It appears that the anabolic window as it is traditionally perceived is fabled. It is, however, paramount to ensure you have ingested protein and carbohydrates in a timely manner before training. The timing of this consumption is important; giving long enough that the meal is ingested before commencing training and preventing stomach distress, yet, being close enough to ensure that the nutrients are still in the blood to prevent the exercise induced AMPK rise. Whether this is achieved through diet or supplements is the choice of the user.
What you are looking at is two different measurements of protein synthesis in the human body. “Whole body protein synthesis” is a measurement of the protein synthesis happening in your entire body. This includes things like your liver, heart, lungs, brain GI Track and your muscles. This measurement does not tell you WHICH part of your body the protein synthesis is happening in, just that it is happening. “Muscle protein synthesis” is specifically measuring the amount of protein synthesis that is happening IN your skeletal muscle.
The big conclusion I take from this study is that total protein intake is crucial to athletic performance. This means you can’t rely on a post-workout drink and the mythical anabolic window to deliver most of the protein you eat each day. Regular, moderate doses of protein are necessary to support a hard-training athlete looking to build lean muscle. The post-workout shake isn’t a magical solution that allows you to eat Saltine crackers and peanut butter cups the remaining 23 hours of the day. Post-workout nutrition is just a part of the solution, not the full solution.