The ideal meal schedule
So now that you know what works best, here’s how to implement it. Depending on how many calories you’re eating, avoid placing your wholefood meals less than 4-5 hours apart. And because you’re eating less often, make the meals bigger than usual. Take a protein drink first thing in the morning and immediately after your workout. Also, between your solid meals, ingest a dose of fast-digesting amino acids every 2-2.5 hours, using pre-mixed amino drinks that you can store in the fridge and consume on the go.
That being said, you don’t have to slave to the 30-gram protein myth anymore – your body is capable of processing more than 30 grams of protein per serving and athletes with a lot of muscle mass and lifters over 40 may need to take much larger doses.
Increase your weight training frequency
In addition, as important as achieving an optimal nutrient intake is, resistance training can help you boost muscle protein synthesis even further, so making an effort to combine your protein intake and weight training sessions in the smartest way possible will naturally lead to superior gains. One 2012 study found that consuming 36 grams of protein – which was the highest dose used in the study – after a resistance training workout led to optimal levels of muscle protein synthesis, compared with doses of 10 and 20 grams. Also, the anabolic benefits of weight training aren’t limited only to the duration of the exercise or a short post-workout period – they carry over for up to 48 hours.
On the other hand, the mechanical stress of weight training causes an increase in amino acid uptake, so by supplying the muscles with amino acids before the training session as well, you can increase the availability of these amino acids for uptake during the workout and boost your results even more. Needless to say, for best results, you need to weight train as frequently as possible, or at least four days per week.
Every bodybuilder knows that protein consumption is one of the driving forces behind a smooth and constant muscle growth. However, how and when you take your protein is a key factor that will determine whether you make the best use of it or not. To optimize protein synthesis and anabolism, science suggests protein pulse feeding instead of a regular high protein consumption pattern involving a few solid protein-boosted meals throughout the day. Enhanced protein synthesis will allow you to train harder and build more muscle, and frequent weight training will then stimulate protein synthesis even further. Elevated anabolism is kind of a self-perpetuating loop that you need to enter in order to continuously get the biggest bang for your buck and build a physique that separates you from the average lifter.