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    Registered User wbcreekmore's Avatar
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    Post Workout Nutrition when intermittent fasting

    I have always read the importance of post workout nutrition within 30 minutes to 1 hour after lifting. I currently follow a 16:8 IM schedule with me skipping breakfast. The problem is, I can only workout in the morning, and post workout nutrition in the morning breaks my fast earlier than I want. Can anyone give me advice on if post workout nutrition HAS to happen in that sub 1 hour post window, or can it wait until I break my fast at lunch?
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    Maybe just take a whey protein shake after you work out, on the days you work out. I guess that would be intermittent intermittent fasting.
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    What's your reason for doing intermittent fasting?

    If it's making things more complicated, I wouldn't do it. There's nothing too special about intermittent fasting. It's just another way to control calories and lose body fat. Many people find it easier to be in a calorie deficit when their eating window shrinks. Most people also like intermittent fasting because it fits their schedule and they like that they don't have to have as many meals prepared and eat as often.


    If the pros outweigh the cons of intermittent fasting for you, and this is the only downside of it and you want to stick with it, I wouldn't worry too much about getting a meal in within an hour. 2-3 hours is fine as well. Optimal? Maybe not, but if it's more practical for you, your schedule, and preferences than go for it.

    In the big picture the most important thing is that at the end of the day you're getting in enough calories, protein, carbs, and fats.
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    You don't need post workout nutrition within an hour at all, but if you're not eating for 16 friggin hours straight you prob should.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    If you are worried about nutrient timing, you should not go for 16 hours without protein. If you don't like eating in the morning then don't - but at least have a protein shake. There is no magic in IF other than helping with appetite management in some people.

    BTW the post workout "anabolic window" is much bigger than 30 minutes - especially if you have eaten earlier in the day.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    If you are worried about nutrient timing, you should not go for 16 hours without protein. If you don't like eating in the morning then don't - but at least have a protein shake. There is no magic in IF other than helping with appetite management in some people.

    BTW the post workout "anabolic window" is much bigger than 30 minutes - especially if you have eaten earlier in the day.
    How long is it then, roughly speaking?

    OP, one thing that might help - bake chicken breasts every week and store them in plastic bags. I put one in the middle compartment of my car when I leave for the gym and then eat it on my way home from the workout. This ensures ample protein right after the workout without having to make a mess or have access to a kitchen mixing a shake.

    AFAIK you're not going to be able to utilize more than the 60-70g protein an average chicken breast provides but you'll get it at the peak of the MPS spike that way. Then go home and eat a normal dinner a couple hours later without having to worry about excessive protein or portions or timing.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I put one in the middle compartment of my car
    If you wrap it in foil you can put it in the engine compartment of your vehicle to warm it up. If you want to be real exotic, wrap the raw chicken in foil and set it near the exhaust manifold to bake it. I think the exhaust manifold heats up to around 700 degrees.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    How long is it then, roughly speaking?

    OP, one thing that might help - bake chicken breasts every week and store them in plastic bags. I put one in the middle compartment of my car when I leave for the gym and then eat it on my way home from the workout. This ensures ample protein right after the workout without having to make a mess or have access to a kitchen mixing a shake.

    AFAIK you're not going to be able to utilize more than the 60-70g protein an average chicken breast provides but you'll get it at the peak of the MPS spike that way. Then go home and eat a normal dinner a couple hours later without having to worry about excessive protein or portions or timing.
    From 12 - 36 hours. Usually less for more advanced lifters.

    Of course during this time, you should try to mobilise protein synthesis fairly often. Like every 4 hours roughly. The window may even be longer if you don't eat immediately after the workout (up to a point of course) for all we know. It's more a case of creating a stimulus and then feeding that fire with protein until its done.
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    If you wrap it in foil you can put it in the engine compartment of your vehicle to warm it up. If you want to be real exotic, wrap the raw chicken in foil and set it near the exhaust manifold to bake it. I think the exhaust manifold heats up to around 700 degrees.
    You strike me as someone who'd fry eggs and bacon on the hood of your truck.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    You strike me as someone who'd fry eggs and bacon on the hood of your truck.
    I do fry bacon and eggs on a cast iron skillet with my propane grill. It sits just just outside my garage, 15 feet away from my free weights and bench while finishing a workout.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    From 12 - 36 hours. Usually less for more advanced lifters.

    Of course during this time, you should try to mobilise protein synthesis fairly often. Like every 4 hours roughly. The window may even be longer if you don't eat immediately after the workout (up to a point of course) for all we know. It's more a case of creating a stimulus and then feeding that fire with protein until its done.
    Well, isn't MPS spiked by far the most from the stimulus of your workout? Eating by itself does somewhat as far as I know, but isn't it by far the most important to consume protein shortly after training? For instance, Guy A and Guy B both consume 180g/day and follow the same training regimen. Guy A consumes 60g in one feeding shortly after his training, and spaces the remaining 120 out over the course of the day, while Guy B simply eats an even five feedings of 36 grams each. All else being equal, Guy A should benefit the most in this scenario.

    Is this reasoning wrong?

    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    I do fry bacon and eggs on a cast iron skillet with my propane grill. It sits just just outside my garage, 15 feet away from my free weights and bench while finishing a workout.
    That sounds awesome. Looking forward to owning my own home gym someday, when I can put some bacon on and flip it over between sets lol.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    That sounds awesome. Looking forward to owning my own home gym someday, when I can put some bacon on and flip it over between sets lol.
    It's also fun to reload shotgun shells and shoot out your garage door at trash birds between sets. Starlings, crows, pigeons.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Well, isn't MPS spiked by far the most from the stimulus of your workout? Eating by itself does somewhat as far as I know, but isn't it by far the most important to consume protein shortly after training? For instance, Guy A and Guy B both consume 180g/day and follow the same training regimen. Guy A consumes 60g in one feeding shortly after his training, and spaces the remaining 120 out over the course of the day, while Guy B simply eats an even five feedings of 36 grams each. All else being equal, Guy A should benefit the most in this scenario.

    Is this reasoning wrong?

    No, protein synthesis will be elevated anytime you ingest enough leucine. That doesn't mean it will grow new tissue every time. Most of MPS involves maintaining existing tissue - there is a constant turnover

    So the stimulus from exercise just gives a reason to grew new tissue
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Well, isn't MPS spiked by far the most from the stimulus of your workout?
    That's true but MPS stays elevated after a workout for ~24-48 hours. So it's not just the post workout protein that's important.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    No, protein synthesis will be elevated anytime you ingest enough leucine. That doesn't mean it will grow new tissue every time. Most of MPS involves maintaining existing tissue - there is a constant turnover

    So the stimulus from exercise just gives a reason to grew new tissue
    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    That's true but MPS stays elevated after a workout for ~24-48 hours. So it's not just the post workout protein that's important.
    Hmm, it would be interesting to know then how long "latent" protein is usable in the digestive tract after eating.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Hmm, it would be interesting to know then how long "latent" protein is usable in the digestive tract after eating.
    I don't know if digestion rate is determined by how rapidly you use it (probably not at a guess) but protein is digested and stored in the blood stream as circulating amino acids. This store is not big though - which is why we say you should aim for at lest 3 feedings per day for optimal protein delivery.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    From 12 - 36 hours. Usually less for more advanced lifters.

    Of course during this time, you should try to mobilise protein synthesis fairly often. Like every 4 hours roughly. The window may even be longer if you don't eat immediately after the workout (up to a point of course) for all we know. It's more a case of creating a stimulus and then feeding that fire with protein until its done.
    4 hours? Do you think six is fine occasionally when crunched for time? On top of the sleep fast even.
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    4 hours? Do you think six is fine occasionally when crunched for time? On top of the sleep fast even.
    Yep, 4 is the max I should have said.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Hmm, it would be interesting to know then how long "latent" protein is usable in the digestive tract after eating.
    Depends on the exact meal content and other variables. But it's probably a good idea to have at least 4 protein rich meals spread over the day.

    Based on the current evidence, we conclude that to maximize anabolism one should consume protein at a target intake of 0.4 g/kg/meal across a minimum of four meals in order to reach a minimum of 1.6 g/kg/day. Using the upper daily intake of 2.2 g/kg/day reported in the literature spread out over the same four meals would necessitate a maximum of 0.55 g/kg/meal.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Yep, 4 is the max I should have said.
    Wait—so six hours is too much time between? Which studies should I be looking at?
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    Wait—so six hours is too much time between? Which studies should I be looking at?
    6 hours on top of the sleep fast? So 14 hours? Obviously this is not optimal. But we've had similar discussion many times before. Sometimes striving for optimal isn't optimal for someone's personal circumstances. You seem to fit that box.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    6 hours on top of the sleep fast? So 14 hours? Obviously this is not optimal. But we've had similar discussion many times before. Sometimes striving for optimal isn't optimal for someone's personal circumstances. You seem to fit that box.
    Plus the diff in results between optimal and non-optimal whether nutrition, sleep, workout, etc. may not even be significant depending on the specifics.

    I just find it funny how many Qs from people looking for optimal/max gains and strength are doing some something that may be on its face non-optimal (IF, keto, etc.).
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    6 hours on top of the sleep fast? So 14 hours? Obviously this is not optimal. But we've had similar discussion many times before. Sometimes striving for optimal isn't optimal for someone's personal circumstances. You seem to fit that box.
    This. I fast this long maybe once or twice per week, but anymore than that and it actually does have a direct impact on my gains when I keep everything else constant. That being said, I'm an advanced lifter and I was able to make gains with a very "sub-optimal" approach for years. I really think a big part of whether you need to do things "optimally" or not is where you are in your training career. If you're a novice or intermediate, you can probably forget about it.
    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Plus the diff in results between optimal and non-optimal whether nutrition, sleep, workout, etc. may not even be significant depending on the specifics.

    I just find it funny how many Qs from people looking for optimal/max gains and strength are doing some something that may be on its face non-optimal (IF, keto, etc.).
    Yup. I think they just wanna have their cake and eat it too. They like doing IF/keto/carnivore/vegan/breatharian because it appeals to their lifestyles, so then they really wanna convince themselves that their ways are also the best ways to make gains.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    6 hours on top of the sleep fast? So 14 hours? Obviously this is not optimal. But we've had similar discussion many times before. Sometimes striving for optimal isn't optimal for someone's personal circumstances. You seem to fit that box.
    No I mean a 6 hour window later on that day without protein, not a continuous 14 hours. Non optimal sure, but detrimental to what degree? Twice per week typically.

    It’s not an intentionally imposed thing, just lack of access.
    Last edited by Xpiro; 05-16-2021 at 06:55 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Xpiro View Post
    No I mean a 6 hour window later on that day without protein, not a continuous 14 hours. Non optimal sure, but detrimental to what degree? Twice per week typically.

    It’s not an intentionally imposed thing, just lack of access.
    6 hours wouldn't concern me at all, especially when it's after a mixed meal. I wouldn't even say 4 is necessarily better.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    You don't need post workout nutrition within an hour at all, but if you're not eating for 16 friggin hours straight you prob should.
    after my evening workouts, I drink glutamine and go to bed. if I eat before bed, I feel bad. will it somehow affect muscle growth?
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    If you wrap it in foil you can put it in the engine compartment of your vehicle to warm it up. If you want to be real exotic, wrap the raw chicken in foil and set it near the exhaust manifold to bake it. I think the exhaust manifold heats up to around 700 degrees.
    They make food warmers that plug right in your cigarette lighter. The one I use works really well and you can leave it plugged into your car with it shut off for a couple hours without draining the battery. $30 on amazon
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    Originally Posted by babetsmariya12 View Post
    after my evening workouts, I drink glutamine and go to bed. if I eat before bed, I feel bad. will it somehow affect muscle growth?
    It would be better to have protein after your workout. Could be a shake or a meal.
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