Balanced Protein Servings Increases Muscle Synthesis

Galveston, TX—New research shows that most Americans may not have the optimal metabolic environment to support healthy muscle growth and strength.

The imbalance of this typical eating habit consists of barely any protein during breakfast, a little protein during lunch and an overabundance of protein during dinner. The research indicates that when protein consumption is excessive toward evening meals instead of being equally distributed throughout the day, the potential for muscle growth is not at its best.

The study, conducted by a team of scientists led by muscle metabolism expert Doug Paddon-Jones of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, measured muscle protein synthesis rates in healthy adults who consumed two similar diets and were provided different protein distribution throughout the day for comparison. One diet contained 30 grams of protein in each meal and the other provided 10 grams at breakfast, 15 grams at lunch and 65 grams at dinner. Researchers used blood samples and thigh muscle biopsies to get results to determine the volunteers’ muscle protein synthesis rates over a 24-hour period.

The study has indicated that the volunteers who had consumed the evenly distributed amount of protein in meals had a 24-hour muscle protein synthesis that was 25% greater than those who consumed the uneven protein distribution meals. 

The results of the study seem to show that a more evenly distributed protein consumption will support muscle health. “You don’t have to eat massive amounts of protein to maximize muscle synthesis, you just have to be a little more thoughtful with how you apportion it,” says Paddon-Jones.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2014