The latest Blog post from Dr. Jonny Bowden reports on a Conference sponsored by the Nutrition and Metabolism Society.  The focus on the minimum amount of protein at any one meal is particularly interesting:

It takes 30 grams of protein per meal to create muscle turnover. Less, and you’re just adding calories. If you want protein to do the job of building muscle you need 30 grams per sitting. This doesn’t mean saving it up and eating 60 or 90 grams at dinner, which is the typical American way. It means divided doses during the day, at two or three meals. Donald Layman, PhD, one of the outstanding researchers who presented at the conference, calls this amount the “Protein Threshold”. The protein threshold explains why many women who are eating an egg at breakfast with their cereal and think they’re having plenty of protein are actually not losing weight or changing their bodies. It’s just not enough. And although you won’t look like Mr. Olympia just by eating protein, body composition studies do show that there’s a slight amount of change in body composition favoring lean tissue over fat when higher protein diets are consumed, even in the absence of exercise.

I have always taken the position that measuring protein as a percent of caloric intake was a fools definitional game.  Some of my prior posts and pages reflect that.  Bowden’s report on the Conference buttressed that position:

Percent protein in the diet is meaningless. We need to measure protein in terms of absolutes, i.e. how many grams a day do you need, not what percentage of the diet they are. A diet that sounds like a high protein diet—i.e. “40% protein”—may not be. For example, 40% of a 1000 calorie diet is not a high protein diet.  Protein only matters in terms of absolute numbers, not percentages.

Of course the fact that Volek was one of the presenters – doesn’t hurt.

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