Protein timing? Slam your protein shake on your last rep

There is a lot of misnomers out there and borderline neuroses that if you do not eat protein right after your workout you will wither away or inhibit your hard earned musculature. This has led to many protein supplements to capitalize on “quick digesting proteins” and the 30 minute protein rule.  There are many individuals of whom will even get irritable and down right intolerable to be around due to their reactions of thinking they are losing their muscle “gains”. You see countless shaker bottles at the gym cocked, loaded, and ready to go for their post workout window. But are the pills, powders, and pop-tops  absolutely necessary?

How much protein matters to get your lean body and how protein affects muscle.

Firstly, what is protein
Protein’s main functions
  • Serves as the structural basis of vast majority of tissues in the body.
  • Regulates metabolism
  • Source of energy
Protein is an elaborate chemical structure containing oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Additionally, it holds one other important chemical, nitrogen which most dietary protein consists of 16%. These chemicals are aligned to compose numerous different structures referred to as amino acids.
Proteins are formed when 2 amino acids combine or link and create a peptide bond. A dipeptide is now formed when these two align. When this occurs with more amino acids they form polypeptides. Proteins can hold up to 300 amino acids. That’s a lot of polypeptides.

Why is protein and muscle so important?

It is the main nutrient used in the formation of all tissues. This is very important during rapid growth. Athletes need  who attempt to gain muscle tissue also need an adequate dietary supply of protein to create a positive protein balance.
Protein is important and vital for our physiology let alone your lean body mass. It is also pivotal to recover from workouts and to build muscle mass. 
It’s an essential compound that regulates hormones, tissue growth as well as degradation, and many other chemical reactions throughout all metabolic  processes of the body.
The average individual uses about 5% of their protein intake directly for energy.
As you age it is much more detrimental to hold onto your muscle mass. Studies show that higher muscle mass corresponds to less mortality. 
Strength training (how to build this magical muscle) also has shown to extend life and vitality through old age.
The body metabolizes the protein from food ingested into individual amino acids which are the building blocks of the protein. The body extracts the amino acids from the protein compound you consumed and then builds its own proteins for the necessary function it deems appropriate. These amino acids travel to various places of requirement through the bloodstream, including your muscles.

Plant protein and animal protein differences

All 20 amino acids are necessary for protein synthesis. They all must be available at the same time for optimal maintenance of body growth and function. If one amino acid supply is short, protein construction may be hindered. Plant proteins can provide you with all the amino acids you require for growth and development. Proteins just reside in smaller concentrations in plants. Vegetarians that consume plants in proper combinations over the course of their day will receive adequate levels of amino acids with no ill effects.

Protein quality

In addition there are premium proteins that contain more adequate amino acids and there are proteins that hold trace amounts. Not all protein is created equal.
“It’s protein quality that builds muscle and there are other options than meat,” says former Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Roberta Anding, RD, director of sports nutrition and a clinical dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital.
You want proteins high in PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score). PDCAAS focus on the nitrogen or protein balance. which include variables that comprise the amino acid content and the digestibility of the protein. Digestibility is an important variable to account for because it determines how quickly the amino acids can enter the bloodstream and perform the necessary functions your body needs.
The nine essential amino acids that your body cannot make that need to be obtained through food. Essential refers to the state of these amino acids. These types have to be obtained from food. Human bodies cannot create these essential amino acids.
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine.
For adults an average is about 25 percent of the total protein needed should consist of the essential amino acids.
Certain amino acids such as the branch chain amino acids (BCAAS) isoleucine, leucine, and valine constitute a significant amount of muscle tissue.
You want proteins that are easily digestible, a protein with high digestibility is important ones that score high on the PDCAAS are excellent protein sources for vegans & vegetarians. The PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) is based on a 0-1, 1 being the highest and 0 being the lowest score. The higher the score the more abundant the item has in these 9 essential amino acids stated above.

Vegetarian PDCAAS options

1.00     casein (milk protein)
1.00     egg white
1.00     soy protein
1.00     whey (milk protein)
0.99     mycoprotein
0.87     Sacha Inchi Powder
0.78     chickpeas
0.76     fruits
0.75     black beans
0.73     vegetables
0.70     Other peas
0.64     yellow split pea
0.59     cereals and derivatives
0.52     peanuts
0.50     rices
0.42     whole wheat
0.25     wheat gluten (food)



Vegan PDCAAS options

1.00     soy protein
0.87     Sacha Inchi Powder
0.78     chickpeas
0.76     fruits
0.75     black beans
0.73     vegetables
0.70     Other peas
0.64     yellow split pea[6]
0.59     cereals and derivatives
0.52     peanuts
0.50     rices
0.42     whole wheat
0.25     wheat gluten (food)
Other vegetarian foods that have a high PDCAAS include dairy products such as low-fat yogurt and milk for vegetarians, and soy, including tofu, edamame, soy milk and soy yogurt for vegans and vegetarians. .

Protein timing and metabolism function

Protein consists of long, complex chains of amino acids. In the process of digesting these, enzymes the body breaks down the intricate chains into the polypeptides and then into amino acids. The amino acids are absorbed through the small intestine’s wall and are distributed into the blood, body tissues, and liver. The liver is detrimental here because it is constantly creating a balance of amino acid mixtures upon what the several requirements of the body. Okay we know that was text booky but it’s important.
Protein is crucial to our overall health as well as holding, retaining, and building your musculature. While there is evidence that there are minimal advantages to eating protein every few hours due to the increase of protein synthesis. There is slight evidence that it isn’t the most optimal eating 1-2 large meals of food at building muscle. But eating larger meals less often, or missing meals, isn’t going lead to musculature degradation and muscle loss as long as the overall consumption of daily intake is adequate.  
Eating protein 4-6 times a day is not going to affect your musculature an exponential amount but it does show to have some advantages for optimal muscle growth due to protein synthesis. Some studies do show that it is a more optimal approach to build muscle eating protein every few hours. This shown to be optimal due to protein synthesis. Muscle building is more optimal during protein synthesis because the more often of availability of amino acids will likely be more effective at building muscle. Some studies do show that decreased amino acid availability may limit the effect of insulin on muscle protein synthesis after exercise.  But others also show that there was no significant results in consuming protein post workout (which one would think it would show the most effect).
What is for certain that would affect your musculature (and the degradation of it) greatly, is the total amount of protein you consume each day in entirety will aid fatloss and muscle retention. 

Intermittent fasting and protein timing.

If you do not get protein within a small regimented window it will not make you lose muscle as long as your overall intake meets your body’s needs.
Protein seems like the key, but so is carbohydrates and fats. During periods in starvation adequate amounts of dietary or endogenous carbohydrates and dietary fats may not be available. Both dietary protein and the body protein stores are used for energy purposes in such a fashion because energy production takes precedence over tissue building in metabolism. If the active individual desires to maintain lean body mass it is essential to have not only adequate protein intake but also sufficient carbohydrate calories in the diet to create a protein- sparing effect.
Evidence has shown with intermittent fasting it does not compromise your musculature, but overall daily consumption does
While protein timing may matter the most optimally to build muscle, meal frequency doesnt damage or degrade muscle.


How much protein should you ingest?

Depends, on your goals and what you are trying to achieve at this moment..
If you fall within these parameters you will be fine.
1 gram per pound to 1.8 grams per pound



Make sure you ingest carbohydrates! It creates a protein sparing effect.

If you want to maintain lean body mass, it is essential to have not only adequate protein intake but also sufficient carbohydrates. Calories in the diet to provide a protein sparing effect. In other words carbohydrate calories will be used for energy production, thus sparing utilization of protein as an energy source and allowing it to be used for its more important structural and metabolic functions.


Fasting has its benefits as well.

Fasting and stress
There are types two stressors. There is distress and eustress. Distress has negative effects on our body but eustress is beneficiary in adequate doses to our bodies. Fasting is an eustress. In smaller doses (anything under 48 hours) this eustress of fasting creates hormonal responses. When you are fasting you cause damaged cells to be cleared away by physiological responses. The practice of fasting also turns on genes that have anti-inflammatory effects. These genes being turned on are also genes that help you deal with stress, so there for you get all of the stress responses up until your next meal and none of the negative effects (such as starvation).
While it isn’t definite it seems more appropriate to eat protein more often throughout the day to optimally increase muscle growth, but it isn’t mandatory. Eating less often or missing meals is not going to hinder or affect your musculature to any significant degree due to the evidence of intermittent fasting and muscle degradation. Intermittent fasting shows promising effects in the long term with many positive eustress cellular responses. What seems most appropriate is to access what your goals at the present time. Such as, if muscle growth is your primary concern, or weight loss is your primary concern. If you have exceptional muscle development and the objective is fat loss intermittent fasting may be noteworthy, due to its weight loss effectiveness. If muscular growth and gaining strength is the primary objective then eating protein in more than 1-2 meals is a path that shows more results.
What is most important is your daily intake! Protein is going to help you build muscle and make you feel more satiated. Thus reducing cravings when trying to lose weight and build muscle when trying to gain weight.


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