However, several studies32 have found that consistent protein intake throughout the day is more important for gaining muscle, promoting recovery, maximizing performance, and losing weight.

To optimize MPS, aim to consume 25 to 30 grams of high-quality protein21 during two or three meals throughout the day. This amount has been found sufficient for both younger and healthy older adults.

“In general, the first meal of the day after a nighttime fasting period is the most important for MPS,” says Layman. “However, if you’re eating a low protein diet (only 50 to 60 grams per day), getting at least one meal up around 40 grams is critical. If you have a higher protein intake (around 100 grams per day), it’s best to distribute the protein. The first and last meals will greatly benefit muscle growth.”

“Eating a high-protein meal every four to six hours during feeding windows will maintain your body in an anabolic state with ongoing muscle protein synthesis,” Lyon explains. “The first and last meals of the day are most important because they’re when you break your overnight fasting period and prepare your body for sleep, where you do most of your repair and regenerate activities.”



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