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Old 09-21-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Default Muscle protein synthesis and optimal eating

Hi,

After reading the interview with Steve and Casey Butt I have a question.

Casey told about muscle protein synthesis elevated for 48 hours post workout.

So...does it make sense to eat high protein after those 48 hours of MPS?
If you train a full body workout 3 days a week, I don't think it will be a problem. But like me I do 2 full body workouts a week (better 5 FB workouts in 2 weeks),
basically I train a workout, wait 2 - 3 days and repeat.
By the way, this MPS, is this local or is this for all the muscle's in the body.
I mean if I train chest, shoulders and triceps on monday, does my pushing muscles benefit from the elevated MPS of my wednesday pulling workout?
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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First of all a common misconception is that the elevated MPS is always 48 hours, which isn't true. 48 hours is the longest MPS will be elevated after training, depending on training intensity it can be as short as 24 hours. Think of it like this: a 2 hour workout dedicated to solely training legs will probably elevate MPS for 48 hours, while someone who does full body workouts 2-4 times a week might only enjoy elevated MPS in his legs for 34 hours. This is essentially why the body-part splits many people still advocate are nowadays called 'brosplits', their design isn't based in science. Based on what we know about MPS upper/lower splits or full body workouts result in the highest amount of elevated MPS out of all workout programmes. Now that doesn't mean that all other training programs aren't viable, the human body is very complex and one can't make recommendations like this based on just one factor (muscle protein synthesis in this case), but I digress.

Second of all there is really no point in micromanaging your food intake like you are suggesting. There are so many processes going on in the body at the same time, different foods digest at different rates. Just figure out what your required energy/protein/fat intakes are and try to hit those amounts every day.

And ofcourse don't forget to eat veggies, fruits and enough fibre! (Srs don't forget fibre, you're gonna have a bad time if you forget fibre).

And yes increased MPS is local to the muscles used, although there are many benefits to doing heavy squats, they will not make your arms grow by themselves for example.

EDIT: a metaphor I often use to try to explain to people why the timing of their meals might not be as important as they think: Think of your body like a wallet (with money being protein/fat/carbs/etc.). Now ask yourself, if everyday you take $20 out of your wallet (200 grams of protein, 50 grams of fat, total of 3000 calories), does it really matter in what time frame the money came into your wallet? It wouldn't matter if you put $2 into your wallet 10 times a day or $10 twice a day, you'll always end up with enough money as long as the daily amount of money you put in is $20.

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Old 09-21-2013, 08:36 AM   #3
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This is a fair answer.
I'm just thinking about something. Lets say I have done a squat workout, 30 minutes or something like that. Lets assume my MPS is elevated for 12 hours.
But if I eat no protein at all during this 12 hours, will my body catch up later on?
So will this MPS in the Quads, hams, glutes and shoulder gridle stay elevated until there are enough amino acids to recover those muscle groups.
I'm not sure science has done research on this.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ludovic1976 View Post
This is a fair answer.
I'm just thinking about something. Lets say I have done a squat workout, 30 minutes or something like that. Lets assume my MPS is elevated for 12 hours.
But if I eat no protein at all during this 12 hours, will my body catch up later on?
So will this MPS in the Quads, hams, glutes and shoulder gridle stay elevated until there are enough amino acids to recover those muscle groups.
I'm not sure science has done research on this.
I think I know what you mean, but the thing you need to know is that amino acids are in your body 24/7, think about the wallet, as long as you supply your body with sufficient protein every day, it'll always have enough laying around for things like MPS. So in practice with a decent diet you will never miss out on elevated muscle protein synthesis because there are always amino acids available. But theoretically yes if you had 0 amino acids in your body you would 'miss out on' those hours of elevated muscle protein synthesis. This never happens in the real world unless you're doing something crazy like fasting for a full week or something.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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So...does it make sense to eat high protein after those 48 hours of MPS?
If you are working out 3-4 times per week some muscle is always being repaired.

Even if this wasn't the case, you still need a balanced diet for good health. In addition, a body with more muscle will need more protein and raw materials just to maintain that muscle.
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