We recommend along with other sports scientists: 1 gram/pound of lean body mass (LBM) daily split between 4-6 meals. This amount can also support muscle during weight/fat loss.
Protein in Hypertrophy
Without exogenous protein, hypertrophy cannot take place at any stage in life.Maximizing skeletal muscle hypertrophy requires regular unaccustomed exercise combined with proper overall nutrition that includes frequent daily protein (amino acids) feedings and daily totals of approximately 1 g of protein per pound of body weight or more depending on energy balance.
Protein (amino acid) Timing
If the goal is to maximize MPS then the timing of daily protein should be intuitive. That is, based on all data presented here, in order to achieve total tissue saturation of necessary materials for signaling and building muscle protein, doses should be spread throughout the day with each meal. Ideal protocol would also include: 1) a final dose before bedtime since sleep time is generally the longest lapse in which there would be a reduced extracellular EAA presence, and protein ingestion before sleep has demonstrated increases in MPS rates during overnight recovery from exercise bouts;and 2) for exercisers/athletes before and after strenuous activity.[ Dosing in this manner would keep the extracellular EAA levels at concentrations necessary to deliver a maximum signaling/effect so that levels are appropriate at any opportune time when the body is most responsive including reducing muscle protein breakdown (MPB). Supplementation of complete fast acting protein before and after exercise have clearly shown an incremental MPS benefit when everything else (diet and exercise) was equal. The two major opportunities that present themselves in this exercise induced "anabolic window" are 1) EAA supplementation reducing MPB by being consumed before and during activity, allowing less time and material needed for repair and maximum remodeling, and 2) MPS potential is at its highest point immediately post exercise but also wanes quickly, thus immediate delivery of specific and optimal amounts of protein can maximize this short but incremental MPS window.
Post exercise ingestion would take place independently of whole foods in order to avoid any potential EAA clearance by the splanchnic bed and perhaps more importantly, to avoid slower gastric emptying by accompanying foods since the goal is rapid hyper-aminoacidemia during this critical period. Timed ingestion of whey protein both pre- and post-workout facilitates a more rapid absorption of amino acids into the bloodstream and their subsequent delivery to the target tissues when compared to other sources of proteins.
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