Originally Posted by Matthieu Hertilus
Great feedback Mike.
I mentioned in another post that I use a BCAA+ Creatine Combo drink when cutting; however, it sounds like I can (or should) just use that year round and be diligent about the rest of my eating. It allows for more tasty whole foods too when there's an extra 200 calories to spare that I didn't waste on a protein shake.
However, would you argue that protein (even from sites such as trueprotein that usually have better quality than commercial protein powders) are not worth it?
I would say the following:
- IMO most people looking for muscle gain probably eat more protein than they actually can use for protein synthesis (and raise protein oxidation in the process). An "average" active person probably only needs 0.6-0.8g protein max/lb lean mass (higher that average training may aim for 0.8-1.0g/lean lb). Those that say they do better on 2x BW protein, may just be needing the extra calories in the first place (or have super genetics for more protein synthesis). Your body can only do so much protein synthesis upregulated by working out (and drugs), excess protein will just be burned up.
- Milk out-performs Whey across the board for all day protein synthesis, as you want the slow and steady release (take BCAAs pre/during workout to get the inital spike in synthesis if you are looking for that).
- If you need a bit of extra protein from a powder (because you just won't eat that much in whole foods), then sub in a whole milk/1 scoop whey-casein mix a couple times/day as needed. Add in extra fat if you need calories. I wouldn't waste money on high priced whey, as it oxidizes quicker than casein anyways (and you don't need 2-3 scoops at once to spike synthesis, as it will just level down and do less later on when looking at the 24hr picture when compared to casein/slow releasing proteins)
- I don't think setting the body up for chronic high protein oxidation (with high protein intake esp from Whey) is a good idea....as it will continue high oxidation on days you are not eating that high in protein until it adapts to the lower level (which could be a period of 7-14 days). Higher protein works for cutting, but for gaining it may be counter productive.
- I'm sure like most everything, cycling on and off may help to increase utilization and sensitivity. I naturally get breaks from BCAA when I run out and am in no rush to go buy more...but that's just my lazy ass.
- Added benefits to sipping BCAAs during a day is for an anti-cortisol effect as well (or so I have been lead to believe via workout studies and amino acid intake vs cortisol lowering).
- Controlling stress/cortisol/inflammation is a bigger key issue that many ignore, as it will all lower protein synthesis. Worrying about how much protein when one's lifestyle is a mess will not add up to much results (except wasting money on more protein).
Take all above with grain assault as I'm not a bodybuilder....nor train or eat like one, but I have kept my protein intake lower (@130-150g/day) and still been able to gain slow and steady lean mass.