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Protein Timing for a Perfect Body

The goal for anyone wishing to optimize muscle building and minimize the storage of excess calories as body fbrenda_kellyat is to eat as perfectly as possible so that the body is provided a steady stream of nutrients, and so that blood sugar levels also remain steady. One of the most important ways to accomplish this goal besides eating high quality, low fat foods is to eat small multiple meals (every 2 to 3 hours).

Successful bodybuilders know that by eating at least six evenly spaced meals throughout the day, they provide their muscles with a steady stream of nutrients, keeping their body in an anabolic environment (as indicated by a positive nitrogen balance).

Eating smaller more frequent meals is very important when it comes to protein consumption because proteins cannot be stored in the body like carbohydrates can (carbohydrates can be stored in the liver as glycogen and used up to days later when needed).

Since there is only a very small amount of amino acid in the bloodstream, to maintain an anabolic (muscle building) environment complete proteins must be eaten with every meal. It is the acute and large increase in the amount of amino acids in the blood that causes protein synthesis rates to increase as well as a decrease in protein breakdown.

Eating small evenly spaced meals keeps insulin levels stable, a requirement for proper fat metabolism and proper growth. Eating this way is also easier on the digestive system and it is also more efficient. Studies have shown that eating frequent smaller meals will raise the metabolic rate, burn more calories and result in less body fat storage.

Maintaining a positive nitrogen balance will prevent the body from dipping into its own muscle tissue (catabolism) to get nutrients it needs (like protein). This is why it is important to eat five to six protein-containing meals per day (one about every two to three hours) each containing around 30-40-grams of protein, to maintain a positive nitrogen balance (which occurs from the breakdown of amino acids).

The rate of digestion of protein has important effects on protein balance within the body. The balance between protein synthesis and protein breakdown determines muscle gain.

Protein is generally characterized as “fast digesting” or “slow digesting”. Therefore to optimize muscle syntheses however, competitive bodybuilders need to take protein timing one step further. In this sense protein timing also includes eating the “right” protein at the right time. What does this mean? Continued here….

About the Author Jeff Behar

Jeff Behar

Jeff Behar, MS, MBA

Jeff Behar, MS, MBA is a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, regularly writing about hot topics in the areas of health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, anti aging and alternative medicine. His work also often appears in several of the major health and fitness newsletters, health and fitness magazines, and on major health, and fitness websites like and Behar is also a well sought after personal trainer, motivational speaker, and weight loss expert.


July 12, 2009 - Posted by | Health, Nutrition | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs
    really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later.
    All the best

    Comment by Gidget | August 5, 2014 | Reply

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