Both groups were following a training regimen. Afterward, a muscle biopsy was made from the subjects’ legs as well as their recovery rate post-workout. It was found that satellite cells, as well as myostatin levels, experienced a significant drop soon after finishing their training session in both groups. And here comes the interesting part. After about 48 and 72 hours, even though the satellite cells and the myostatin levels got back to their baseline values in the group that ate more protein, the levels remained lower for a longer period in the group that ate less protein.
After 72 hours, the myostatin expression was significantly increased in the first group, while myostatin expression was significantly decreased in the second group. Even though this particular study did not manage to show that the protein we eat has a direct impact on the increase of satellite cells post-workout, it did manage to find that the concentration of dietary protein has a direct impact on post-workout myostatin levels. If we are to be a bit more specific, a diet that has low-to-moderate protein content has the potential to decrease myostatin levels, thus increasing muscle mass. This means that having low myostatin levels which were caused by working out triggered the differentiation and activation of satellite cells.
But this doesn’t mean that you don’t need that fast-digesting whey protein blast from your post-workout shake. It’s been shown that consuming protein immediately after finishing your workout session inhibits myostatin expression. The expression had a significant increase one hour after the workout session in a placebo group, but not in a group that consumed whey protein.
Which finally leads us to the real question of whether it is necessary or optimal to consume an excess amount of protein after the passing of 48 or 72 hours if you don’t feel like eating? When you consume protein in moderate amounts at regular intervals, this continuous intake can trigger a low-level chronic metabolic acidosis. Studies have shown that it is better to skip eating protein every once in a while in order to allow your body to recalibrate, which could be done with properly structured periods of fasting.
And there is one more issue to take into consideration. Building a muscular body is a spectacular achievement, but without the big gut that lots of professional bodybuilders seem to have nowadays. Bodybuilding is about the development of your abdominal muscles as much as it is about building your shoulders, biceps, and pecs. Besides, it doesn’t matter how big your pecs have gotten when you have an enormous gut just below. The same as monitoring how your body responds to a different training stimulus, you should also pay attention to the way your body responds to a certain diet or dietary change.
When you force the body to digest excess protein and you get the response that it doesn’t need it, it’s only logical that the excess protein would be stored in the form of fat. No matter how unlikely this outcome is, it is quite possible. Even though it is unfavorable from an energetic point of view, when you force the body to process too many calories which it doesn’t need, the most logical destination is the storing of body fat.
All things considered, the biggest takeaway point is to pay attention to your body’s response and reduce protein intake every once in a while. When you do this, you shouldn’t be afraid of losing any muscle mass, on the contrary, you can actually trigger new muscle gains.