The Morning Dose #32: Nootropic Peptides, Protein Dosing, and the Twin Study

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In this week’s edition of The Morning Dose:

🥩  Is Too Much Protein a Thing?

🧠 Bariatric Surgery Improves Brain Structure

🧪 Research Spotlight: Vegan vs. Omnivore Diet Twin Study

🧬 The Best Nootropic Peptides

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☕️ First time reading? I’m Matt, and this is The Morning Dose. Every week, our team scours hundreds of sources to bring you need-to-know news and insights you won’t find elsewhere. All in 5 minutes.

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🥩 Is Too Much Protein a Thing?

If you’ve been around the fitness industry for a while, you’ve probably heard all sorts of “rules” and myths about protein.

Rush to have protein after a workout, eat at least 1 gram per pound, eat 2 grams per pound, and consume protein every 2-3 hours.

Of all the rumors out there, one of the first rules I heard was that you should never eat more than 30-40 grams of protein in a meal, as your body can’t use that much and you’re simply “wasting” the rest.

This is likely where the “4-6 small meals a day” rule, common among fitness influencers and bodybuilders alike, first got its start.

With intermittent fasting gaining so much popularity, which seems to contradict the 4-6 meals a day rule, what’s the real deal with protein? Are we wasting it if we consume too much?

Thankfully, we have a new human study that looks at the upper limits of protein to see if there truly is such a thing as too much protein in one meal.

The study looked at the response to 0g, 25g, and 100g of protein after a workout, and found that higher protein intakes led to greater muscle protein synthesis, all the way up to the 100g group.

Now, I don’t think many of us are going to be consuming 100g of protein at a time (that’s 4 scoops of whey), but I’ve had countless clients over the years ask about this, worried they’re wasting protein if they miss a meal and try to double their protein intake later in the day.

Thankfully, the truth is out now, and higher doses of protein are very effective at promoting muscle protein synthesis and recovery between workouts. 

You can eat more than 40g of protein in a meal, so don’t worry too much about spreading your protein out into tiny meals; feel free to follow whatever eating schedule works best for you.

 🧠 Bariatric Surgery Improves Brain Structure

According to a new study in JAMA, bariatric surgery is associated with far more benefits than simply weight loss, including improved cognitive function, better overall health, more efficient blood vessels, and improved cortical thickness, which is associated with brain health.

Now, you may not be interested in bariatric surgery, but as we know now, weight loss peptides like semaglutide and tirzepatide also cause significant weight loss.

Most of the benefits were directly from the weight loss of course, so we can assume that there would be similar benefits from dramatic weight loss.

The study looked at participants ranging from 35-55, so it doesn’t seem to matter how old you are; losing weight will improve brain structure and cognitive function.

The largest improvements the researchers noticed were in episodic memory and attention span, and an improved mood with fewer symptoms of depression.

If you’ve been reading Muscle + Brawn for a while, you shouldn’t be surprised that improving your physical health also improves cognitive function, but we’re thrilled to see more and more research connecting the dots.

Weight loss peptides are still flying off the shelves, and many insurance policies don’t cover them, even if your doctor prescribes them.

With any luck, this will continue to push companies to innovate and make weight loss peptides easier to get in the coming years. We can always turn to research peptides, but readily available peptides at your local pharmacy are likely going to help far more people who wouldn’t otherwise know how to navigate the world of research companies.

🧪 Research Spotlight: Vegan vs. Omnivore Diet Twin Study

One of the biggest limitations in scientific research is genetic differences.

Even if a study is very specific to your exact demographic, we all have different genetics, and there are always outliers. Even with something like creatine, the most studied and effective sports supplement, there are non-responders who see no benefit at all.

We can’t really do much about this, which is why it’s awesome to see a nutrition study that used twins, who do share the same DNA.

A recent 8-week study compared a vegan diet vs. an omnivore diet in pairs of identical twins, who are a 100% genetic match, to see the health impacts of each diet.

This is even more interesting as it takes into account the idea of nutrigenomics, the idea that our genetics impact the nutrients we absorb and use from food.

One twin in each pair was assigned to each diet, and they were instructed to eat healthy diets, emphasizing fruits and veggies while minimizing added sugars, refined carbohydrates, and heavily processed food.

The twins following the vegan diet found that LDL cholesterol levels (the bad cholesterol) decreased, as did insulin levels and overall body weight.

However, there were a few flaws in this study. The vegan group ended up eating about 200 calories less per day, which would explain the weight loss, and they reported less overall satisfaction with their food. In other words, even if the vegan diet was better, who knows how long the participants would have followed it?

This study doesn’t give a clear answer to which diet is better, but there are still some valuable takeaways.

Minimizing processed food and prioritizing fruits and veggies is always a good idea

Eating in a caloric deficit will result in weight loss, which may improve health markers

Ultimately, the best diet is the one you can stick to–for many, this means a diet that’s high in fruits and veggies, with protein in most meals

Researchers decided to use twins to compare diets, which is a fantastic idea and one I hope we see repeated in the future

To read more, you can check out the full study right here.

🧬 The Best Nootropic Peptides

Nootropics have been popular dietary supplements for a while, but the actual benefits weren’t always clear, especially since you had to worry about how much of the active ingredient survives the digestive system.

Luckily, these days we have plenty of nootropic peptides that are much more powerful and directly improve cognitive function, much like the movie Limitless.

While some supplements may work, peptides are usually, though not always, delivered through injection or nasal spray, for maximum absorption and utilization.

Nootropics, often called “smart drugs” or “cognitive enhancers” are designed to work directly on the tissue in your brain, increasing things like memory formation, memory recall, mental processing, focus, and more.

Here are a few of the most interesting nootropic peptides you may want to consider if you feel your brain needs a bit of a pick-me-up.

Semax: Nasal spray that can improve memory, focus, and mood, though may cause slight nausea or headaches.

Cerebrolysin: Injectable peptide that improves memory, learning, and mental focus.

Noopept: Noopept is taken in capsule form, and may be particularly useful for the elderly, as it increases neuroprotection and fights against age-related memory loss and cognitive decline.

Remember, optimal cognitive function comes from improving all areas of your physical health, but if you’ve got your bases covered there, adding peptides can certainly help.

To see all seven peptides that made our list of the best nootropics, check out our full guide here.

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-The Morning Dose

PS – Have questions or suggestions? Hit reply and let us know what you think.

Disclaimer: This content is NOT medical advice. The information included in these emails is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only.

 

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