A recent study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise [1] set out to determine whether solid or liquid protein in the pre-workout period was better for OPTIMAL muscle protein synthesis rates.

The feedings were done 45 minutes before the groups trained (solid food intake was simulated by that group taking small “pulse” doses of whey every 15 minutes to mimic the slow digestion of real food).

In the liquid group the blood amino acid concentrations returned to resting levels before the workout ended.

However, the solid food group increased and maintained elevated protein synthesis levels throughout training and were still higher 2 hours after the workout had ended.

For those of us eating to help fuel muscle growth this would be the preferable scenario as it will result in better muscle gains and speedier recovery.

Now, as I’ve stated numerous times before, fast-digesting liquid protein AFTER a workout is much more effective than solid food protein.

Tip: the quickest way to get the protein digested is to take whey in water. Add no fats as it will slow down gastric emptying.

How to “Bracket” your workouts for Maximal Muscle Protein Synthesis

So in order to apply these findings, you should do the following:

 45 minutes to an hour before your workout eat a high protein solid food meal to include chicken, beef, tuna, eggs etc. (aim for at least 30g protein in this meal)

 Immediately after your workout take a large whey protein shake – 40g protein or more.

That’s all you have to do in order to OPTIMIZE muscle protein synthesis rates both DURING and AFTER your training.

You do of course need to tear up those muscles with an intense training program like THT for any of this to actually make a difference.

My recommended protein sources? For UK/Europe go for MyProtein’s Impact Whey Isolate. For the rest of the world, try Optimum Nutrition Whey or Isopure Whey Isolate.

Train With Intensity!

Mark

[1] Preexercise Aminoacidemia and Muscle Protein Synthesis after Resistance Exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 May 22.
Burke LM, Hawley JA, Ross ML, Moore DR, Phillips SM, Slater GR, Stellingwerff T, Tipton KD, Garnham AP, Coffey VG.

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