We answer all your questions, especially those related to proteins. How much protein should you provide for an optimal anabolic response?
How many grams of protein for an optimal anabolic response?
Medical research has shown that the most important factor for progression in bodybuilding is protein .
In male bodybuilders, there is a direct correlation between protein intake and muscle mass gains (1).
This means that, for the same bodybuilding program, the higher the protein intake of a bodybuilder, the faster the hypertrophy of his type 2 fibers. Even more surprising: there is a lack of correlation between the rise in testosterone or growth hormone following training and the growth of type 2 fibers.
Proteins: a key element
Proteins are therefore a key element on which it is easy to play in order to progress. But how many grams of protein are needed for an optimal anabolic response, especially after training?
We often hear that a maximum absorption threshold exists at 30 g of protein per serving. A 2011 scientific study shatters this belief.
A comprehensive study on protein intake
Trained bodybuilders ingested varying doses of whey protein isolate after thigh training. The level of anabolic response was then measured in their muscle fibers.
- A first group of bodybuilders received 10 g of isolate every two hours.
- A second group received 20 g of isolate every three hours.
A third group received 40 g of isolate every six hours (2).
Taking the 10 g of isolate did not affect muscle anabolism. It is therefore too low a dosage to have a positive impact on the muscles.
The intake of 20 g multiplies by 12 the power of the anabolic response in the hour following the first intake. Four hours after bodybuilding, the repetition of the catches makes it possible to maintain a speed of synthesis of muscle proteins eight times higher than the placebo. But then the anabolic effect wears off.
Taking 40 g multiplies by 20 the level of anabolic response within one hour of taking it. Seven hours after bodybuilding, the repetition of the catches makes it possible to maintain an anabolism 12 times higher than a placebo. The anabolic effect is therefore both more powerful and longer lasting with the 40 g than with the other, more modest dosages.
This study proves that you can digest more than 30 g of protein per intake and that this is quite beneficial for recovery and muscle growth.
We also know that an intake of more than 40 g is beneficial in the morning or after a long period without eating (= more than 8 hours), because part of the proteins ingested will be assimilated by the intestine and will not reach the muscles.
(1) West, Daniel. Retrospective Analysis Of Resistance Training-induced Strength And Hypertrophy: Separating The Wheat From The Hormone Chaff. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 5 - p 41
(2) Areta, Jose L. Timing Of Post-exercise Protein Ingestion Alters Anabolic Signaling During Prolonged Recovery. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 5 - p 136