Nutrient Timing: Your “Anabolic Window” is Wrong

Nutrient Timing: Your “Anabolic Window” is Wrong

By jared Boynton | 1/11/2017 

Nutrient timing is important. Regardless of the bro-science that circulates in the IIFYM community, WHEN you eat is nearly as important as WHAT you eat. The nutrients you ingest around your workout (periworkout) can drastically impact your rate of progress when it comes to building and preserving muscle. So the goal is to break down your muscles during your workout and then feed your starving skeletomuscular cells immediately after, right? Wrong.

Pre-workout and intra-workout nutrient delivery is far more important than eating after you’ve completed a lifting session, and if you’re neglecting either, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. As a gym-goer with goals of building a muscular physique, your nutrition should be built around preserving existing muscle tissue just as much as building new tissue. Contrary to popular belief, the breakdown of existing muscle tissue happens during strenuous gym sessions regardless of whether you’re in a caloric surplus or a caloric deficit.

The fix? Pre- and intra-workout consumption of a mix of quick-digesting carbohydrates and hydrolyzed proteins/amino acids

Through the ingestion of protein before and during your lifting session, you prevent the breakdown of existing muscle proteins for fuel, prohibit bodily protein degradation, and set the muscle up for acceptance of amino acids present in the bloodstream that can be used to remodel and regenerate muscle fibers.

Carbohydrates factor into this equation directly, as well; if intra-workout active levels of insulin are low, the peptide hormone glucagon will convert the available amino acids into glycogen for energy. Once converted, this lack of amino acids will hit you two-fold. Not only will they never be used to build new muscle or prevent the breakdown of existing tissue, but they will also be unavailable to meet the increased amino acid requirements that your muscles need to function effectively.

“But won’t intra-workout carbohydrates prevent me from losing fat?” No, not by a long shot. Because quick-digesting carbohydrate consumed during times of extreme energy expenditure are used immediately to fuel the generation of ATP, they actually allow for MORE fat to be burned because of the resultant increase in endurance and strength.

To sum all this up: if you’re neglecting your body’s pre- and intra-workout nutrient requirements, you’re shortchanging yourself. Not only will a lack of targeted nutrition before and during your workouts impact your immediate performance, it’ll impact your overall progress over time. Substantially. Hit the targets here and you’ll see a notable increase in your rate of growth, strength, and fat loss overall. 


Jared Boynton is a proud Advantage Supplements athlete with a wide range of knowledge on nutrition, supplementation, kinesiology, and biomechanics. His experience has been proven through years of real-world implementation with both his own physique and the physiques of numerous clients. You can contact Jared via email at, as well as follow follow him on social media and his personal website as listed below:






  1. Ivy, John, and Portman, Robert, Nutrient Timing, The Future of Sports Nutrition, Basic Health Publications, Laguna Beach, 2004.
  2. Cribb, Paul J, Hayes, Alan, "Effects of Supplement-Timing and Resistance Exercise on Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy." Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(11). Pp. 1918-1925. ISSN 0195-9131, 1530-0315.
  3. Haff, et al, "The effects of supplemental carbohydrate ingestion on intermittent isokinetic leg exercise, J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 2001, Jun:41(2): 216-22.

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