The goal of all bodybuilders, and many other performance athletes is to increase muscle mass. A recent article by nutritionist Stella Lucia Volpe reviewed previous research to present some of the basics for gaining muscle.

While genetics plays an important role in how much muscle you have, and how much you can build, not surprisingly, training, nutrition, and nutrition timing is also very important for maximizing your potential. The U.S.A. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 g of protein per day per kg of body weight, but it is recommended that endurance and strength athletes consume 1.2 to 1.7 g per day per kg of bodyweight. Whey protein appears to have a better effect on muscle growth than casein or soy, and taking protein immediately following training appears to promote hypertrophy.

Protein timing can also make a difference. In one study, three groups of trained young men were given 80 grams of whey protein over a 12 hour recovery period. One group took 10 grams, eight times during the period (every 1-1/2 hours). The second group took 20 grams, four times during the period (every 3 hours). The last group took 40 grams twice during the period (every 6 hours). Muscle biopsies were taken multiple times throughout the recovery period. Researchers reported that 20 grams every 3 hours was superior for stimulating new protein synthesis compared to the other two regimens. Spacing the distribution of protein intake in this way appears to enhance anabolic muscle response.



Volpe, Stella Lucia, PhD, RD, LDN, FACSM, A Nutritonist’s View, How to Increase Muscle Mass: What Does Science Tell Us, American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Journal Vol. 17, issue 5, p 35-36 Sept/ Oct. 2013


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