Saturday, October 31, 2009
Does More Protein = More Muscle??
You need to eat lots of protein if you want to build muscle, right? All the really BIG body builders eat massive quantities of protein, (and likely wash it down with a fair bit of "juice") so it must work... Well, the answer is yes...and no. While protein is definitely key in muscle synthesis, a recent study shows that the body can only use the first 30 grams of protein ingested at a meal to actually build muscle. Thirty grams is the amount in about 4 ounces of meat. So, what happens when you eat more than 4 ounces? The excess is broken down and used for energy or converted to glucose and/or fat. Here's a link to a summary of the research: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026125543.htm and the original research article abstract: http://www.adajournal.org/article/S0002-8223(09)00769-X/abstract
So the takeaway message is this, more than 30 grams of protein at any one meal does not equal more muscle. Don't concentrate your daily protein into one or two meals, rather spread it out. Try 30 grams each at breakfast, lunch and dinner and an additional 5-20 grams for your snacks. A Paleo/Zone type eating pattern will help keep meals balanced, providing not too little or too much at any one eating occassion. To get the maximal muscle building "bang for your protein buck" at every meal follow these rules: Have a "Palm" of protein (serving size the palm of your hand), 2 "Fists" of non-startchy vegetables, 1 "Fist" of fruit (unless you are trying to really lean out and going very low carb) and then add a good portion of fat (olive oil, almond butter, tree nuts, avocado, etc.) depending on your caloric needs and diet/performance goals. This plan is guaranteed to "PUMP YOU UP"!!