- Conventional wisdom says that to maximize your muscle building efforts in the gym, you should eat protein within one hour of your last representative.
- But this is "brother science," scientist Brad Schoenfeld said at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' annual conference on food and nutrition on Sunday.
- His research shows that while eating protein within a few hours of your workout – whether before or after, your gains will be more or less the same.
- Schoenfeld also challenged other "brother science" assumptions, such as that your body cannot handle more than 20 to 30 grams of protein at a time to build muscle.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more.
Conventional wisdom, or at least the wisdom of fitness rats, says that you should eat protein within one hour of your last representative in order to maximize the muscle building strength of your workout.
But the reality is more nuanced, Brad Schoenfeld, associate professor of cise science exercises at CUNY Lehman College, said Sunday during a presentation at the annual Nutrition and Dietetic Conference at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Philadelphia.
Although it is true that post-fitness protein consumption promotes recovery and thus muscle tissue growth, Schoenfeld finds that it is also true that pre-fitness protein consumption promotes recovery and thus muscle growth fabrics.
In other words, it doesn't matter whether or how fast you eat protein before or after exercise, as long as you do it at all.
"If you actually take pre-workout meals, everything is off the table," says Schoenfeld, who also authored the Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy and owns the lookgreatnaked.com URL.
In the study supporting this finding, Schoenfeld and his colleague employed 21
After measuring muscle thickness, strength and overall body composition, using the highest level of technique such as ultrasound and dual X-ray absorption, the researchers found no significant difference in the profits of men who are loaded with protein before training, compared with those who did after they hit the gym.
The results, Schoenfeld said, suggest the best time to eat protein is a narrow one-hour window after exercise, but more like a "barn door" that can open up to four to six hours around the workout itself.
"If you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and have breakfast between them, you will hit your window," he said. "You don't need to sweat."
How much protein can handle your body at one time is also nuanced
During his presentation, Schoenfeld also challenged other concepts he calls "brother science", such as the idea that your muscles do can use more than 20 to 30 grams of protein at a time, so consuming more than that for muscle building is useless.
Although there is some support for this theory, Schoenfeld said; it is again nuanced. On the one hand, much of the research that comes to this conclusion is based on studies where participants only eat "fast acting proteins" as pure whey supplements. meat or eggs) in combination with other macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, which slows down digestion. These more complex forms delay the absorption and theoretically allow some people's muscles to use more than 30 grams of nutrition.
Plus, of course, everyone is different, so such a "cap" may be appropriate for some, but it is not a universal rule.
Rather, a "relatively simple and elegant solution" is to consume 0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for at least four meals a day if your purpose is to build muscle, Schoenfeld and
27 grams of food per 150 pounds, but 45 grams of food per 250 pounds.
Yet, the researchers conclude, "however, further studies are needed to quantify a specific upper threshold for protein intake."