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Roid Monkey 06-09-2010 07:05 AM

Twenty grams of protein per meal may be optimal
For years, bodybuilders have espoused the benefits of consuming tremendous quantities of protein. From as far back as Eugen Sandow consuming a gallon of mill per day, to the 3,000 calorie weight gain shakes of the ’90s, to the modern day claims of top bodybuilders that they eat 500 grams of protein per day, the [...]


BendtheBar 06-09-2010 08:00 AM


Hereís how it went down: Six healthy young men (22 years old, with prior weight training experience) did 5 leg workouts on 5 separate occasions. After the workout, they drank a shake containing 0, 5, 10, 20, or 40 grams of whole egg protein. After the workout and the shakes, protein synthesis and whole-body leucine oxidation were measured for 4 hours.

Protein synthesis followed a mostly linear dose dependent response curve until intake jumped to 40 grams from 20. At that point, the researchers concluded whole body protein synthesis flatlined. Muscle Protein Synthesis and Albumin Protein Synthesis was maximally stimulated at 20 g. In fact, with regards to most of the markers examined, a protein intake of 20g was just as good as 40g, or slightly (and insignificantly) lower.

proteinstudy4The major difference in blood amino concentration between the groups came at 4 hours later, and was significant, but still not where youíd think it would be when you compare 20 versus 40 grams of protein. Plus, most people would have a protein shake immediately after training, then another meal within 2-3 hours. Itís inconceivable that the minor difference shown at 4 hours would be real-world important.

The study had considerable limitations: no bodyweight or body surface area was listed for the men, and the number of participants was low. And nobody uses whole egg protein after a workout (nobody that I know). In addition, there were certain differences between the 20 and 40 gram groups, although the researchers concluded that they were too small to justify 40g of protein over 20g. And finally, all professional bodybuilders and even top amateurs are using steroids, GH, and a bunch of other goodies that will enhance protein synthesis.

Still, the study is interesting, and perhaps validating for people who just donít do well on boatloads of protein.
I wish they would have thrown in a third group that did heavy squats for these leg workouts and measured how intense workouts impacted (if at all) protein synthesis.

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