The Window of Opportunity

Immediately after you finish your workout, your body begins to act like a sponge, absorbing as many carbohydrates and amino acids as possible for repair and recovery instead of FAT storage.  This is classed as your “Window of Opportunity” and it lasts for about an hour after your workout.  To illustrate how quickly the window closes, research has shown that your body’s ability to refill muscle energy storage decreases by 50% if you wait to eat just 2 hours after your workout, compared to eating immediately “the window of Opportunity“…so timing is everything!!

The Window of Opportunity – what to eat?

Carbohydrates are essential to your post workout nutrition.  Not only are carbs used by your body to restore depleted muscle glycogen, but they also create an insulin spike which helps move nutrients to your muscle tissue quicker……now for my clients out there this is why I am so insistant on you eating after your workout!!!  Think Banana 🙂 this will give your body a good dose of potassium.  So you are probably asking how much carbs do I need, well again research has shown that 0.8 to 1.0grams per 1 kilogram of body weight maximises glycogen synthesis and will speed up protein repair.  However you have to be realistic with yourself as to how hard/intense you have worked out because if you consume too much it could lead to body fat – so be very careful and honest with yourself.

Protein is also very good post workout, because it will stop your body breaking down muscle tissue for energy and will start the process of repairing your muscles.  So earlier in this blog I advised you all that their is a Window of Opportunity however the type of protein that you eat has to be the kind that will digest quickly.  Yes chicken, lean meat and fish are all good sources of protein however they take longer to digest liquid meals such as protein powders are a good instant hit as they are fast digesting.  Some people are against Whey protein and others swear by it, the choice is yours if you would prefer not to go down that route then eating egg whites is a good substitute, as again they are easily absorbed.

Should you eat Fat after a workout – the answer is NO, the reason being that it tends to slow down the digestion process, which will delay the proteins and carbs getting to the muscles to repair and build.

The Window of Opportunity – Liquid Meals

Obviously preparing liquid meals after a workout is so much quicker especially when you just want to put some nutrients into your body, again research suggests that liquid formulas that contain fast digesting protein and carbs are absorbed much quicker than whole foods.  A liquid meal may be absorbed within 30 to 45 minutes, whereas a solid meal can take anywhere up to 2 to 3 hours, thus showing that liquid nutrition is a winner in your Window of Opportunity.


Call 0141 639 6648 to book a session
Caroline Brown

Caroline Brown

Personal Trainer & Owner at C & Believe Fitness
Exercising to me is a way of life, At C & Believe Fitness you will Feel Better within yourself, you will Feel Healthier and you will Feel Fitter. Call 0141 639 6648 / 07971 698 390 today or Email me at for a FREE evaluation of your fitness needs and goals.
Caroline Brown
Caroline Brown
Caroline Brown
Caroline Brown

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