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When Does Most Protein Synthesis Occur?

Cosmicdrifter

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I've read descriptions of the biochemical events that create hypertrophy and hyperplasia - and the details will make your eyes water.

It seems reasonable that maximum protein synthesis will occur on some schedule after a hard workout by an experienced bodybuilder. I don't think that synthesis is linear - evenly distributed over the next 36 to 48 hours; I think is is curvilinear - most heavy during some time frame after the workout.

I read an article How Do Muscles Grow?, that contained the following:

Interestingly, a single bout of exercise stimulates protein synthesis within 2-4 hours after the workout which may remain elevated for up to 24 hours (Rasmussen and Phillips, 2003)


I would think that the experienced guys on this board have read enough research to verify whether this statement represents a consensus among the experts or is an isolated perspective.

It would be good to know exactly when the most growth occurs. I always assumed that most of it was probably in the 24 hours following the workout, with a much lower level of growth occurring in the 24 hours following that.

Any thoughts?
 
There is no set time frame and no such study could ever determine such an event. Everyones hormones, training techniques, and diets are different. There is no such answer.
 
There is no set time frame and no such study could ever determine such an event. Everyones hormones, training techniques, and diets are different. There is no such answer.[/QUOTE
Where in the world did you come up with an idea like that. Histologist, bio-chemist, physiologist, and cellular biologist have doing studies on the human body for 100 years. Every doctor understands the hormonal and biochemical processes that create energy and cellular activity in the body.

Yes, everybody is different in many ways but fortunately we are much more alike than different. The chemical and hormonal processes that control our bodies are very similar. That's why doctors can have text books in medical school that describe human anatomy, physiology, histology, and cytology.

Here is an article in Iron Magazine written by an non-professional about the process of protein synthesis. This will tell you how much some bodybuilders know about the process.
**broken link removed**

And, this is the article from which I pulled the quote in my original post.
How Do Muscles Grow?
 
So enlighten me, does protein synthesis occur the same way of a 25 year old man compared to a 60 year old man?
 
He is saying that this magic time period you seek will be slightly different for everyone.

When? Anytime their is protein present.. Are you asking for the optimum time to take in protein? Well, the hours following intense exercise
 
He is saying that this magic time period you seek will be slightly different for everyone.

When? Anytime their is protein present.. Are you asking for the optimum time to take in protein? Well, the hours following intense exercise

Actually one of the seminal studies says that protein ingestion during exercise is a good time to stimulate protein synthesis.
Protein coingestion stimulates muscle protein synt... [Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008] - PubMed result

This one indicates that geezers and youngsters have the same synthesis timing.
Acute effects of resistance exercise on muscle protein synthesis rate in young and elderly men and women -- Yarasheski et al. 265 (2): E210 -- AJP - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Resistance exercise acutely increases MHC and mixed muscle protein synthesis rates in 78-84 and 23-32 yr olds -- Hasten et al. 278 (4): E620 -- AJP - Endocrinology and Metabolism
 
Last edited:
It's possible I guess, I am open to new ideas. In my head, protein taken in during exercise would be burned for energy before it was used to build tissue.
 
That's not what the study said about protein

The second study only said that if you take protein while you workout and after you'll have a higher level of protein systhesis.
The study did not reveal the amount of protein in the diet of the participants before the exercise session other than a standard diet.
Body builders don't have a standard diet daily. They have a heavily loaded protien diet daily and consequently are constantly digesting protein as it works it way 18 to 24 hours thru the digestive system.
The interesting thing to me is the gap of 2 hours in the first study before protein synthesis is stimulated.
My personal position is that if you've been taking in your protien and carbs it would be better to wait until your pump goes down before consuming more as consuming a drink will turn the digestive system on and as we all know, that results in a restricted flow to the muscle.
 
My personal position is that if you've been taking in your protien and carbs it would be better to wait until your pump goes down before consuming more as consuming a drink will turn the digestive system on and as we all know, that results in a restricted flow to the muscle.

If you drink a shake 15 minutes after a hard workout, you definitely notice a bit of stomach discomfort because all the blood is in the muscle. It is logical that digestion would require some amount of blood to be rerouted to the stomach.

Whether that is significant enough to create some type of negative circulatory effect on protein synthesis or in fact add value to it is a good question.
 
If you drink a shake 15 minutes after a hard workout, you definitely notice a bit of stomach discomfort because all the blood is in the muscle. It is logical that digestion would require some amount of blood to be rerouted to the stomach.
Whether that is significant enough to create some type of negative circulatory effect on protein synthesis or in fact add value to it is a good question.

It's not only logical, it's fact. Once food is injested, the parasympathetic nervous system will divert blood from skeletal muscle to the digestive system.
 
It's not only logical, it's fact. Once food is injested, the parasympathetic nervous system will divert blood from skeletal muscle to the digestive system.

The question then is how fast does the digestive process redistribute the stomach contents to the muscle to nurture protein synthesis, and is the redirected volume of blood significant enough to have a negative influence on the cellular processes occurring in the muscle during a pump?
 
Finally a discussion with real science! The bro science gets old..... I do not take protein during a workout, however I do take BCAA's during my training sessions. Drinking a protein shake intra workout would make me nauseas. Too thick for me. Hell even after I'm done training my protein shakes make me a little nauseas.
 
protein synthesis continued

If you as a bodybuilder are taking in a sufficient amount of protein, then most of your receptors are already filled with protein after a workout(your body's protein is actually stored in muscle, but not as muscle)
With a pump,blood flow to the muscle, for some period is way above normal, say
15,30 minutes. Within minutes of slamming a protein drink you kill that blood flow. The suppression of the blood flow is actually down below normal flow in the muscles until your digestive system is done. So get your full pump benefit by waiting.
Ever eat while working out and feel nauseated? The diversion with digestion also reduces flow to the brain at the same time.(Think thanksgiving nap) With both competing for blodd, this reduces blood pressure and makes you feel light headed and uncomfortable until the body shuts down the digestion or the pump and gives it back to the brain.
e.
 
This guy did his dissertation on this subject and has published several hundred articles and a few books on the topic. Much of this is fairly interesting because it explains what we all know anecdotally in a scientific way.

But he says what many of the articles say, that maximum anabolism (protein synthesis) is reached about 24 hours after exercise. Which would indicate that this is the critical period for nutrition and rest.

**broken link removed**
 

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