It’s the question everyone asks which brings on the most confusion
You are not the only one confused about how much protein is necessary for muscle growth. More protein equals ending the insatiable appetite during the dieting phase, not to mention eliminating the need to keep snacking.
Protein is, therefore, great for building muscle mass and maintaining a lean body. During my body-building phase, I ate mountain amounts of protein— it was sickening. I even ate game meats like Kangaroo because of the high level of iron and protein it contained — whilst being very low in calories. Those poor Kangaroos — no wonder I don’t eat meat anymore! I don’t even think my body could process that amount — but I guess it had no choice. These days, I focus on plant protein and eggs.
That’s my staple source; as far as I can tell, it’s adequate for me.
My excessive protein days are over.
One man named Milo from Croton in the sixth century BC, who won five consecutive wrestling championships, built his strength and size from eating 20 pounds daily. Now, that’s a lot! I imagine the food quality was a lot less toxic than now! But, Is that really how much someone needs to be a champion like Milo?
In a recent study by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, metabolism, researchers measured muscle protein synthesis rates in volunteers who consumed different amounts of lean beef.
Results proved that only the first 30 grams of protein consumed in a meal produced muscle. You can still get the same results in different forms of protein, such as fish, soy, chicken and dairy.
A total of 30 grams of protein only increased the rate of protein synthesis in younger adults (by about 50 per cent). Then the researchers wanted to see if an incremental increase in protein resulted in more gains.
So they began to feed 17 young and 17 elderly volunteers identical portions of lean beef to see the results. For young and old adults, 12 ounces of protein gave the exact amount of muscle protein synthesis.
The suggestion is that muscle protein synthesis hits the ceiling with 30 grams of protein per meal, perhaps a little less. One possibility could be the design of a meal.
One of the problems may be that we don’t eat any protein for breakfast, a small amount at lunch, and then a more significant portion for dinner. Perhaps we’re not taking in enough protein during the day when needed. When we consume more than we need in the evening, the excess is oxidised and might become glucose or FAT!
It’s certainly not necessary to eat vast amounts of protein to maximise muscle protein synthesis.
That one key point will save you money and possibly your health. Eating more protein during breakfast and lunch would be beneficial, then less in the evenings. Eat eggs, a good quality protein powder, or a smoothie for breakfast in your oats. Try eating some yogurt as a snack and nuts and make your biggest protein meal at lunchtime — rather than dinner.
Eat an egg straight after training to trigger muscle protein synthesis. Following a consistent protein consumption plan based on when you are most active will give you a better chance of synthesising muscle protein. Try it out for 30 days and see how you go. How much protein do you consume to build muscle?
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