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Evening protein and morning anabolism

  • protein
  • Sports nutrition
  • whey

You are probably asking yourself a lot of questions about protein intake in the evening, in connection with morning anabolism. What is the impact of proteins? Nutrimuscle answers your questions.

Will taking your protein in the evening compromise morning anabolism?

In the morning, taking a fast protein like whey increases muscle anabolism significantly. This is because nighttime fasting increases the sensitivity of muscles to the naturally anabolic effects of proteins.

On the contrary, by taking too much protein, too often, the muscles' anabolic response weakens.

How is the sensitivity of the muscles modulated?

Muscles contain receptors for amino acids, especially leucine. By taking protein, these receptors are activated: anabolism is triggered. But in return for this activation of protein synthesis, the receptors close in on themselves. They become refractory to any anabolic activation for several hours. Then, over time, they regain their anabolic sensitivity.

Since we go without food for a long time at night, the sensitivity of the receptors to any anabolic activation increases over the hours. This is why in the morning, proteins are particularly anabolic, because the muscles are hyper receptive.

Impact of nocturnal proteins on morning anabolism?

It is therefore legitimate to wonder if the fact of taking your protein just before going to bed will not compromise the anabolic action of the proteins that you ingest when you wake up.

If this were the case, we would lose some of the anabolism that we would have gained overnight. This would minimize the importance of taking protein before going to sleep.

Impact of a mega dose of whey

A new study answers exactly this question. Young men who did weight training were given either 60g of whey or 60g of carbohydrate before bed. Why 60 g of whey? Because a megadose makes it possible to lengthen the duration of anabolic action of whey by creating a kind of digestive "bottleneck". It's like sending a lot of cars at once on a highway: the average speed of the vehicles is automatically reduced by the traffic density, the travel time lengthening accordingly.

In the morning, the subjects all drank 20 g of whey and their rate of muscle protein synthesis was compared.

In men who received the carbohydrate before bed, the increase in muscle anabolism was the same as in those who took whey before bed. There is no morning anabolic decompensation from taking protein before bed.

Evening protein and morning anabolism: conclusion

The nocturnal protein does not decrease the sensitivity of muscle receptors. So, taking protein before sleep is doubly positive because it increases nighttime anabolism without compromising morning anabolism.

On the contrary, it is doubly negative not to take protein before sleeping, because it promotes nocturnal catabolism without obtaining a compensatory morning anabolic response.

Scientific references

Burd NA. Protein ingestion before sleep does not modulate postprandial protein handling to the subsequent morning protein meal in young males. Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 2015 Vol. 40, pS9.

Written on 1/10/2022 by Nutrimuscle Conseil
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