The reality about proteins in your training: The 13 aspects you should know
The protein is a critical macronutrient in our diet and plays an important role in facilitating the adaptive response of muscles to training, especially strength training.
Other articles have already commented on why the source / origin of the protein and the appropriate time of consumption of this protein (protein timing) are important to maximize skeletal muscle protein synthesis rates and optimize muscle reconditioning.
In addition, we also saw the strategy of consuming protein before sleeping as an adequate dietary strategy to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and facilitate the adaptive response of skeletal muscle to strength training, as well as what is the optimal amount of daily protein to gain strength and muscle mass.
In this case, as in the recent article that I have done on the efficacy and safety of creatine, I will build on the recent position of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (International Society of Sports Nutrition).
This important society has provided an objective and critical review in this 2017related to protein intake for healthy people who train , being the 13 key points the following:
1. Strength training + protein
An acute stimulus induced by exercise, particularly strength training, and protein ingestion stimulate muscle protein synthesis and are synergistic when protein consumption occurs before or after strength exercise.
2. Amount of protein to build muscle mass
For the construction of muscle mass and to maintain muscle mass through a positive balance of muscle proteins, a total daily protein intake in the range of 1.4 to 2 g / kg / day is sufficient for most individuals.
And here I add what I already commented in a previous article on ” optimal amount of protein to gain muscle mass “, and it is that it seems that with more than 1.6 g / kg / day (within the range proposed) no benefits are obtained additional So surely it will not be necessary or reach 2 gr / kg / day to achieve that goal.
3. More protein in hypocaloric periods
A higher protein intake ( 2.3-3.1 g / kg / day ) may be necessary to maximize the retention of lean body mass in subjects undergoing strength training during hypocaloric periods (in this case, because they are eating less calories and they need more protein to maintain muscle mass).
4. Even more protein to promote the loss of fat mass
There is new evidence to suggest that higher protein intakes ( > 3 g / kg / day ) may have positive effects on body composition in individuals who train strength, although in this case it would be with the aim of promoting mass loss fat (not to further increase muscle mass gains).
5. Optimal protein intake per serving
Recommendations on optimal protein intake per serving for athletes to maximize muscle protein synthesis are mixed and depend on age and recent strength-training stimuli . The general recommendations are 0.25 gr / kg of a high quality protein (examples: whey protein , eggs, fish, meat, etc.), or an absolute dose of 20-40 grams .
6. Leucine and essential amino acids are key
Acute protein doses should strive to contain 700 to 3000 mg of leucine and / or a higher relative leucine content, in addition to a balanced set of essential amino acids .
Therefore, athletes should consider concentrating on whole protein sources that contain all the essential amino acids , which are what are required to stimulate the synthesis of muscle proteins.
7. Uniform distribution
These doses of protein should ideally be distributed evenly, every 3-4 hours throughout the day.
8. Optimum period to take the protein
The optimal period of time to ingest proteins is probably a matter of individual tolerance, since the benefits are derived from ingestion before or after training. However, the anabolic effect of exercise is long lasting (at least 24 hours), but probably decreases with the increase in time after training.
9. Protein supplementation as a practical form
Although it is possible for physically active individuals to obtain their daily protein requirements through the consumption of whole foods, supplementation is a practical way to ensure the intake of quality and quantity of adequate proteins, minimizing caloric intake, particularly for athletes who they usually complete high volumes of training.
10. Rapid digestion, essential amino acids and leucine
The digested proteins rapidly containing high proportions of essential amino acids and an adequate amount of leucine are more effective in stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
11. Types and quality of the protein
The different types and quality of the protein can affect the bioavailability of amino acids after protein supplementation.
12. Endurance athletes
Endurance athletes should focus on achieving adequate carbohydrate intake to promote optimal performance. The addition of proteins will be important to help them compensate for muscle damage and promote recovery.
13. Proteins before sleep
The intake of proteins before going to sleep (as I reported in a previous article ), and better if it is in the form of casein ( 30-40 gr ), provides increases in muscle protein synthesis and metabolic rate during the night without influencing lipolysis (decomposition of dietary lipids into fatty acids during digestion).