Evenly Distributing Protein Intake: Is It Necessary?


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Evenly Distributing Protein Intake: Is It Necessary?

Protein distribution is often a very debatable topic and there is a controversy about the maximum amount of protein that can be utilized in a single meal for lean tissue-building of those involved in resistance training. A lot of data suggests that there is an upper ceiling to maximum muscle protein synthesis (MPS) that can be triggered in a single meal, with a consensus of high-quality protein intake ranging from ~ 20-30 gm. Anything above this amount is believed to be oxidized for energy or transaminase to form urea. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5]. Theoretically, it makes sense to limit the protein intake to 20-30 gm per meal and divide the remaining across meals through the day. But, whether the maximized MPS will translate into muscle growth in the long term is something that remains to be seen. Further, we have also seen people following Intermittent Fasting, who probably consume 50% of their protein intake in one meal and are doing equally well when it comes to achieving the desired body composition. To give the whole findings of evenly distributing protein a more practical approach, a 2020 Japanese study on 26 untrained subjects by Yasuda et al, measured the muscle growth using DEXA scan as a yardstick, instead of FSR (fractional rate of synthesis) used in erstwhile studies. It was found that evenly distributed protein saw a better lean body mass and strength gains. However, results were not statistically significant. [6] The study was far from perfect owing to the reasons stated below. Self-Reported Performed on untrained subjects Suboptimal protein recommendation (<1.6 gm/kg) No control over workout timing Could have used direct measurement of muscle size However, measuring actual muscle growth via DEXA was a welcome step in the right direction. So to sum up all the available findings, if you are someone who is a recreational lifter, you may choose to ignore distributing your protein intake evenly if it’s too much of trouble for you. On the other hand, if you are very serious about building muscle mass and want to squeeze the maximum out of your genetic potential, then probably evenly distributing protein might give you an edge. Content by Praveen Budhrani Reference: 1. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19056590/ 2. Nutritional interventions to augment resistance training-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4558471/ 3. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19056590/ 4. A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19699838/ 5. The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole-body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27511985/ 6. Evenly Distributed Protein Intake over 3 Meals Augments Resistance Exercise–Induced Muscle Hypertrophy in Healthy Young Men https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/150/7/1845/5823851

Biswadeep Pattnayak

I thought this was an issue with my transformation in TC 10, turns out it doesn’t matter. Will try with equal distribution of proteins in my next transformation, let’s see!

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