Protein timing has been an exciting concept in sports nutrition for more than 20 years. The idea behind the concept is that protein is consumed shortly before or after weight training, which amplifies muscle protein synthesis by providing amino acids for making new proteins and turning on key biochemical pathways for protein synthesis. A meta-analysis by Brad Schoenfeld from Lehman College in New York and co-workers concluded that the combination of total protein intake and weight training was more important for protein synthesis than the timing of protein intake. 1 (Journal International Society Sports Nutrition, 10: 53, 2013)
So how much protein should you shoot for? Non-athletic adults need 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. It’s particularly important to consume adequate amounts of the amino acid leucine because of its role in controlling biochemical pathways involved in protein synthesis. 2 People lose muscle as they age, a condition called sarcopenia. Consuming adequate amounts of high-quality protein and leucine speeds protein synthesis and helps preserve muscle mass with age.
- Journal International Society Sports Nutrition, 10: 53, 2013
- Current Opinion Clinical Nutrition Metabolic Care, 17: 75-79, 2014