but that hasn't got a damn thing to do with answering the question .
    Thanks that was an interesting read! I must admit however the lady doing dumbell rows got me distracted from the text.
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    Interesting that in a thread about nutrient timing how many people utilize/employ it by taking a during WO BCAA product. Sounds like nutrient timing to me.
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    Originally Posted by rob440 View Post
    Funny I have been thinking about this very subject for the last couple of days. Alan Argonon has a study on his webpage that I was directed to in another thread that basically states it doesnt matter when you eat protein foods or how much you eat at once. Everyone is throwing it around in the nutrition section. These same people are still suggesting pre and post wo nutrition however. This is completely contrary to the way all pro bodybuilders that I know of eat and supplement. After giving this considerable thought it doesnt hold water IMO. In order for this to be right then the body would have to be able to store a 24 hour supply of the essential amino acids I would think. I dont believe that it can, aminos are used but can only be stored as muscle tissue as far as I know. It would be like saying my car can go 220 miles on a tank and I am making a 400 mile trip I dont feel like fueling up till I reach my destination.

    My other thought on this matter is if the cortisol we create by training hard is the direct cause of the legendary GH release do we really want to eat and blunt it?

    How this plays out in real life, I dont know but I am reexamining the conventional wisdom.
    Is this the article you're talking about:

    http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-n...a-single-meal/

    If so, have a closer read. You may have missed the justifications & contingencies I laid out.

    And about GH blunting, there's no good evidence that nutrient-mediated GH dips or elevations will do anything.
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    eat until you poop BrotherWolf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    Who subscribes to the Anabolic Window theory and why? This is the time period following a workout, some say up to 45 minutes, whereby a specific nutrition formula (usually in the form of a shake) is taken in order to shift the metabolic function from a catabolic state to an anabolic one. Further, if supplementation/nutrition is delayed more than 2 hours, you significantly reduce protein synthesis and muscle glycogen replenishment.

    I'm sure this has been discussed on here before, but it seems like a topic that a lot of people can learn from an open discussion. Personally, as a habit I try to do a shake within 30-45 minutes of my workout and follow-up with a meal 90-120 minutes later, but if for some reason I miss it I don't panic like my workout was wasted. I'm just interested in others' viewpoints from both a research and experiential standpoint.

    I don't give a flying crap about when, more important to me is what you eat after and before working out, it takes approximately 1-2 hours to digest most foods even longer to metabolize it .
    All I know is that after I work out I am as hungry as a beast and I stuff my face until I am not hungry anymore.. then I have ice cream and something else before going to bed.

    If my body tells me "I am hungry" I feed it it just so happens to be right after I train
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    Originally Posted by rob440 View Post
    Thanks that was an interesting read! I must admit however the lady doing dumbell rows got me distracted from the text.
    Yes, those darn side column pics can be quite distracting .

    Originally Posted by alan aragon View Post
    Is this the article you're talking about:

    http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-n...a-single-meal/

    If so, have a closer read. You may have missed the justifications & contingencies I laid out.
    Nice article, Alan. Although, I have a feeling that this particular sentence might be confusing; "In terms of application, I’ve consistently observed the effectiveness of having approximately a quarter of your target bodyweight in both the pre- and post-exercise meal."

    It appears that you're endorsing the "window", but I believe your intent was to convey the importance of nutrition before and after working out, albeit only being approx a quarter of a daily amount, which would also reinforce (by default, so to speak) that the other 3/4's is at least, of equal importance. In other words, it's really the overall 24hr snapshot that trumps any window. Am I correct on what you're ultimately trying to convey there?
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    Originally Posted by BrotherWolf View Post
    I don't give a flying crap about when, more important to me is what you eat after and before working out, it takes approximately 1-2 hours to digest most foods even longer to metabolize it .
    You already know my thoughts on this, but just to help you see something you might be missing; it only takes approx 15mins to digest whey, and this is probably the most important reason the whole window idea is pushed! IOW, aside from the convenience aspect, using it to make it easier to get "X" amount of protein per day, etc., it is primarily pushed because of it's fast digestive properties.
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    Originally Posted by dbx View Post
    You already know my thoughts on this, but just to help you see something you might be missing; it only takes approx 15mins to digest whey, and this is probably the most important reason the whole window idea is pushed! IOW, aside from the convenience aspect, using it to make it easier to get "X" amount of protein per day, etc., it is primarily pushed because of it's fast digestive properties.
    I wasn't speaking specifically about whey .. 15 minutes to digest and how long for our body to take that proteins and break it down and synthesize it ?

    I generally believe what you eat during the whole day is what really makes a difference if we are speaking proteins..

    The first thing your body needs after working out is probably carbs but to me the window is not that important and probably is different for every individual and based on an average daily total food intake..

    but like I said my body tells me to eat so it must be needing something
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    OP...be fooling you and me if I said i knew the answer

    As far as studies go showing one thing or another- unless its University type study...I'm not buying it.

    My case...a study of n=1.....been using PWO shakes religiously for 3 years prior to this year.

    This year none.

    No protein powders either. Just good quality protein.

    Proof will be in the pudding, so to speak, in 12 weeks when I finally "unwrap" what I've built

    So far though...I'm definitely bigger and stronger than previous years but again that might be due to other factors, synergy and chance

    One thing...it cant hurt.
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    Easy..if a guy's working harder than me - doing more than me - he fking well deserves to beat me.

    Simple.

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    Originally Posted by dbx View Post
    Nice article, Alan. Although, I have a feeling that this particular sentence might be confusing; "In terms of application, I***8217;ve consistently observed the effectiveness of having approximately a quarter of your target bodyweight in both the pre- and post-exercise meal."

    It appears that you're endorsing the "window", but I believe your intent was to convey the importance of nutrition before and after working out, albeit only being approx a quarter of a daily amount, which would also reinforce (by default, so to speak) that the other 3/4's is at least, of equal importance. In other words, it's really the overall 24hr snapshot that trumps any window. Am I correct on what you're ultimately trying to convey there?
    To get technical about it, for those whose goal is to preserve or gain mass, there is some benefit to weight training in the fed state (especially with elevated blood levels of EAA), as opposed to the fasted state. There are other sports performance goals to which nutrient timing of protein &/or carbs applies as well. The article's focus wasn't nutrient timing relative to training, otherwise I would have elaborated. The actual timeframes for training relative to nutrient ingestion are far more broad than people assume. Snorkelman touched upon this point a few posts up.
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    Originally Posted by alan aragon View Post
    the actual timeframes for training relative to nutrient ingestion are far more broad than people assume.
    That's my understanding as well and there are so many variables including overall diet, type of activity, level of intensity and volume and of course individual genetics
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    Originally Posted by alan aragon View Post
    Is this the article you're talking about:

    http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-n...a-single-meal/

    If so, have a closer read. You may have missed the justifications & contingencies I laid out.

    And about GH blunting, there's no good evidence that nutrient-mediated GH dips or elevations will do anything.
    Thanks for chiming in your input is greatly appreciated. I have experimented with the after workout carbs and found no discernible difference. I think some clever supplement company probably took the fact that some guys take a shot of insulin (dont even think about it unless you are suicidal) and said what can I sell that will seem like it does the same thing for the non drug crowd. I suspect that is where reason #1 for carbs post WO.Reason # 2 blunting the cortisol I have read this numerous times in many articles but I dont put much stock in it. I gave up on the post carbs a while ago because they did nothing for me. I am not a fan of sweets anyway and I see no good coming from ingesting a big dose of sugar.


    There was that article and one other one but the other one wasnt yours it was a study showing that eating one big meal a day was just as effective as 3 or more which again wouldnt work for anyone I know carrying a decent amount of muscle mass.


    Let me put it this way if you were advising an athlete on how to put this into practice what would your advice be?
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    Originally Posted by BrotherWolf View Post
    I wasn't speaking specifically about whey ..
    Yes, I knew this.

    Originally Posted by BrotherWolf View Post
    ..... but to me the window is not that important....
    And when you pointed out that it takes 1-2hrs to digest "regular" food, that's why I mentioned the reason why so many use whey!

    Never mind ....

    Originally Posted by alan aragon View Post
    To get technical about it, for those whose goal is to preserve or gain mass, there is some benefit to weight training in the fed state (especially with elevated blood levels of EAA), as opposed to the fasted state. There are other sports performance goals to which nutrient timing of protein &/or carbs applies as well.
    Oh, needless to say, but not what I was trying to get you to clarify.

    Originally Posted by alan aragon View Post
    The article's focus wasn't nutrient timing relative to training, otherwise I would have elaborated. The actual timeframes for training relative to nutrient ingestion are far more broad than people assume.....
    This was very clear to me. I was merely carrying over very general parts of the articles' points that can also be loosely (at least) connected with timing (ie., large amt of protein being utilized throughout the day, etc..). I believe we're on the same page .
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