Just hitting your daily recommended grams isn’t enough to grow your muscles
If you want to make big muscle gains, there is definitely no substitute for putting in the hard work at the gym.
Protein is another extremely important component of muscle growth, however, and experts are learning timing matters just as much as the amount you intake. With every workout, you simultaneously stimulate protein synthesis and protein breakdown. Unless you eat the right amount of protein at the right time, you’ll never be able to maximize your gains.
Check out the guide to timing protein intake perfectly here:
Knowing how much to eat isn’t enough to optimize your gains, here’s how to tap into an often overlooked aspect of your protein intake: the when.
When it comes to getting stacked there’s never going to be a substitute for hard work in the weights room. However, optimizing muscle growth depends on diet and, more specifically, protein intake.
Unfortunately, recommendations are often confusing: take 15–35% of total calories or a certain amount of protein per day based upon bodyweight, for example.
To make things simple, let’s change the question of ‘How much protein should I eat per day?’ to ‘How can I best stimulate protein synthesis, aka muscle growth?’
FINE TUNING YOUR LEUCINE
Working out the optimal amount of protein per meal is far better than using daily protein recommendations. So exactly how much protein per meal and how much time between meals is the absolute best?
Well, the answer entirely depends on one very special amino acid: leucine. It’s one of the three branched-chain amino acids (along with isoleucine and valine) and research shows it’s the ringmaster for protein synthesis in your muscles following a meal.
There is no true storage capacity in the body for protein like there is for carbohydrate (glycogen) and fat (triglycerides), and after eating the optimal amount of leucine, protein synthesis plateaus.
So, in regards to muscle growth, gorging on any more leucine beyond a point is an exercise in futility, technically called leucine saturation. Once you reach this point, the muscles get a little less receptive to additional leucine for up to four hours.
GET SOME FOR YOURSELF
Leucine is found at highest amounts in complete, high-quality protein sources including meats, eggs, milk and whey and casein protein supplements.
For starters, these protein sources should be staples in any athlete’s diet, but timing will maximize your chance at growing those bigger biceps you’ve been working on.
……………….. can be vital for muscle recovery, but it also means you have to wait until morning to spark protein synthesis again.
………………..of fast and slow-digesting protein will maximize muscle growth while you sleep. Try a scoop of whey protein mixed with Greek yogurt.