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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Study Spotlight: How Much Protein Can the Body Use in a Single Serving for Muscle Building?

By: Joel Luedke


Rumors and myths start seemingly for no reason other than one person says it and then it spreads like wild fire.  The debate of how much protein your body can handle from a meal/serving has long been thought to be only 20g but is that truly the case?  Many people have argued this and suggested higher but the sciences wasn't always there to back it up.  This article breaks it down.


What They Did:
Brad Schoenfeld is always on the front end of muscle building and protein research.  He did a full review of what the evidence says plus a lot of anecdotal evidence an dire leading the way and coming soon.

What They Found:
The thought has always been anything above 20-25g of protein a meal was not absorbed and would be oxidized for energy or excreted out of to he body.  It is hard to make that generalization when we start taking a look at what you might be combining your protein consumption with and also when we take a look at some proteins that digest slower.

The data shows that while consuming more than 20g of protein in a serving does increase amino acid oxidation that is not the fate of all the additional AAs consumed. Some of that extra then goes to tissue building purposes.  Based on the current literature to maximize your ability to stay anabolic (muscle building) you should consume 0.4 g/kg/meal across at least 4 meals a day.   At max you should be looking at 2.2 g/kg/day

What It All Means: 
Bottom line-eat as much protein as you need/want to.  No longer do you need to look at caping your protein intake at 20-25g/per meal (depending on weight).  Even if you 'over-consume' protein and put in way more in a serving your body can still reap the benefits of muscle building.  The other thing to look at in the recommendations is that you need to take a look at the 4 times per day.


It seems to be the secret to building muscle isn't always in the timing (a story for another post) or necessarily how much protein you're putting in it is the fact that you keep eating and keep in an anabolic state.  That means constant and consistent consumption of protein and making sure you're nutrition is staying up throughout the day.  Find out more below.


Limitations:
This study was a review which is always good to have go back but makes things very difficult to control.  That can bring about questions in the evidence and while not always the 'strongest' evidence it is good to have people who take the step back and summarize all that has been found.  Not bad evidence, just a different way to look at it.

Resource: How Much Protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building?  Implications for daily protein distribution-Brad Schoenfeld & Albert Aragon
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