When Is The Best Time To Take Protein?

by Dr. Frank Shallenberger
reprinted from Dr. Shallenberger's Second Opinion Newsletter | May 11, 2015

When is the best time to take protein if you are on a program of resistance training?

Is it right before exercise, right after, or some other time?  The answer is in a new study in the peer reviewed journal, Nutrition, and it just might surprise you.

Researchers studied a group of 44 young, healthy men.  They put them all on a resistance (weight lifting) exercise training program for three months.  They gave half of them a protein supplement consisting of 27.5 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrate, and 0.1 gram of fat every night before sleep.  The other group received a non-caloric placebo.  Before and after the experiment they used whole-body, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry to measure their muscle mass.  They also assessed their muscle fibers using a muscle biopsy.  And they measured the men's overall strength.  Here's what they found.

Overall muscle strength in the protein before bed group was twice that in the placebo group.  The same was true for muscle mass.  The protein guys had developed almost two times more muscle mass than the placebo group.  As for muscle fiber content, the protein group had increased more than twice the amount of type II muscle fiber size than the placebo men.

The authors of the study point out that previous studies have shown that, "Protein ingestion before sleep increases muscle protein synthesis rates during overnight recovery from an exercise bout."  What they didn't know was whether or not that would translate to bigger, stronger muscles.  This study shows that it very clearly does. 

I have reported to you before how to exercise smart and get the same results from exercising half the time.  Now this study shows us another trick to give us the maximum effect from our exercise efforts.  Now here's an extra tip.

The 27.5 grams of protein powder that was given to these men was the typical kind of protein that is only 17% effective when it comes to muscle building.  There are protein pills that are especially formulated to be close to 100% effective.  They are called PerfectAmino (formerly MAP*).  I have reported on these pills before.  And since they are so much more effective than the protein used in the study you don't need much of them.  Just taking five PerfectAmino pills will give you a little more muscle action than the 27.5 grams of protein powder used in this study.  And they are a lot easier on the stomach.  You can get PerfectAmino at www.bodyhealth.com.  And one last thing.

Don’t' forget the 15 grams of carbohydrate.  Carbohydrate causes an increase in the hormone insulin which works to turn protein into muscle.  So it is a perfect combination for the protein.  15 grams is about half of a small apple. 

  • Visit the PerfectAmino product page to learn more about PerfectAmino and to checkout BodyHealth's recommended usage.

*PerfectAmino contains the same blend of amino acids as that disclosed (or claimed) in INRC’s patent covering its MAP product. Patent US 5132113

REF:

Snijders TRes PTSmeets JS, et al. Protein Ingestion before Sleep Increases Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Healthy Young Men. J Nutr. 2015 Apr 29.