How To Optimize Protein Synthesis

Protein synthesis is an important process involved in muscle recovery and performance adaptations. It can be triggered by consuming protein, but how much is needed to maximize gains has been a matter of debate. A study published in the journalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise adds to the conversation with research involving experienced distance runners.

A dozen volunteers consumed formulas providing 70 grams of protein with 15 grams of added leucine or 23 grams of protein with 5 grams of added leucine after riding a stationary bike for 100 minutes of high-intensity cycling. Both supplements contained 180 grams of carbs and 30 grams of fat. Subjects received four servings during the first 90 minutes of a 240 minute recovery period. Fractional synthetic rate was optimized 33% with 23 grams of protein compared to the triple dose which only increased protein synthesis by 13%.

True Strength Moment: This classic case of less is more helped athletes achieve near maximal protein synthesis which contributed to optimal muscle adaptations during their recovery. For an interesting study on supplemental glutamine, read today’s Performance Blog

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