Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Protein, little and often?

The debate on this one seems to go on and on.

Here is a new study which recommends moderate protein every 3 hours rather than something less frequent.

We conclude that the pattern of ingested protein, and not only the total daily amount, can impact whole-body protein metabolism. Individuals aiming to maximize NB would likely benefit from repeated ingestion of moderate amounts of protein (~20g) at regular intervals (~3h) throughout the day.

Daytime pattern of post-exercise protein intake affects whole-body protein turnover in resistance-trained males

The whole paper is available to read, so it will be interesting to go through it and see what they are really saying.


JamesSteeleII said...

Will be interesting to see this done over a longer period to see whether acute NB due to this feeding regimen translates to greater muscle mass.

Layne Norton's PhD work using rats has got me thinking about this. His results showed that higher acute synthesis levels in response to protein intake at regular intervals associated with greater muscle mass, whereas the same amount of protein but with a lower meal frequency resulted in greater liver mass.

Perhaps eating little and often in terms of protein is good for maximising muscle mass, but, is an IF/low meal frequency approch better for the health of other organs? I suppose it comes down to the persons goals - big muscles or big liver?.

Well really it comes down to whether the effects remain the same in humans compared with rats.

primalliving said...

I agree this discussion will probably go on forever!

I'm certainly not going to make any decisions based on NB/protein turnover though, as I've seen little evidence to indicate it really translates into muscle growth.

As a counter balance, here's a study in humans, measuring actual changes in LBM which found 3 meals superior to 6 meals in terms of producing muscle growth: https://ecss2007.cc.jyu.fi/schedule/proceedings/pdf/1796.pdf

Personally, the convenience of eating fewer meals, coupled with the growing evidence for the potential health benefits of IF/Protein Fasting would make it unlikely I'd ever go back to eating protein every 2 hours even if it was "scientifically proven to get me jacked in just 6 weeks..."

JamesSteeleII said...

Absolutely! I don't think I'd personally ever get 'jacked' anyway based upon my genetics. Eat protein every few hours to get a minor increase in muscle mass over what I can get with proper RT? Not worth the hassle for the outcome.

JamesSteeleII said...

*and diet combined with IF

George Super BootCamps said...

Good comments made so far, and I'd agree with the point that I'd be suspicious about NB translating to extra mass, I'd also go for the multitude of benefits from IF over a potential benefit from regular protein feedings...

Thanks for posting this Chris,