Protein Intake: What The Science Says
The three major regulating factors of muscle protein synthesis are:
- Quality of protein
- Quantity of protein
- Timing of protein
Science has pretty much gotten quality and quantity figured out.
For quantity, the current research shows that the best amount of protein for weight lifters is about 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight each day.
For protein quality, the best research indicates that milk protein concentrate (which is called casein) is the best-quality protein, with whey protein concentrate taking second place and whey protein isolate being third.
For the third factor, the timing of protein intake, scientists are still attempting to research this vital area. We have always believed that muscle growth is best aided with an even protein consumption throughout the day, but a new Japanese study gives us more info.
The researchers found that consuming disproportionate quantities of protein during breakfast and lunch, but especially during breakfast, had a large impact on muscle protein synthesis, regardless of the amount of protein intake.
A group of participants who were fed a breakfast with a high amount of protein put on over 40% MORE muscle than the participants who ate a lower-protein breakfast, even though all the participants consumed the same total of protein daily.
But even among weight lifters who do a great job of maintaining their protein consumption, most go through a protein “fast” when they are sleeping. If they have their last meal at 8 PM, they are possibly going without any protein for 8 or even 12 hours.
A recently published study dealt with the topic of consuming protein before bed time found that it’s a habit every weight lifter should adopt.
Do This 30 Minutes Before Going To Bed
This study analyzed nine other studies related to pre-bed protein consumption and its affect on muscle protein synthesis. They found:
“The eating of 20-40 grams of casein protein around 30 minutes before sleep increases whole-body protein synthesis during the night.”
“Pre-sleep protein also can help the muscle adaptive response during 10-12 weeks of weight training in young, but not in elderly men.”
How To Use This
Eating protein at bedtime is definitely important. A scoop of high-quality protein powder that is not filled with thickeners will easily mix in only a small amount of liquid, in order to keep your night-time bathroom visits to a minimum.