Nutrient Timing for Muscle Growth


By: Yvette Styner, DYNAMIS Figure Athlete & Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Dr. Rajavel Elango, a researcher at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health, and his colleagues are using a new measurement technique to rewrite assumptions about how much protein we need.  Just getting the right amount isn’t enough.  There’s a limit to how much protein the body can use at once, so to maximize muscle-building you need to spread your intake throughout the day – and for most Canadians, that means ramping up the protein at breakfast and lunch. The protein we eat provides the basic building blocks – amino acids – needed for the constant rebuilding of muscle.  With improved and more precise monitoring, Rajavel’s team has determined that current protein guidelines for healthy adults are underestimated by about 30 percent.

In Canada, a vast number of people consume enough protein during the day- the problem is how it’s distributed.  Whenever you eat protein, your body responds by firing up its anabolic (muscle-building) processes. The more protein you eat, the more muscle protein you synthesize – up to a point.   Research by McMaster University’s Dr. Stuart Phillips and others has found that if you eat more than 20-30 grams of protein at a time, you don’t get any further anabolic boost.  Any extra protein is simply burned for energy, unlike carbohydrate or fat, you can’t save it for later. Unfortunately, typical Canadian dietary patterns involve food choices and meal sizes that provide relatively small doses of protein at breakfast and lunch, and then a mammoth 65-gram wallop of protein at dinner.  The daily total is sufficient, but since more than half of the diner protein goes to waste, the usable amount of protein is actually below the optimal amount for muscle maintenance.

Doctors recommend distributing protein more equally throughout the day, by including eggs and high-protein dairy options like Greek yogurt at breakfast, for example. Athletes who are trying to build muscle or simply help their muscles recover from arduous workouts, can push that approach even further, by aiming for four daily meals each with at least 20 grams of protein  And there’s one final option to boost protein synthesis at the end of the day.  A study published last year by researchers in the Netherlands showed that a dose of protein immediately before bed kept the body in an anabolic state overnight, boosting overall protein synthesis rates by 22 percent.

How do I get my protein:

  • 3 ounce serving of fish, poultry or meat is approximately the size of your palm and is about 20-25 grams of protein.
  • ¾ cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt is about 18 grams of protein.
  • 2 whole eggs = 12 grams protein
  • 4 egg whites (1/2 cup liquid egg whites) = 14 grams protein
  • 1 scoop DYNAMIS REFUEL s6k Advanced Recovery Protein = 23 grams protein/scoop

Delicious & Nutritious Breakfast (or post-workout) Protein Smoothie:

  • 1 scoop DYNAMIS REFUEL s6k Whey Protein Powder
    Use code "mipstick" for 15% off your order
  • 1 cup low fat milk or almond milk
  • ½ cups frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • ¼ cup quick oats
  • (add a little extra water added to thin if texture is too thick)

*easy on-the-go smoothie balanced with essentials fats, protein and complex carbohydrates

(Source:  The Globe & Mail Dec.22, 2103 Alex Hutchinson)