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Protein intake for muscle growth =========================

Siddharth Lall
Siddharth Lall

Protein is one of most important macronutrient  that our body needs .They are also commonly called building blocks because of the essential part they play in growth and repair of muscle tissues. Protein also provides fuel or energy to our body just like any other macronutrient. (It yields 4 calories of energy per gram)
* 1 gm Protein = 4 calories 

Now,when we talk about protein intake and muscle growth ,
Rate of Muscle  protein synthesis ( MPS)  can be a good base to start the discussion.

What is MPS or Muscle protein synthesis? 🤷🏼‍♂️
> MPS could be simply understood as rebuild or repair process of our broken muscle tissues. 

In my previous article of progressive overload I explained the mechanism of muscle growth. 
For those who missed it , I will put it one line.

 “We intentionally break our muscle tissues under mechanichal stress while we lift weights. Later these tissues are repaired stronger and bigger in presence of protein intake.” This process is called Muscle protein synthesis or the repair process.

 Now,  an increased or good  rate of Muscle protein synthesis determines the growth and repair of  our skeletal muscle tissue. 

Protein is made up of essential and non essential Amino acids which describes the quality of protein. A protein source which has good number of essential aminoAcids is considered best for promoting Muscle protein synthesis.

“Leucine” - one of the most important or essential  Amino acid  is responsible for stimulation of muscle protein synthesis with our  dietary protein intake.  
Research  says that a content of   2.5-3 gms of leucine  in any single meal can stimulates muscle protein synthesis.
 Hence we can say that  maximum amount of protein  required in a single meal to stimulate MPS it is dependent on  the leucine content in given source. This will help to conclude how much amount of the source shall be consumed to reach the leucine threshold and stimulate MPS

For example
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 The protein source with highest leucine content is whey protein which contains about 10% leucine per 100gms .So,  25 gms of whey protein contains 2.5 gms of leucine which is enough to stimulate  MPS, whereas a lower source of protein like soya(which contains 8 %leucine roughly)would be required in more quantity. 
Thus,We can conclude that 25 gms of whey protein can stimulate MPS whereas it takes 30 gms of soya protein to stimulate the same amount of MPS in one given meal

So, the optimum benefit level for protein consumption at any single meal depends majorily on the source of protein.  

However, it is also the total  daily protein intake which matters . You should make target to hit a total daily protein intake as per your requirements.
For Males 1.8gm/kg - 2gm /is sufficient for muscle retention or muscle gain.
Leaner individuals may require slightly higher intake on the basis of their total calorie consumption (2.2-3gm/kg)

For Females 1.3 gm/kg -1.8 gm/kg is sufficient for muscle retention or muscle gain

So, ideal way to consume your total daily protein intake would be spreading it  evenly  across different meals (20gm -30gm) throughout the day for a continued state of Muscle protein synthesis . 

However it may not be  always practical and there is no upper limit of protein consumption in a single meal. You first priority should be completing the whole protein intake .

This is the most summarised version and there are more facts to consider like Rate of Mps / Duration of Mps / Fast release and slow release protein / Protein requirement in fat loss diet , etc . I will try to cover these topics in next set of articles.