Scientists have studied the effectiveness of protein shakes


Recent studies have determined the optimal timing of protein shakes, and recommends giving preference to amino acid shakes.

Everyone likes strong and healthy muscles. And if you are constantly and regularly engaged, then your muscles are constantly in the process of growth and development. Athletes and scientists have long been experimenting with methods to increase muscle growth. One of the most popular ways to boost muscle growth lately is to consume protein shakes during and after workouts — drinks rich in whey proteins, eggs or plant foods.

Many studies have confirmed the positive effect of their use, and cocktails that include the essential amino acid leucine, which is essential for muscle growth, are of particular interest. Two papers, to be published in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, show how leucine and shake timing affect protein synthesis, muscle growth and recovery in athletes.

These studies help to understand and better apply the mechanisms of muscle growth, says American Society of Nutrition expert, Dr. Shelley McGuire. Our body works in a complex and it is logical that both regular exercise and good nutrition are needed for muscle growth.

In the first study, scientists led by Stuart Phillips from McMaster University (Canada) studied whether protein synthesis in muscles after exercise changes depending on the diet. Would it be better to eat one large dose of protein (25 g) after training, or to eat protein gradually: 10 times 2.5 g?

Participants (8 males with a mean age of 22) after training for 8 sets of 8 repetitions in the seated leg extension machine alternately tried both diets on themselves. It turned out that for increasing muscle protein synthesis, one large serving of protein immediately after training is more effective than gradually eating 10 small doses.

In the second study, led by Stephan Pasyakos of the US Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, military personnel (7 men and 1 woman with an average age of 24) consumed a protein shake during exercise on a stationary bike containing 10 g of protein and 1.87 or 3, 5 g leucine.

It turned out that when drinking a more leucine-enriched 2nd cocktail, muscle protein synthesis was 33% more active than when drinking a protein shake with a low content of leucine.

That is in terms of muscle growth, it is more effective to drink a protein shake immediately after a workout and give preference to shakes containing leucinescientists note.

At the same time, we should not forget that protein shakes do not replace a full-fledged healthy diet, but serve only to accelerate the process of protein synthesis and muscle growth. Many amateurs for muscle development are quite satisfied with the proteins obtained daily with food.

Remember, that:

  • Excessive protein intake leads to the accumulation in the body of the product of protein metabolism — uric acid and can provoke the development of gout and urolithiasis.
  • The daily requirement for leucine, depending on lifestyle, is 6-15 g, and an excess of leucine can increase the amount of ammonia in the body.

According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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