The shocking TRUTH about protein doses

March 25, 2013

The more protein you eat, the better you recover, and the more muscle you build. Right? Sort of. There's actually a limit to the anabolic (muscle building) effect from a given serving of protein. In other words, when you consume an excess of protein, while it's not going to be harmful, it's not going to give you much of an additional benefit in terms of building muscle. Check this out: A study was performed to investigate the amount of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and albumin protein synthesis (APS) after varying doses of egg protein (0,5,10,20, and 40 grams). What the researchers concluded was that ingestion of 20 g intact protein is sufficient to maximally stimulate MPS and APS after resistance exercise, while the lower doses weren't as good and the higher dose had no additional benefit. [caption id="attachment_245" align="aligncenter" width="200"]See where the line stops going up and flatens out? That's the difference between 20 and 40 grams of protein. See where the line stops going up and flattens out? That's the difference between 20 and 40 grams of protein.[/caption] Ok, so that's egg protein. What about Whey protein? Again, there's no additional benefit to ingesting 40 grams instead of 20 (skip to the grey highlighted part at the end): [caption id="attachment_246" align="aligncenter" width="569"]" Our results are the first to show that when exercise is performed 3h following food intake there is a limit to the rate of post-exercise MPS following protein ingestion. Whey protein ingestion above 20g does not provide any additional benefit to MPS." " Our results are the first to show that when exercise is performed 3h following food intake there
is a limit to the rate of post-exercise MPS following protein ingestion. Whey protein ingestion above 20g
does not provide any additional benefit to MPS."[/caption] As you can see, 20 grams of protein, for either whey or egg, seems to be the optimal level, even post-workout (makes you wonder why some people use 30 or even 40 in their products, eh?). Finally, for our paleo friends, a study was performed to determine whether 90 grams of beef protein was superior to 30 grams. Guess what? It wasn't (you can skip to the yellow highlighted part at the end). [caption id="attachment_247" align="aligncenter" width="445"]Despite a 3 fold increase in protein content, there was no additional protein synthesis in 90 grams of beef versus 30. Despite a 3 fold increase in protein content, there was no additional protein synthesis in 90 grams of beef versus 30[/caption] As you can see, more is not always better with regards to protein (yup, that's why 3Fuel has exactly 20 grams of whey protein). When you're choosing a protein supplement, take a look at how many grams it actually gives you, and figure out whether it makes sense scientifically. Are there any studies showing 22, or 25, or even 40 grams of protein to be superior to 20? If there are, we haven't seen them (*because there aren't any). In other words, if you're throwing down $70 for a product that has 30 grams of protein (for example), you need to understand that you're flushing a third of your money down the toilet.  

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