You go to the gym, you have a protein shake to help you build muscle. It’s a simple enough equation that’s been working for millions but MedicalNewToday wanted to go one further so they looked at a series of studies surrounding the consumption of protein in the health industry.
Whilst there are countless claims around protein for weight loss and muscle building, it’s difficult to determine a claim from a fact. Here’s what you need to know about two of the biggest topics surrounding protein: weight loss and building muscle.
Protein For Weight Loss
According to the study’s author Timothy Huzar, “there is some evidence that eating protein can help a person lose weight”.
This stems from the evidence of protein increasing the feeling of being full – also known as satiety. The investigation says that till this day, it’s still unknown as to the best time for consuming protein when pursuing weight loss. Various studies have looked at the topic but have come up with conflicting results.
One study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a higher protein diet in general can improve a person’s body weight management. The study stipulates that ‘higher protein’ equated to 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Another recent study in the journal Advances in Nutrition appears to back this claim by suggesting that snacking on protein foods can reduce the number of calories consumed by a person in their next meal. This same study however adds that the data backing up this claim is scarce. The conclusion provided by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics? More studies are required, but it does at least gives you a starting point to make your own call.
Protein For Muscle Building
This is the one you’ve probably been looking out for. Surprisingly there’s been countless studies on the best time to consume protein after exercise in order to build muscle. The investigation says that even this is unclear at the moment, irrespective of the claims out there.
The investigation cites two studies from the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition which highlights that there is no relationship between building muscle and the timing of protein consumption. In an older study from the Journal of Physiology, it was discovered that older adult males who took protein supplements after exercise would encounter skeletal muscle growth.
So whilst there’s no doubt that protein does help to build muscle, there is about the best time to consume it. Researchers from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that there are no disadvantages to consuming protein before or after a workout. Regular gym goers should take away from this research that consuming enough protein to build muscle is more important than the timing of consuming it. That’s because a lot of the past and current studies are based off athletes who engage in long hours of intense exercise.
The investigation instead recommends that the average person consumes a balanced diet supplemented with protein if they’re attempting to build muscle.