AFTER YOU TRASH your muscles in a grueling strength-training or endurance workout, you need quality protein to minimize muscle breakdown and stimulate muscle growth, as well as carbs to refuel energy stores, says Jordan Mazur, R.D., coordinator of nutrition and team dietitian for the San Francisco 49ers.

“Traditionally we’ve heard there’s a post-workout ‘anabolic window’ in which you must consume food or protein powder within—and if you miss that window, you lose your gains,” Mazur says. “But that’s not necessarily true. Recent research suggests as long as you meet your daily protein requirements, spread throughout the day, you can maximize muscle.