Does Protein Distribution Effect Muscle Mass?


With regards to the accretion of latest muscle mass, protein consumption is without doubt one of the main variables to contemplate. Frequent discussions vary from how a lot protein, protein supply and bioavailability, refractory durations, and protein distribution.


This text will give a quick distillation of the at the moment obtainable proof and supply clear and concise suggestions to optimize protein distribution all through the day and maximize your outcomes.



Protein’s Function within the Physique’s Features

Protein serves numerous features within the physique, together with however not restricted to growth and maintenance of tissue,1 catalyze biochemical reactions,2 recovery from injury,3 and regular immune function.4


However of specific curiosity is its function within the synthesis of skeletal muscle. Muscle protein synthesis (MPS)5 is the method by which our our bodies synthesize new muscle tissue. It’s a main variable that galvanizes tissue remodeling.


Muscle protein breakdown (MPB)6 is an oppositional impact whereby muscle proteins degrade. This impact happens by autophagy, and calpain, and the ubiquitin-proteasome programs.6


The stability between these two processes decided whether or not a person will acquire, preserve, or lose muscle mass.


  • When the speed of MPS outpaces, MPB new muscle is accrued.
  • When MPB outpaces MPS, muscle loss is noticed.


Optimize Muscle Mass Features

A 2019 paper7 by Iraki et al. established suggestions for pure bodybuilders within the offseason.


The authors reiterate what the bigger physique of proof suggests: complete protein consumption is a extra important figuring out consider growing new muscle mass than protein distribution.


Presently, the analysis suggests a protein consumption of 1.6-2.2 g/kg per day is ample to optimize muscular positive factors.7


Nevertheless, when protein, calories, and any resistance exercise protocol are standardized, we nonetheless see a slight profit when protein distribution is optimized all through the day.



One of many extra apparent causes for that is the refractory interval of MPS. The leucine threshold describes the quantity of leucine required inside a protein feeding to stimulate MPS8 maximally.


Does Protein Distribution Effect Muscle Mass? - Fitness, immune system, resistance training, protein, hypertrophy, Elite Programming, leucine, protein synthesis, bodybuilder, calorie burning, rebuilding, The Recovery Guide

A : modifications in muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and muscle protein breakdown (MPB) in response to feeding (i.e., amino acids). B : modifications in MPS and MPB in response to resistance train and feeding. Power utility of those anabolic stimuli, as in B , leads to muscle hypertrophy8.


Protein high quality and bioavailability aren’t the themes of this text, however typically, what’s noticed is animal-based protein appears to be superior to plant-based proteins usually.


Nevertheless, a number of non-animal-based protein sources are top quality. Should you’re all in favour of diving into this matter, you will get began by studying this paper, and this one, and this one. However I digress.


Assuming a ample amount of protein is consumed, we maximize the MPS response (roughly 20-40 g). This response comes with what’s often known as the “muscle full impact,” as described by Schoenfeld et al. in his 2018 paper.9


Primarily, as soon as MPS is maximally stimulated, there’s a refractory interval by which MPS can’t be maximally stimulated once more.


A 2017 paper10 by Kirksick, et al. discovered “Ingesting a 20-40 g protein dose (0.25-0.40 g/kg physique mass/dose) of a high-quality supply each three to 4 h seems to most favorably have an effect on MPS charges when in comparison with different dietary patterns and is related to improved physique composition and efficiency outcomes.”10


So does protein distribution have an effect on the accretion of muscle mass? Sure, it does, however the impact is small. Nevertheless, I might warning in opposition to assuming that small is synonymous with not significant. Its worth is relative to the person and their targets.


Hypothetically talking, a 1% enhance in hypertrophy for an elite bodybuilder stands out as the distinction between 1st and fifth place.


For the common particular person, the additional effort might not be definitely worth the comparatively small impact on outcomes. It’s as much as every particular person to find out whether or not the funding is value it. Good luck!



1. Bosse JD, Dixon BM. “Dietary protein to maximize resistance training: a review and examination of protein spread and change theories.” J Int Soc Sports activities Nutr. 2012 Sep 8;9(1):42.

2. Cooper GM. “The Central Role of Enzymes as Biological Catalysts.” The Cell: A Molecular Method. 2nd version. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2000.

3. Yeung SE, Hilkewich L, Gillis C, Heine JA, Fenton TR. “Protein intakes are associated with reduced length of stay: a comparison between Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) and conventional care after elective colorectal surgery.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Jul; 106(1): 44-51.

4. Li P, Yin YL, Li D, Kim SW, Wu G. “Amino acids and immune function.” Br J Nutr. 2007 Aug; 98(2): 237-52.

5. P. J. Atherton and Okay. Smith, “Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise.” The Journal of Physiology, Vol 59-.5 1049-57.

6. Kevin D. Tipton, D. Lee Hamilton, Iain J. Gallagher, “Assessing the Role of Muscle Protein Breakdown in Response to Nutrition and Exercise in Humans.” Sports activities Medication (Aukland, N. Z.). Vol 48, 2018. Suppl 1, 53-64.

7. Juma Iraki, Peter Fitschen, Sergio Espinar, and Eric Helms, “Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review.” Sports activities (Basel, Switzerland.), Vol. 7.7 154, 26 Jun 2019.

8. Burd NA, Tang JE, Moore DR, Phillips SM. “Exercise training and protein metabolism: influences of contraction, protein intake, and sex-based differences.” J Appl Physiol (1985). 2009 Might;106(5):1692-701.

9. Schoenfeld, B.J., Aragon, A.A. “How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution.” J Int Soc Sports activities Nutr 15, 10 (2018).

10. Kerksick CM, Arent S, Schoenfeld BJ, Stout JR, Campbell B, Wilborn CD, Taylor L, Kalman D, Smith-Ryan AE, Kreider RB, Willoughby D, Arciero PJ, VanDusseldorp TA, Ormsbee MJ, Wildman R, Greenwood M, Ziegenfuss TN, Aragon AA, Antonio J. “International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing.” J Int Soc Sports activities Nutr. 2017 Aug 29;14:33.


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