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Time of Day Protein is Consumed May Effect Muscle Development, Strength

Previous studies have shown that consuming protein contributes to increases in muscles mass. However, a recent study suggests that if you consume protein before you sleep it may increase muscle mass and strength gains in response to resistance exercise.

Participants in the study included 44 young men with an average age of 22. All of the participants took part in the same 12-week resistance exercise-training program. Additionally, half of the group consumed a protein supplement every night before sleep that contained 27.5 g of protein, 15 g of carbohydrate, and 0.1 g of fat. The other half of the group took a placebo.

The researchers assessed muscle hypertrophy on a whole-body, limb, and muscle fiber level before and after exercise training. Strength was assessed regularly using one repetition maximum strength testing.

At the conclusion of the study, both groups had increases in muscle strength, however the increases were notably greater in the supplement group when compared with the placebo. Thigh muscle area went up by 1.3 inch squared in the supplement group but only .75 inches squared in the placebo group. The supplement group also increased leg extension and leg press strength by 23% and 25%, respectively.

Researchers from Maastrict University in the Netherlands conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 29, 2015, in The Journal of Nutrition.

Protein functions as a building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood, enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. To get the optimal benefit from protein, it’s important to choose the right type. Some good sources of animal protein include fish, poultry, and lean meat.
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