Scroll To Top

Want Muscle? Go Easy on the Protein

Want Muscle? Go Easy on the Protein


For thousands of years, people have believed that eating large amounts of protein made it easier to build bigger, stronger muscles. A study by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston metabolism researchers, however, provides evidence that strongly contradicts this ancient tradition. It also suggests practical ways to both improve normal American eating patterns and reduce muscle loss. The study's results, obtained by measuring muscle synthesis rates in volunteers who consumed different amounts of lean beef, have shown that only about the first 30 grams (just over an ounce) of dietary protein consumed in a meal actually produce muscle. "We saw that 12 ounces gave exactly the same increase in muscle protein synthesis as four ounces," says Douglas Paddon-Jones, senior author of a paper on the study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.. "This suggests that at around 30 grams of protein per meal -- maybe a little less -- muscle protein synthesis hits an upper ceiling. I think this has a lot of application for how we design meals and make menu recommendations." The results of the study, Paddon-Jones points out, show that a more efficient eating strategy for making muscle and controlling total caloric intake would be to shift some of the extra protein consumed at dinner to lunch and breakfast. "Usually, we eat very little protein at breakfast, eat a bit more at lunch, and then consume a large amount at night. When was the last time you had just four ounces of anything during dinner at a restaurant?" Paddon-Jones asks. "So we're not taking enough protein on board for efficient muscle-building during the day, and at night we're taking in more than we can use. Most of the excess is oxidized and could end up as glucose or fat."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

HIV Plus Editors