How much protein do your muscles need?
We all know somebody who is constantly eating. They constantly need to get nutrients into their body so they "can maintain their muscle size or increase muscle mass".
But what if what they were doing was actually not helping them at all?
Our body is similar to a car, both have a built in emergency fuel tank.
We all have a safety tank in our gut
So when we are not taking in protein in our diet. Our body still has a source of protein that it can take from without taking away from skeletal muscle.
Also if we get really caught out our body will break down protein from labile sources. This includes parts of our body such as our liver before it will ever go near skeletal muscle.
The idea that if we miss a single meal. Go more than 3 or 4 hours without eating some protein. Our body will suddenly start to break down its own muscle makes no sense what so ever.
You can't eat when you are asleep
On average we sleep between 6 and 8 hours every night. When you wake up in the morning has your muscle disappeared? Are you just skin and bone?
Of course not.
That is because your body has stores of protein that it can call upon. Not only that; any protein that we intake is still providing your body with amino acids 6 to 8 hours after it was ingested.
It was also found in studies that when protein is being constantly infused into the body that there is an immediate increase in muscle synthesis but after 30 minutes or so the muscle synthesis had greatly decreased. This is because our muscle tissue becomes insensitive to all this stimulation.
So all the money spent on keeping high levels of protein in your system were wasted and could in fact be counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve.
Too much protein is not good
It was found that providing low to moderate amounts of protein were far more beneficial. It was found that it was the protein concentration in circulation outside the cell that was far more important than the protein inside your cell.
The research found a sensor in the cell that was responsible for detecting how much protein was in circulation. It was the changes from low concentration to high concentrations that had a greater influence on muscle synthesis as opposed to constantly high levels.
So the next time you are about to down a lump of protein ask yourself if you really need it.
Or would you be better to save it for a little later?