Muscle Protein Synthesis



Did you know that our muscles are renewed everyday at a speed of 1% per day? This means a new muscle is created in roughly 3 months. New muscle proteins are formed from their building blocks, amino acids.

During exercise, protein is broken down in our muscles. After exercise, protein synthesis is stimulated, and protein breakdown returns to normal. However, to stimulate protein synthesis, a supply of amino acids is needed immediately after exercise or within 2 – 3 hours after exercise.

Do you know how many muscles we have? We have a staggering 600 muscles and 300 pairs of muscles. Protein is the main nutrient to support muscle mass and function.

Our body continuously breaks down protein and synthesize it. To replace the protein, which is lost by breakdown, we must ingest protein via diet. Depending on your body weight, recommendations for protein requirements are different and expressed as gram of protein per body weight per day. Recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein intake is 0.80 g per kg body weight per day. So, if you weigh 60 kg this would mean you require: (0.80 g x 60 kg = 48 g of protein per day). For athletes and bodybuilders or people involved in strength training, the RDA is 1.2 g per kg body weight for maintenance and up to 2.0 g per kg body weight during periods of intense training.

Optimizing Skeletal Muscle Adaptation

To optimize the benefits of protein and muscle synthesis, you must know when to consume protein, which type of protein source to consume and how much of it. 

Research indicates that consuming 15 – 25 grams of protein early after exercise is optimum for muscle protein synthesis. Ingesting higher amino acids/protein does not have an impact on muscle protein synthesis. Exercise enhances muscle protein synthesis for up to 24 hours after exercise. To take advantage of the enhancement and optimization, you must ingest 20 grams of protein every 4 – 6 hours.

High Quality Protein Sources

FOOD SOURCES: Lean meat, Dairy, Soy, Eggs and other plant-based proteins.

PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS (Convenient option): Whey Concentrate and Isolate, Whey Hydrolysate, Casein, Brach-chained Amino Acids (BCAA).

For athletes consuming 20 grams of protein before going to bed, offers a window of opportunity to enhance muscle protein synthesis. This will make sure our body has enough supply of protein when we are asleep for synthesis.

For more on protein sources check out our previous Blog on Macronutrients, to obtain high quality supplements please contact us, email: