So I’ve written a lot about protein requirements for athletes in my career. It’s a topic I’ve followed with some interest for decades, I wrote an entire book on the topic in 2008 or so. Well guess what I’m talking about again today. Hint: it’s protein requirements for athletes.
Protein Requirements for Athletes
The most recent piece I wrote on the topic addressed a current idea in field where maximal per meal protein intake is about 0.25 g/lb (about 0.55 g/kg). This is based on research showing that this amount of protein maximizes MUSCULAR PROTEIN SYNTHESIS. This is assumed to represent the optimal protein requirement for growth.
In the original piece, I gave a number of criticisms of that idea including the following:
- Most studies concluding this use whey protein rather than whole food. This not only alters digestion and appearance kinetics but the food matrix is important as the presence of other nutrients and compounds impacts on how foods work in the body.
- Many of the training protocols are debatable as to their relevance to how serious athletes or bodybuilders train as they tend to use a handful of sets tops.
- The studies invariably ignore muscle protein breakdown, primarily due it being hard to measure (note: this isn’t a good reason to ignore an important biological process)
- Muscle protein synthesis is an idiotic endpoint to use to begin with. I’ll address this point again in detail.