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  1. #1
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    Post-workout protein

    Where did this pattern of taking protein immediately, within ~30 minutes, of a workout come from?

    What's the science behind it?

    Does anyone believe the debunking of it?

    The articles debunking it suspect that that pattern of people having post-ride recovery food/drink spread from the body building culture, from an ad campaign from a protein supplement maker (EAS). "Don't waste your workout" was its punchline, which some criticized as playing on peoples' fears.

    The science seems to be based around the "anabolic window". Studies reveal that the amount that muscles absorb 1-3 hours after a workout is not significantly less than within 30 minutes of the workout, while absorption after 3 hours was much heightened due to being in a fasted+muscle fatigued state. Also, the effect of increased protein usage in rebuilding was determined to be from an insulin spike due to it being "anti-catabolic", essentially triggering the body to ramp down from burning nutrients for fuel/ATP/ADP and allow more to remain for "biosynthesis"/rebuilding.

    It's been suggested that it's far more important to simply eat enough and eat a healthy varied diet, rather than rely on supplements or a single silver bullet (e.g. chocolate milk) for refueling.

    So, who to listen to? I personally find it inconvenient and full of unnecessary expenses to aim for immediate protein, so I'm happy listening to the science that debunks this. I'm skipping the post-ride fast food and drinks--now that's what I suspect is wasting your workout...

    Sources:

    https://www.physiology.org/doi/pdf/1...iol.91481.2008

    https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/F...alance.11.aspx

  2. #2
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    From what I've read on this over studied topic, I've concluded that yes, it's overrated, yes overall daily protein intake is more important (but they're not mutually exclusive), but...what is the downside of downing 25g (100 calories) of protein after a workout, especially if you haven't been fueling during the workout and perhaps haven't eaten in 3-4 hours? You can review the numerous studies and decide for yourself, but I concluded that there's no harm, and possibly an upside to a high-leucine shake following a muscle-intensive workout. I also include creatine and, if training aerobically, carbs.

    I think there's more science supporting post-workout carb replenishment, as the glucose upload rate is increased (GLUT 12 and maybe GLUT 4). This is more important if you're training hard every day and need to replenish between workouts.

  3. #3
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    Here's one downside of rushing a feeding:

    What if you're trying to tone up and your feeding stops the fat burn, as you're introducing more preferential fuel.

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    I have the protein shake after weights, my muscles don't ache the next day. I see no problem.

  5. #5
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    Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS): most strongly felt 24-48 hours after the DOMS-inducing exercise.

    Should check the day after, rather than the next day.

    Source that goes through multiple papers on the subject of reducing/preventing DOMS: https://link.springer.com/article/10...279-013-0137-7

    Excerpt:

    "... the decision to purchase and consume protein supplements is often based on marketing claims rather than evidence-based research."

    "High quality and consistent data demonstrated there is no apparent relationship between recovery of muscle function and ratings of muscle soreness and surrogate markers of muscle damage when protein supplements are consumed prior to, during or after a bout of endurance or resistance exercise."

    TL;DR: timing protein intake before/during/after a workout shouldn't affect muscle recovery/soreness. You simply need enough protein to rebuild the muscle. You can go have your meals with your family without worry now, after coming home, showering, and doing other maintenance, rather buying up the marketing.

  6. #6
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    The next day, the day after, the whole bloody week sometimes. Who gives a stuff? Stop worrying about this crap and go do some actual exercise.

  7. #7
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    Then you probably weren't doing DOMS-inducing exercise.

  8. #8
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    There are a few good studies on the topic out there concerning nutrient timing and the anabolic window. When ever I'm training hard I dont leave the house without being prepared for post nutrient intake, for me personally it works and I usually buy the cheapest protein they have on sale a GNC because it has a decent amount of carbs/protein per serving.

    Here is a book on the subject.

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nut...=9781591201410
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Then you probably weren't doing DOMS-inducing exercise.
    Sure, whatever you say.

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    That book was published in 2004. The source I linked, published in 2009, exclaimed that new advances in precision measurement has allowed for more concrete conclusions.

    The book seems to be focused on overcoming plateauing, showing the benefits of nutrient timing before, during, and after intense/strenuous resistance training.

    Some of its highlights include preserving glycogen and protein by nutrient timing during exercise, to remain strong. They reason that glycogen and BCAA proteins are rapidly consumed during intense exercise and you perhaps aren't getting DOM-inducing exercise since you're running out of energy before your muscles experience hypertrophy. Essentially the same kind of stuff said of muscular endurance these days with water vs sports drink, except non-resistance training doesn't benefit from protein during exercise.

    They say that shutting down the catabolic state (the energy burning state), by consuming carbs, helps minimize the downsides of a suppressed immune system, but that's something I also criticize as fear mongering techniques to sell stuff to germophobes and whoever. Ironically, these people eat perishable stuff that been sitting around a while (possibly prepared ahead of time with plenty of time at room temp to cultivate germs), possibly stored (with utensils) in a germ filled bag that may have been in close proximity to sweaty stuff, and eaten in a hurry with less regard to hygiene, since they're aiming to hit a "time window". A freshly prepared meal cooked properly, after taking a shower and whatever, in the safety of your home, should have far less risk, allowing you to take advantage of the burn and the cortisol a bit longer. Calculated risk either way.

    I'll criticize that it doesn't say much in terms of detail. For example, "studies coming out of University of Texas suggest that protein consumption during exercise increases protein absorption after exercise." Name the paper(s), or say how much is increased by and why it matters. I'd like to check if these studies are peer reviewed.

    My first link offers far far more detail, on the process of testing and the results of muscle protein synthesis change in response to feeding various amino acids types during, before, and after exercise, which is the main topic here. All it says is that muscle protein breakdown is easily balanced by muscle protein synthesis as long as you take enough high quality protein (e.g. 20g of milk protein) afterwards, which doesn't need to be immediate, in order to have a net gain of muscle mass.

    @GRPABT1 what you said was self-reporting, which is notoriously unreliable, especially when it comes to reporting stuff that benefits or harms you. Probable cause at least can be deduced, while your reporting needs hard evidence to prove (witness testimony, may or may not count depending on oath enforcement).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Here's one downside of rushing a feeding:

    What if you're trying to tone up and your feeding stops the fat burn, as you're introducing more preferential fuel.
    Sure, but I'd ask why you're doing high-intensity exercise in a fasted state, followed by more fasting. Isn't that a recipe for muscle wasting? When I'm cutting, I'm very focused on maintaining muscle.

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    Who says I'm doing high intensity? My riding is paced to take in account my energy, for the most part, which tends to be replenished if I need more endurance. I don't think sporadic high heart rate moments count as high intensity.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    [T]here's no harm, and possibly an upside to a high-leucine shake following a muscle-intensive workout.
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Who says I'm doing high intensity?
    PWO protein is typically discussed in reference to muscle-intensive workouts and hypertrophy. Some have tried to debunk it's value in recent years, and it's no longer the holy grail it once was, but there's still science supporting the use of peri-workout protein intake if your goal is strength/hypertrophy. Does it decrease DOMS significantly? Probably not. The science indicates PWO protein boosts MPS (which probably helps your gainz) but may not mitigate MPB (which I assume is responsible for DOMS).

    If you're talking about cardio, and you're cutting, then immediate PWO protein isn't essential. But I think you knew that already.

    Personally, if I've fasted over night, I won't do anything but fairly light cardio (e.g., hiking). Mountain biking can be intense at times, especially single speeding, so I don't do it fasted. I can lose fat pretty easily, but I also lose muscle easily, so I error on the side of muscle maintenance. YMMV.

  14. #14
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    @ryder1 Reasonable. xD

    I realize that this science came from the weight lifting side, but in terms of cycling, it's propagating a bit far.

    Learned a lot that can be applied to weightlifting, but not so much for cycling. For endurance, you don't want to be carrying unnecessary bulk (big muscles) if you care for efficiency.

    One unrelated thing I learned is why people pass out after hard efforts and why people encourage cooldowns. It's because when your heart pumps heavily, the blood vessels expand, but when the heart settles, the blood vessels take a while to contract, and there's a loss in blood pressure. Lack of blood pressure leads to lack of blood reaching the brain. In order to preserve itself, the brain shuts down momentarily (e.g. blackout). So beware about stopping after strong intense efforts... at least lower your head to lessen the effect of gravity preventing blood to reaching the brain.

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