I buy Whey Protein by the Tub at GNC.  Not cheap but easily available and I don’t have to remember to order it on-line.  I have been using Isopure Low Carb Dutch Chocolate.  My pre-workout Go-To is a cup of coffee with whey protein before I head to the gym.  Instead of the two scoop suggested serving size, I have been using one scoop which equates to 20+ grams of protein.  Is this enough, too much or too little?

I spotted this Article by Jeff S. Volek, Ph.D., R.D. on Nutrition Express: Do older adults really need more protein?

[R]esearch has shown that as you age you tend to become resistant to this positive effect of protein ingestion. The good news is that research indicates that this ‘anabolic resistance’ can be overcome by ingesting greater amounts of protein, especially leucine.

 

I’ve previously posted on the topic of Sarcopenia – the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass after the age of 25 estimated to be between 0.5-1% per year.  Given my age, the issue of just how much whey protein I should be ingesting is important.  Volek’s  review of the various recent studies identified the following:

  • [E]lderly individuals had a 69% greater increase in muscle protein synthesis after exercise when they consumed 20 grams of whey (2.6 grams of leucine) compared to 20 grams of casein (1.6 grams of leucine).
  • In an older group of active 70-year-olds, it was shown that 40 grams of whey consumed after resistance exercise produced a 32% greater increase in muscle protein synthesis compared to a 20 gram dose of whey.
  • 80 adults 70 to 85 years of age participated in a resistance training program (3 days per week) for 6 months. One group was randomized to receive whey protein (20 grams two times per day) while another group received carbohydrate as a control. The whey group had greater increases in lean body mass (1.3 vs 0.7 pounds) than the carbohydrate group. This was confirmed by greater muscle mass in the thigh from computed tomography (4.6 vs 2.9%).
  • Older adults should consume at least 20-40 grams of whey after exercise to achieve a maximal increase in muscle protein synthesis.

Another article of his indicated that it really does not matter if you have the whey protein immediately before or after the workout.

The question is – 20 or 30 or 40 grams of whey protein before or after exercise? 

What about leucine supplementation, since that is where the action is.  But wait:

Leucine is the most effective BCAA for preventing muscle loss because it breaks down and is converted to glucose more quickly than isoleucine and valine. Increased glucose supplies prevent the body’s cannibalization of muscle for energy during intense workouts, …

We already know that a substantial portion of amino acids are converted to glucose and that over eating protein will undermine a ketogenic diet.  Given the above – which was echoed in several places – I am not going to supplement with Leucine. 

I am going to have to reconsider upping my whey protein  – but – that means I will have to decrease the size of my breakfast – all for a 32% greater increase in muscle synthesis.  Everything is a balancing act.

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