The carbohydrate window is a kind of secret technique that will help you to gain muscle mass effectively.
In this article, we will take a detailed look at what this concept is, learn about its pros and cons, learn how to properly dispose of such an effective tool and of course, learn the right ways to close the carbohydrate window. As a result, you will have an excellent anabolic effect. Well, there is a lot of information, so it’s time to get started.
What is the use of a carbohydrate window for a sportsman?
After all, you probably had such moments when, after active physical work (for example, at the start), you felt such a hunger that you wanted to eat everything that is in the refrigerator and even a little more. However, there was no fear about extra pounds. In fact, this is exactly the situation that can be compared with the carbohydrate window, only it occurs at the primitive household level. If we look at the situation from a scientific point of view, the carbohydrate window is a short period of time during which the body is able to absorb and assimilate a huge amount of carbohydrates without adding major fatty deposits.
Most often, this time period lasts no longer than 20-40 minutes after the end of active physical activity. The body actively requires nourishment during this time, but many athletes do not fully use all of the possibilities of the carbohydrate window. And this is the incorrect way, because it allows to:
- Actively stimulate the growth of muscle mass;
- Influence the growth of growth hormones in the body;
- Increase the amount of insulin in the blood (which contributes to the rapid assimilation of proteins).
Important: It is more correct to say the protein-carbohydrate window, since it is protein and carbohydrates that help to launch all of the recovery processes within the body as quickly and efficiently as possible after training. When used correctly, protein and carbohydrates give a synergy effect and enhance the effect of each other.
In the meantime, here is a little more theory to understand.
We all know that muscle tissue grows not during training, but after it. That is, it turns out that we are actively engaged in the gym, give strength workouts, destroy fibers and change our hormonal background. And all of this is only in order to recover properly later and notice the result, which is the growth of muscle mass.
So it turns out that training is only a preliminary stage for launching complex processes within the body that lead to this necessary result. You will be able to enjoy the fruits of the work done already outside the gym or fitness club.
That is, it turns out that nutrition issues require special attention immediately after the training has ended. Remember, immediately after training and not at home after a warm shower and a cup of fragrant tea. Ideally, it looks like this: as soon as the training session is over and the last drop of sweat has fallen on the floor, you go to the locker room and eat a pre-prepared set of products there. Many bodybuilders eat jelly sweets after the gym to provoke the release of insulin and in turn, send the consumed proteins to their muscles with the help of these simple sugars.
In general, if we delve into the technical side of the issue, then protein, being the main building element of muscles, is prescribed for all bodybuilders. Moreover, you need to use it correctly, in accordance with your body weight. Another nuance is that the degree of protein assimilation at different times (of the day and for different ages) is a variable value. Now the body can absorb more, then less.
But there are also such moments when the body is able to absorb a much larger amount of protein amino acids without harm to itself. This phase occurs after the training has ended and all the processes associated with protein synthesis are activated for a short time. That is, it turns out that within 20-25 minutes after the end of the training, it is necessary to use this opportunity to the maximum this advantage or “window”.
There is also a “protein window”, which opens a couple of times a day (immediately after the end of training and at night). Therefore, it would be more correct to say that the protein-carbohydrate window should be closed immediately after the end of strength training and only the protein window should be closed at night.
Important: It is necessary to take protein at night, first of all, in order to maintain the secretion of anabolic hormones, as well as to restore muscle tissue as much as possible. It is at night that the metabolic processes proceed much better than during the day and amino acids are absorbed faster within the cells. Why is this happening? It’s simple: the blood sugar level drops, after which a condition called hypoglycemia occurs.
Considering training from the side of hormones, then workouts contribute to an increase in the level of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol). They help us to get the necessary mood, relieve fatigue and give a kind of recharge for the internal reserves of the body. And such a positive action continues only within the framework of training, after which a negative effect occurs. In particular, all this leads to the destruction of muscle tissue. This is where the time comes for the catalyst of recovery processes with the insulin hormone. It is very easy to start it by eating high-carbohydrate food that is combined with high-quality protein.
If this is not done, the body will quickly become exhausted and destroy its own muscles and accumulate adipose tissue. So we figured out that it is still necessary to close the carbohydrate windows. The only question remains, how to do it effectively? Let’s find it out as well.
Tip: For those more advanced bodybuilders who would like the opportunity for this rush of proteins to be stuffed within the muscles for faster recoveries and rapid repairs. The use of Insulin after training sessions is adopted by the professionals, as the window of opportunity is then prolonged for 2.5-3 hours. This becomes a great advantage for a bodybuilder as they now have the opportunity to eat correctly and provide the muscles with the enhanced process of gaining the fuel needed for repair. You can find this substance within our online store along with more detailed information, but please keep in mind that this is not for beginner users and also, while using insulin, you should check your blood glucose levels regularly in case they fall too low, as in this case, a Hypo will occur and can increase the risk of a user falling into a coma.
Foods to close the carbohydrate window
Science has proven that the rate of carbohydrate absorption after an active workout increases by 3-4 times. And then everything seems to be clear, eat carbohydrates as much as you want and enjoy the growth of muscle mass, but this is not the case. Remember, we once mentioned fast and slow carbohydrates, which are included in the diet. The base should consist of slow, that is, good carbohydrates that saturate the body with energy, promote digestion and contain a huge amount of fiber. Fast ones can be used sometimes and in very small quantities.
But after training, you need to act with accuracy, but on the contrary. That is, you need to eat as many fast carbohydrates as possible, which are combined with high-quality proteins. It is optimal to use liquid cocktails and leave delicious sweets in solid form for the holidays. Products with a high glycemic index (jam, sugar, condensed milk, fruit, honey, dried fruits, nuts, juices, baked potatoes, white rice and white pasta) are ideal.
Important: The glycemic index is an indicator of how quickly carbohydrates are broken down in the body.
Cottage cheese, chicken breast and especially tuna will be ideal as a protein supplement.
Ideal for consumption, as already mentioned, are cocktails. They are easy to make and simple and natural products are used within these. Here are some recipes for you.
Drink with vitamins
You will need:
- Water – 1 liter;
- Ascorbic acid tablets – 5 pcs. (pre-ground);
- Lemon juice – ½ of one lemon;
- Rosehip syrup (pharmacy) – 2tbsp.;
- Honey or sugar cane – 2tbsp.
All the ingredients should be mixed until smooth and drunk immediately after the training ends. It is not superfluous to eat half a green apple or a whole banana. As within 20-30 minutes, you need to consume the cocktail and protein-carbohydrate before the window closes. Within this time, an example of the protein-carbohydrate can be taken in shakes:
You will need:
- Milk (1.5% fat content) – 300-400 ml.;
- Cottage cheese (preferably low-fat) – 250g;
- Banana-1 piece.;
- Condensed milk or honey – l tsp.;
- Egg whites (raw or boiled) – 2-3 pcs.;
- Any berries (raspberries, blackberries or cranberries);
- Cinnamon-0.5 tsp.
Grind all the ingredients in a blender until you get a homogeneous mass, and then drink in small sips.
Considering the processes after training as a whole, they are divided into two stages.
After the protein-carbohydrate window is closed, you need to wait another 1 hour before eating solid food. Choose for this purpose those products that have high glycemic index indicators and a good protein profile. It is recommend closing the night protein window with low-fat cottage cheese with the addition of a small amount of milk.
There is another interesting fact that biorhythmologists have proven, it turns out that the English tradition of drinking tea at five o’clock appeared for a reason. As scientists have proven that at 17 o’clock the biorhythms of the human body move to a new level, when the body receives a significant surge of energy. It is absolutely appropriate at this time to “fill” the body with carbohydrates such as cookies and tea with a piece of dark chocolate.
It is also important that you should not be afraid to gain extra weight due to taking products that have a high glycemic index. In fact, after an intensive workout, the body’s reserves are severely depleted, so all incoming nutrients are first sent to restore reserves and then to fat deposits (if there is something left to send).
Instead of a conclusion
Today we have considered such an important topic as the carbohydrate window and tried to understand all the nuances. Now you are armed with knowledge, which means that you can effectively use this tool for a more correct and faster set of muscle mass. So do not forget to use the knowledge for your own good and benefit.
Tip: It has been stated that using this method can be very beneficial as well as taking the extra added Insulin to provide a longer window of opportunity. For these processes to occur, growth hormone and other hormones within the body are activated. Upon this factor, many athletes and bodybuilders take extra growth hormone or “HGH” to increase these processes and others. Another positive to using GH, is also that while running extra insulin within the day, this substance can help to keep the blood sugars elevated and thus, will promote less risks of falling into a Hypo state. This great and widely used substance can be found within our online catalog.