A group of scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston recently concluded that people’s protein consumption should be distributed through all three daily meals for improved muscle growth and health, adding that greater portions should be taken at breakfast and lunch instead of being over-consumed at dinner.
This conclusion, published in the Journal of Nutrition, actually contradicts the standard eating habits of many Americans who usually skip protein at breakfast, have a moderate consumption of it at lunch, and a large amount of protein at dinner.
Doug Paddon-Jones, muscle metabolism expert at UTMB, and one of the scientists involved in the research, explained that consuming proteins later in the day doesn’t allow the body to process it in the most effective way. “So we’re not taking enough protein on board for efficient muscle building and repair during the day, and at night we’re often taking in more than we can use.”
In a previous UTMB study reported on by BioNews Texas, scientists had already shown that the consumption of proteins, especially the combination of different types of proteins instead of one, was “important for muscle recovery following exercise and help extend amino acid availability, further promoting muscle growth,” according to Dr. Blake B. Rasmussen, one of the researchers involved in the study.
With this new study, researchers further concluded that, in addition to the recommended daily allowance and different combinations of proteins, overall protein consumption should be divided throughout the day for effective muscle building.
The research was conducted using two groups of healthy adults. They were given the same generous amount of protein, 90 grams, which corresponds to the average protein consumption of U.S. adults, even though the RDA recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lies between 46 grams for women and 56 for men.
The first group had 30 grams of protein at each meal, while the second got 10 grams at breakfast, 15 grams at lunch and 65 grams at dinner.
The results showed that in the first group, their 24-hour muscle protein synthesis performed 25 percent better than the one of the second group. The result was confirmed through several days.
To obtain best and healthiest results from protein ingestion, scientists from UTMB consider that people should change their habits of ingestion, not in quantity, but in distribution. Paddon-Jones view is that people should eat 30 grams ate breakfast, 30 grams at lunch and “then moderate the amount of protein for dinner. Do this, and over the course of the day you wil likely spend much more time synthesizing muscle protein.”