Spread it Out: 25% Greater Increases in Protein Synthesis
by: Robbie Durand
Most athletes have been told to make dinner their highest-protein meal of the day. Researchers sought to examine protein timing and its effect on protein synthesis. There are some advantages to late protein intake. But what about the rest of the day? Researchers studied 24-hour muscle-protein synthesis in a group of healthy men and women. The subjects were first asked to stick to a diet with most protein consumed at night (about 10 grams at breakfast, 16 grams at lunch, and 63 grams at dinner). This was followed by a second diet in which protein was consumed evenly at three meals (with an average of about 31 grams per meal). Subjects stayed on each diet for seven days. Protein synthesis was 25% higher when subjects consumed protein evenly at each meal. The researchers concluded that it’s better to have protein with breakfast, lunch, and dinner than having a big, high protein meal at night.