Anyone who is even a little bit interested in the world of fitness would have heard about the important ritual of refuelling with protein after a good sweating session. It is said that taking protein within an hour of your workout session can help in speedy muscle repair, recovery and growth. But there are times when we are in a hurry and miss out on our protein intake, which makes us wonder if all our sweat will go in vain. In this article, we will tell you if it is really necessary to take protein-rich food immediately after exercising or is it just a myth.
The concept of the anabolic window
In the world of fitness, the anabolic window is considered very important. It is referred to as a short time frame followed by the workout session, during which an individual is required to consume protein for muscle growth and recovery. It is based on the concept that muscle is quite sensitive at this time and can consume protein in a much better way. It is believed that delaying protein intake by an hour or more after the sweating session can reduce or prevent muscle growth during the recovery.
Is it really important to take protein within an hour?
For years, it has been suggested to fitness enthusiasts to take protein as soon as they are done with their workout. But a recent study does not completely agree with this concept. According to experts in the field, meeting the daily protein requirement is much more important than the timing. A study published in the Journal of the International Society for Sports Nutrition (ISSN) in June 2017 suggests that the anabolic effect of exercise lasts for about 24 hours, so one can have protein any time of the day.
Only in some specific conditions, athletes are recommended to have protein within an hour, but it is not necessary for a normal individual. It is better to spread out your daily protein intake throughout the day and include in the three square meals and snacks.
How much protein one should have in a day
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein for a normal individual is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. But when you are exercising, it changes as per your fitness goal. For people who engage in any kind of physical activity regularly, for more than an hour every day, 1-1.2 grams of protein, per kilogram of body weight is recommended. Do not have protein more than the recommended amount else it will be stored in the body as fat and you will gain weight.