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Tuesday December 12, 2017

How much protein for maximum muscle  building effectFor years I have advised bodybuilding and strength athletes to consume about 1 ½ grams of protein per lb of bodyweight per day. Typically this is divided into servings with roughly 40 grams each. Throughout this time I’ve known this to be true both experientially and anecdotally.

Was I wrong?

Research recently published on PubMed suggest so and if correct,,, we could all save a bit of money on our protein budgets. Here’s the story.

The goal of the study was to determine the “ingested protein dose response of muscle” after resistance training. In other words,,, how much protein is required for optimal muscle growth after weight training?

The study consisted of 6 healthy young men performing intense leg based resistance training on 5 separate occasions. After weight training the participants were given protein drinks containing either 0, 5, 10, 20 or 40 grams of whole egg protein. The protein drinks were given randomly after which protein synthesis was measured over a 4 hour period.

Results: The study concluded that muscle response to protein intake after resistance training was dose dependent and that it was maximally stimulated at 20 grams of protein. Beyond the 20g level additional protein intake seemed to have no additional effect.

What?  Early in my weight training career I was told that 40 grams was optimal. I practiced this and always had good results. In turn I’ve shared this with others who also have had good results. But if this study is correct,,,, and it very well may be,, we could have achieved the same results on half that amount. Additionally,, it looks like the additional protein may actually have a negative effect on our body. According to the study, dietary protein consumed after exercise in excess of the rate at which it can be incorporated into tissue protein stimulates irreversible oxidation”.

I don’t know about you but I take daily antioxidants specifically to combat oxidation/free radicals.

Personally I like the idea,,, its better on the budget. But old habits die hard so I’ll look for additional research to back up the current study. If this holds up,,,, looks like I’ll have to recalibrate the protein intake calculator on the Lift for Life site.

“CONCLUSIONS: Ingestion of 20 g intact protein is sufficient to maximally stimulate MPS and APS after resistance exercise. Phosphorylation of candidate signaling proteins was not enhanced with any dose of protein ingested, which suggested that the stimulation of MPS after resistance exercise may be related to amino acid availability. Finally, dietary protein consumed after exercise in excess of the rate at which it can be incorporated into tissue protein stimulates irreversible oxidation’

Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19056590

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