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May 27th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

How much protein should I take post-workout?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Asked by Jason from Afghanistan

I am currently deployed to Afghanistan. I am rigorously training in the gym at night. Pre-workout, I am taking NaNO Vapor and then as a post-workout boost I'm taking the Muscle Tech's Nitro-Tech. How much protein should I be taking for my post-workout? That's all ma'am.

Expert answer

Hi Jason,

First and foremost, thank you for your service to our country. To answer your question completely accurately, I would need more information about you: height, weight, training goals.

I'm going to assume that you are trying to gain muscle mass and that you don't need to lose fat, and I'll give you some simple calculations to determine how much protein you need all day, not just after workouts.

To help answer your question, I consulted Chad Landers, a certified strength and conditioning coach who also has a diploma in sports nutrition from the International Olympic Committee.

He suggested that an optimal range of protein intake for an athlete trying to gain muscle is .72-.81 grams per pound per day. If your goal is to maintain muscle, the range is .54-.64 grams per pound per day. So to calculate your requirements, simply multiply your weight times one of the figures above.

He also recommended that you consume 20-30 grams of protein after your workout. The supplement that you are taking post-workout contains 25 grams of protein so that is probably plenty.

Whey protein is a faster acting protein so it is more effective before and after workouts, but it is important to eat protein from a variety of sources if possible (chicken, fish, lean meat, low fat dairy, beans/legumes, nuts) for optimal performance and health.

The supplement you are taking also contains creatine, which can help increase muscle mass, and is safe as long as you don't have any kidney problems. In addition, it is important to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrate, both before and after workouts, as this is the fuel that your muscles actually run on. If you don't eat enough carbs, your body will have to use some of the protein that you eat as fuel, a much less efficient process that can impair your muscle gains.

The supplement that you take before your workout contains caffeine, a proven performance enhancer. However, none of the other components have been proven to be effective, especially at unknown doses, so you may do just as well eating a piece of fruit and a yogurt and having a cup of coffee before your workout.

The supplement industry is largely unregulated, and supplements often contain "proprietary formulas" that make it difficult to assess the potential effectiveness. The performance enhancers with the most evidence, according to sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, are caffeine and creatine (to build muscle).

She also notes that beta-alanine is also "getting some good attention for sprint-type sports." I hope this helps, and I hope you stay safe over there.

Follow Dr. Jampolis on Twitter


soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. EveryDayFitGourmet

    This article is spot on! The 25g is perfect according to the pros and great information! More on the Power of Protein for those interested.... http://www.everydayfitgourmet.com/3/post/2011/05/the-power-of-protein.html

    May 27, 2011 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Visanth

      I was lhngaiug over number one. That is so true. The OS doesn't really matter. It'll only add to confusion once you give too much of your time thinking not only what OS to use but what version of it too.

      February 1, 2012 at 00:21 | Report abuse |
    • fouosh

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      February 3, 2012 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
    • ebfzzbiv

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      February 6, 2012 at 04:24 | Report abuse |
    • Hunter

      i lift in school and then i have 45 minutes before i go to track practice so should i take my protein after i lift or after my practice?

      March 14, 2012 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
  2. boka

    Never take protein supplements. It's a total scam. The typical american 4 time the amount of protein needed. If you take protein supplements and eat lots of meats and chicken you will have health problems down the road.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TruthandJustice

      Protein does not cause health problem, assuming your kidneys work properly, which is true for almost everyone. I do agree, however, that protein replacement meals are a scam and completely necessary. It's easy, and delicious, to get all the protein you need from steak, milk, and eggs.

      May 27, 2011 at 10:28 | Report abuse |
    • Joker

      Learn how to write and maybe he could understand what you're saying. By the way you are both wrong. There is plenty of scientific evidence that disproves what you both said.

      May 27, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • Superhuman

      Baha! 4 times the amount of protein needed really? Most people don't get enough protein because of poor information like consuming too much protein will cause "health problems". Please show me any creditable information about how eating large amounts of quality protein will cause health problems. We evolved eating large amounts of protein. There is no amount of protein that has been shown to be toxic to your body. You think humans would have survived 20,000 years ago if eating too much protein was unhealthy? They didn’t have refrigerators so when they found or killed food they eat as much as they could. It’s about the quality of protein that matters. The real issue is that most people have GI tracts that are unhealthy from eating all the crap processed foods that fill our supermarkets. It amazes me how people will spend lots of money on fancy cars, and clothes but when it comes to food they buy the cheapest crap they can. There is a reason why that $1 a serving “protein shake” is $1, and it’s not because it quality for your body. High quality whey protein is one of the best forms of protein because it has a great amino acid profile including high lucine content which is important to building and maintaining muscle.

      May 27, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • Chris S

      Maybe you didn't read all of the article, but this guy is in Afghanistan. Any idea how hard it is to find good protein sources while you're deployed? If you're trying to bulk up in the desert, supplements are absolutely critical. Even if you're trying to consume 0.5g of protein for every pound of body weight, you'd be hard-pressed to do that consistently with his limited food choices.

      May 28, 2011 at 04:34 | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Disregard Boka's information. It is completely, 100% false

      May 28, 2011 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
    • Allforadeuce

      Boka's "health problems" are based off a 50 year old study about increased protien vs your kidneys. What Boka doesn't mention is that the conclusion of kidney damage was NOT the basis of the study. The doctors found that they increased protien caused increased bloodflow through the kidneys and ASSUMED that this would cause kidney problems. It was a causitory assumption and never studied further on that test. REcent studies have shown that the incersed bloodlfow due to an increase in protien consumption does not harm properly functioning kidneys.

      May 28, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • JUJU

      If a person is trying to build muscle then taking protein supplements is a great idea. Sometimes protein supplements such as bars, shakes, drinks, etc. are much easier to prepare and take then eating a regular meal. They are also easier to digest for the body to quickly use. In the hospital they even give Ensure drinks or the equivalent to patients which are like protein meal replacements. If a person that is trying to build muscle does not take in enough protein, then the body will use the protein it has in itselfm which is defeating the purpose of trying to build muscle. I hope this helps. God Bless !!!

      May 28, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
    • kurt thrasher

      Powdered proteins are the worst, anytime you break up the metabolic chain, you reduce absorption rates, basic stuff.

      May 30, 2011 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  3. TruthandJustice

    The "post-workout window" is just another fitness lie. It's just an attempt by supplement companies to sell protein drinks and bars to you. No scientific study has ever shown when you eat to have any effect on your metabolism until you start approaching 72 hours. There are lots of bodybuilders and powerlifters who eat only 4-5 times a week, they just eat big when they do eat, 3000-4000 calories instead of 300-400 calorie snack. The reason you don't hear about them is simply because supplement companies don't want to draw any attention to the fact that their meal replacement products don't offer anything that read food doesn't, other than a higher price. Save your money and don't use meal replacement bars and drinks. For the price of some of the protein bars you can buy an entire pound of steak.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • stally02

      This is completely false. I'm an amature bodybuilder and I can tell you that I have never heard of anyone doing this. Pro bodybuilders do take in 5k-7k calories per day but that is to maintain muscle mass and provide energy for workouts. The optimal thing to do is eat 5-6 times per day with small portions. This way your metabolism is constantly going for optimal fat burning. BTW, tell those guys benching 500 lbs that protein shakes don't work and they will laugh in your face.

      May 27, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
    • P

      Stally02: WIN, TruthAndJustice: FAIL

      May 27, 2011 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      TruthandJustice-You are completely wrong. You should not give incorrect advice to compensate for your failures.

      May 28, 2011 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • Belinda

      I'm an avid cyclist, and I can tell you that post-workout protein DOES help... you need proteins to repair the small muscle tears that take place during a hard workout. Moreover, I find that when I've had a really hard day training, I end up craving protein sources... it's my body's way of telling me what its needs are.

      I've had kidney disease, and wasn't expected to recover. All they can ever say now is remission. Today I'm healthier than even before I got sick. At nearly 37, I feel younger than I did when I was 25. My labs are rock solid, and my physicals couldn't be better.

      May 29, 2011 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
    • kmcg

      Plus, most people bulking up aren't REPLACING meals with protein shakes, they are adding them to their diet. If you are eating 5-6 small meals a day and one or two is a protein shake I wouldn't exactly call that meal replacement.

      And as many people have pointed out, extra protein when ADDING muscle is important.

      May 29, 2011 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
  4. meathead

    This article is all wrong. To build muscle you need to consume 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight of daily. So if I weigh 200 pounds, I need to consume 300 grams of protein per day. you'd have to eat way too much food to get that much protein. Steak and salmon has about 25 grams of protein per serving. I supplement with protein powder during the day and post workout. Who ever said body builders eat 4-5 times a week are full of it too. Bodybuilders eat around six times per day but smaller portions of food.

    May 27, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris S

      This article is all wrong. To build muscle you need to consume 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight of daily. So if I weigh 200 pounds, I need to consume 300 grams of protein per day. you'd have to eat way too much food to get that much protein. Steak and salmon has about 25 grams of protein per serving. I supplement with protein powder during the day and post workout. Who ever said body builders eat 4-5 times a week are full of it too. Bodybuilders eat around six times per day but smaller portions of food.

      Meathead is spot-on for bodybuilding requirements. Other people who do more cardio and just want to maintain their muscle mass could get away with the formula the author mentioned. However, if you want to build muscle at a decent rate, you'll need to aim for at least 1.5g per pound of body weight, and eat 6+ smaller meals during the day, rather than just breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eating smaller meals (like a handful of peanuts on the go, or an apple) will speed up your metabolism and help you burn off a little fat while gaining lean muscle from the extra protein.

      May 28, 2011 at 04:39 | Report abuse |
    • Chris S

      Meathead is spot-on about bodybuilding requirements. Other people who do more cardio and just want to maintain their muscle mass could get away with the formula the author mentioned. However, if you want to build muscle at a decent rate, you'll need to aim for at least 1.5g per pound of body weight, and eat 6+ smaller meals during the day, rather than just breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eating smaller meals (like a handful of peanuts on the go, or an apple) will speed up your metabolism and help you burn off a little fat while gaining lean muscle from the extra protein.

      May 28, 2011 at 04:41 | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Meathead and Chris S-Agree completely. Jason, listen to these guys and you will see results. Good luck and thank you!

      May 28, 2011 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
  5. Colin

    An average size bowl of any kind of bean (legume) mixed with any kind of WHOLE grain (wheat, rice, corn, etc.), in roughly equal measure has about the same COMPLETE protein (when so combined) as a 4 oz. chunk of steak, chicken or fish, without the toxins that come with a high flesh diet. The meat has more trace minerals overall vs. any one legume/grain mix, but as part of a high-veggie/whole grain diet, the bottom line ("at the end of the day", literally) is the same mineral/enzyme-wise.

    May 27, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vegetarianism is not healthy. Period.

      I'm sorry, Colin, but you are sadly and sorely misinformed. The human body relies on not only protein from animal sources, but animal fats, as well. I have no problem with anyone who chooses to be a vegetarian for moral reasons, but I can tell you that there is no way to be a vegetarian which is as healthy as an omnivorous diet. The idea that your body gets the same nutrition from eating beans and grain as you get from steak is false.

      I recommend any vegetarian who believes they are being healthier by eating no meat read the following post by Dr. Michael Eades. It is always good to read both sides of any story, but it is even more important to do so when it is your health at risk.

      http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/peta-cspi-and-other-menaces/are-we-meat-eaters-or-vegetarians-part-i/

      May 27, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
    • IggyWolf

      @Vegetarianism is not healthy. Period. – what a bizarre statement. I'm vegetarian and work out with a personal trainer at a well-respected medical center's fitness facility. I also go to the Cooper Clinic annually for a physical as part of my company's exec risk mgmt program and the doctor at Cooper considers vegetarianism not only healthy but preferred. I do need to supplement my protein intake to gain muscle and agree that the article's recommended grams/lb body weight are low. I'm 47 and twenty-something muscular carnivores are always surprised to learn that I'm vegetarian because of my physical condition. Of course you're welcome to believe what you wish to believe but I'd rather trust well-paid professionals I know personally than find some internet article that happens to say what I'd like to hear.

      May 28, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Calling meat "flesh" drowns out the rest of your argument, even if it is factually correct.

      May 29, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  6. erich2112x

    it all depends on what your looking to achieve in the gym. If you want to become a gorilla, which is what some guys are looking for, because somehow they got it in their heads that women like that kind of thing, by all means, shove 1.5 grams of protein per pound into your body every day. If your looking to be chiseled ripped and lean, you only need .60-.65 grams per pound. If you get too big, your only going to end up looking like a big fat burly dude even if you don't have the body fat, and you'll be slow and sluggish on the basketball court or any other sporting activities. Also, never neglect cardio exercises in the gym in order to build bulk.

    May 27, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob Chase

      Cardio doesn't build bulk. Lifting heavy stuff, eating lots of good food and rest does.

      May 27, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
    • erich2112x

      Dude, go back and read the last part again.

      May 27, 2011 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • Dr, Bombay

      Actually, cardiovascular training does help with muscle-building, indirectly. If your cardio is spot on, you'll have much more endurance during weight-training, allowing you to max-out your sets. This is the cycle many amateurs miss, so they end up looking like crap.

      May 28, 2011 at 04:09 | Report abuse |
    • Chris S

      "Also, never neglect cardio exercises in the gym in order to build bulk."

      Not true, most bodybuilding trainers would recommend cutting out most or all of your cardio when trying to bulk up. This is especially important for someone with a smaller frame, who has a difficult time adding muscle, due to the way daily cardio kicks your metabolism into overdrive.

      May 28, 2011 at 04:27 | Report abuse |
    • aaron

      Completely wrong. I'd recommend @ook on bodybuilding for beginners, Erich.

      May 28, 2011 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
    • erich2112x

      My point is this: If you are just looking to get big, then yes, cut out the cardio. I'm an opponent of this. I'd much rather be ripped and lean. That's just me. To me, someone who's putting away 5,000 calories a day, and 1.5 grams of protein per body weight pound, is a pig. I want to be healthy.

      May 28, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Well in my personal experience at 5'9", 190 lbs and 12% body fat, I find between 2500-3000 calories with 200 grams of protein to be an optomal amount for a nice lean, growth rate. Anything below 150 grams and I'd be wasting my time in the gym. Nuitrition is as essential as exercis... that's what people don't get, and that is why they fail.

      May 28, 2011 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
  7. Bob Chase

    Fats provide energy as well.

    May 27, 2011 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. fritz

    Sheesh! This article is ridiculously complicated. Just keep doing what you're doing while eating 3 or 4 Big Macs and water a day. Lose the fries and coke. You don't need them. If you're still gaining weight then lose 1 Big Mac per day. If you're losing weight then add a Big Mac. I'd go for the extra pickles by the way.

    May 27, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • erich2112x

      I agree.Big Macs are excellent fuel for working out. No fries, no Cokes. You got it.

      May 27, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
    • Daryn

      Reading both of your posts, I cannot figure out why either of you feels the need to put their ignorance on display. A big mac contains 590 calories of which 306 calories are from fat. Go find a nutritionist or doctor that will recommend your "advice" to anyone for any reason. You little boys need to sit down and shut up while the big people are talking.

      May 31, 2011 at 01:16 | Report abuse |
  9. Superhuman

    This article cracks me up. Really that exact .54-.64 g per lb? If you want to gain muscle there is a lot more then just eating some protein. And the statement " In addition, it is important to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrate, both before and after workouts, as this is the fuel that your muscles actually run on." is a broad statement that is very misleading. You want high quality protein that is high in the amino acid Lucine which whey protein is. I think 25-30g post workout is the min you want to consume to put on mass. But before that you need to make sure you have a healthy hormone profile and most importanly a health G.I. tract otherwise what you eat will not get absorbed. If you have a healthy GI then you can consume 2 g of protein per lb with no problem, but it needs to be high quality protein, not the cheap protein shakes you find at gnc. Do the research, take care of your body. Good luck.

    May 27, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • M

      "GNC" and "cheap" are mutually exclusive.

      May 30, 2011 at 07:34 | Report abuse |
  10. BSmart&Careful

    Looks like some of those protien estimates are way to high. For most people, the daily requirement can be calculated like this, ..... divide your weight pounds by 2.2 to get kilograms, and then multiply that anwer by 0.8 grams. For athletes or those who workout at that level, multply the kilograms by 1-2 grams of protien. These calculations are for daily protien requirements, NOT the amount of protein powder you should TAKE everyday. The average person should use protein powder only if your not consuming enough from food, and sometimes we dont. I have about 10 -15 g of protein with my oatmeal every morning. Also, to much protein can get you constipated AND mess with your kidneys. To add to that, excess protein gets turned into fat !! I have nothing against supplementing with protein, but you really have to figure out if maybe your meals could be just include more. Always consider trying more protein rich foods and less protein supplements. Lastly, protein from food has extra vitamins and minerals that enhance how food protein is digested and used in your body. Protein powder is just, well, protein powder.

    May 27, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Don

    There is an overwhelming amount of information out there about how much protein you should ingest on a daily basis to build muscle. There is also some very strong scientific evidence that supports the idea that excess protein will not be metabolized by the body so the rule of 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight will have little more impact to your muscle mass than .the 50 to .60 grams rule. However if you talk to your typical gym rat, they will tell you more protein is better and they have the muscle mass/strength to prove it. Bottom line is that everyone is different and although the guidance provided maybe true on all accounts, you still need to experiment and find what works for you. Excess protein in my diet makes me sluggish, I have found that I can build muscle fairly quickly by ingesting around .75 grams of protein relative to my body weight but I am going to reduce the protein intake and begin a creatine regiment over the next few months and see if I still make gains. Younger bodies also tend to be able to more efficiently use a wide range of fuels. So Some might find a Big Mac will give you the right amount of nutrition.. that may not hold true for someone in their 40's like me.

    May 27, 2011 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 4terryberry

    I have noticed definate strength increases when I take whey protein powders

    May 27, 2011 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Toby

    It amazes me that when an article provides correct info, you have everyone that thinks their routine is the right way, assuming everyone that comments on here is a nutrition and fitness guru....I'm inclined to agree with some of you, about the amounts of protein and the quality mattering. However, for those of you that are either mis-informed or retarded, less protein in your diet will lean you out, but the article wasn't regarding a lean diet. It was about one guy that drinks a post workout protein shake. While in Afghanistan, I ate 3-5 times per day, worked out in the gym with strength training, cardio and drank protein supplements after my workout to replace the burned calories/protein/carbs that I needed to cool down and keep my metabolism up. However, I also sought the direction of my physician and according to my health is what I went on. height, weight, goals, results driven etc is what you need to list on your priorities, BEFORE you go to a Doctor or nutritionist. not ALL proteins are created equal either. GNC has some good ones, P90X has a drink that I would reccomend as well. (I am not an expert fitness trainer or a nutritionist either, so check with your physicians before you take any internet advice).

    May 27, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • aaron

      Toby, just a word of advice. Stay away from GNC unless you like paying 50% more. Try Vitamin Shopper or Vitamin World.

      May 28, 2011 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
  14. I'm a professional athlete

    And I like waffles...

    May 27, 2011 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. aaron

    The article actually understates the amount of protein recommended for putting on bulk. The correct amount would be 1 gram per pound of body weight. Immediately following a workout 40 grams should be taken because the body is able to absorb more protein than other times thus making it the most important meal of the day. And I also disagree that protein powders are a scam. there are some quality products out there today. They don't need to be taken multiple times per day necessarily but they are good for a meal immediately following a workout.

    May 27, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. aaron

    One thing this article left out is that it is important to drink plenty of water when taking creatine. Not only to protect the kidney', but also to prevent cramping.

    May 27, 2011 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. z

    The article is a step in the right direction. Why do they have to always throw in"supplement companies are unregulated." ? It would be interesting to know how many people died from unregulated supplements versus regulated fda approved pharma products.

    May 28, 2011 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Norm Robillard

    Great article. Just one point. In June 2007, the FDA issued the Dietary Supplement Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) Final Rule 21 CFR 111. There are gaps such as no requirement for expiration dating or stability data for the active ingredient, but at least it's a start.

    May 28, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Philip

    Jason,
    Whey protein and/or a combination of a whey/casein protein has been shown to be effective in current studies in protein synthesis. As For the amounts of protein to be eaten per day, keep it simple stupid (KISS). one gram per lb of body weight is just fine, maybe 1.5g if you think you are not gaining mass or are possibly plateauing in your workouts. Not all creatine is created equal, stay away from brands made in China, stick to those made in Germany and have the Creapure logo such as from the Life Extension Foundation. You can find it on iherb.com (no, I'm not affiliated with any company). 5 grams dissolved in warm water or tea is the proper way to take creatine, since it needs to be fully dissolved to be absorbed by the body so taking it with a cold protein shake won't help.

    Not all protein is created equal either, but its not rocket science, any decent whey will do. My advice is to pay attention to how the protein is processed: you'll see terms such as ion-exchange and cross flow microfiltration (CFM). I would choose products using the CFM since they don't strip out the beneficial Lactoferrin (may have cancer fighting properties) the way the ion-exchange process can, and has less beta-lactalbumin (which in some individuals can cause some gastrointestinal distress). Personally, I find any product from Muscletech to be extremely overpriced for what's in the bottle. A better (if not cheaper) alternative would be the cfm from http://www.nutribio.com, or http://www.proteinfactory.com (which to some are considered the finest in the world)

    Hope this helps, and a big Thank You for protecting all of our freedoms.

    Philip

    May 28, 2011 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Bob The Builder

    Eat cow droppings, that helps.

    May 28, 2011 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. StreetSmart

    How about taking Jacked?

    May 29, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Adam

    I've taken to eating a healthy french toast breakfast or lunch before working out, with great results. 2 slices of Arnold protein bread, 3 eggs, a little bit of cinnamon and no butter. Its delicious and has plenty of protein and carbs. BAM

    May 29, 2011 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Toros

      Hey there Brad,Yes, I agree that most (not all) of the studies done are short term/acute/ ntehamiscic type data (tracer studies), but according to Dr Stu Phillips (paraphrasing from last ACSM conference) the short term data does add up to longer term gains in muscle. To be perfectly honest, I have not had time to track down the data though. I do have an issue with TIMING of protein even carbs data, but I do think it is a good idea (consuming more protein and calories, within limits),. Last I checked there are only about 3 studies where ONLY the TIMING of pro/cho was different (macros the same and calories the same). One of them being the Cribb study which seems too good to be true and was not reproduced recently. So, for the extra few calories and easy of compliance I still vote for protein post training in the mean time. Open to any data that you have of course!Rock onMike T Nelson PhD(c)

      March 5, 2012 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
  23. DarthJedi

    The fastest may to build muscle mass is to do an anaerobic workout just before lifting. Lift heavy weights/low reps, consume protein and then rest (Three days on and two days off). When you are in an anaerobic state this prevents testosterone from dropping during the workout ( This is a defense mechanism the body has) and the body from producing glucocorticoids which has a catabolic effect on your muscles. Stay away from sugar for two hours after your workout. The rise in insulin will reduce or completely block the body from producing HGH. Testosterone + HGH – glucocorticoids = Faster recovery and increased Muscle mass. The amount of calories per day really has no bearing on muscle growth as long has you provide enough quality protein to prevent the body from turning to muscle protein for fuel. Instead of sugar use a MCT (medium chain triglycerides) saturated fat. This will go to glycogenosis bypassing the liver and you will not get the spike in insulin. MCTs will not tax the liver and is a much better fuel then sugar/carbs.

    I train track and field athletes and they all use this methodology with success and D1 scholarships to boot.

    May 29, 2011 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Bill Martin

    Read the book Raw Power by Thor Bazler. Great info and diet plan, as well as great workouts.

    May 29, 2011 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Nutrition Guy

    Holy Cow there is such misinformed and wrong info on this site I had to say something. One, you MUST take in glycogen immediately following a workout. It DOES NOT matter if HGH is shut down after a workout, this is not a critical HGH pulse time, at night when you are sleeping is and that is when you want to avoid sugar, the last 90 mins before bedtime. Two, if you don't know about supplements, don't spew misinformation. I do, I am an expert. I can tell anyone that thinks they meet their needs IF they are a high training (4-5 intense workouts per week) you do not without a great quality protein powder and some glutamine at the very least. I train professional athletes and I can tell you NOT ONE of them goes without these items, amongst many other things as part of their body's fortress against the wear and tear of catabolic activity. The info above by Darth Jedi is unfortunately from a person that lacks a full understanding of the endocrine system, and the windows of opportunity we must follow for optimal performance, but I am not surprised, he probably is one of the 5million idiots on Body Building.com that think they have the answers. If any of you want a real sport nutritionist to help you, email me at gfnutritionguy.com

    May 30, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Nutrition Guy

    One additional item, there is absolutely no issue whatsoever from taking creatine unless you are already diagnosed as having a health issue within the kidney or liver. Otherwise, it is the MOST STUDIED PRODUCT to ever be researched in sport nutrition. At last count it was at 319 human, animal, in vitro studies and counting. Again, please, if you are untrained, a teenager, get your knowledge form Bodybuilding.com, or just an idiot, then kindly STFU. You are the reason people in this country think medicine is the answer. I promise you all wish you felt like I do everyday, and I do it through food and supplements, and have used supps for 20yrs. Tell me they don't matter...I will laugh you out of the room then ask you if you want to compare physiques. Oh ya, if you like your body stay away from BSN, MuscleMilk, Muscletech, Jacked and all USP products, and most of MusclePharm. These are scammers that spend more on advertising than any research they will ever do to develop groundbreaking work. I know because I worked for two of them.

    May 30, 2011 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. DarthJedi

    Nutrition Guy......Back up what you are saying with research and not rhetoric. Here is mine.....Any question?

    Layman, D.K., Baum, J.I. 2004. Dietary Protein Impact on Glycemic Control during Weight Loss. The American Society for Nutritional Sciences. J Nutr. 134:968S-973S, April 2004.
    Layman, D.K., Baum, J.I. 2004. The Emerging Role of Dairy Proteins and Bioactive Peptides in Nutrition and Health. The American Society for Nutritional Sciences. J. Nutr. 134:968S-973S, April 2004.
    Svanberg, E., Jefferson, L.S., Lundhold, K., Kimball, S.R. 1997. Postprandial stimulation of muscle protein synthesis is independent of changes in insulin. Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol. 272, Issue 5 E841-E847.
    Hirsch, J., Hudgin, L.C., Leibel, R.L., Rosenbaum, M. 1998. Diet composition and energy balance in humans. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 67: 551S-555S.
    Skov, A.R., Toubro, S., Ronn, B., Holm, L. & Astrup, A. 1999. Randomized trial on protein vs carbohydrate in ad libitum fat reduced diet for the treatment of obesity. lnt. J. Obes. 23:528-536.
    Layman. D.K., Boileau, R.A., Erickson. D.J., Painter, J.E., Shiue, H., Sather, C., Christou, D.D. 2003. A reduced ratio of dietary carbohydrate to protein improves body composition and blood lipid profiles during weight loss in men. J. Nutr. 133:411-417.
    Reeds., P.J., Burrin, D.G., Davis, T.A., Stoll B. l998. Amino acid metabolism and the energetic of growth. Arch. Anim. Nutr. 51:187-197.

    May 30, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. DarthJedi

    Here is the rest.....all would not fit in one post

    Gautsch, T.A., Anthony, J.C., Kimball, S.R., Paul, G.L., Layman, D.K., Jefferson, L S. 1998. Availability of cIF4E regulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis during recovery from exercise. Am. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 274:C406-C414.
    Layman, D.K. 2002. Role of leucine in protein metabolism during exercise and recovery. Can. J. Appl. Physiol. 27:592-608.
    Layman, D.K. 2003. The role of leucine in weight loss diets and glucose homeostasis. J. Nutr. 133:261S-267S.
    Layman. D.K., Shiue, H., Sather, C., Erickson, D.J., Baum, J. 2003. Increased dietary protein modifies glucose and insulin homeostasis in adult women during weight loss. J. Nutr. 133:405-410.
    Pacy, P.J., Price, G.M., Halliday, D., Quevedo, M.R., Millward, D.J. 1994. Nitrogen homeostasis in man: the diurnal responses of protein synthesis and degradation and amino acid oxidation to diets with increasing protein intakes. Clin. Sci. 86: 103-118.
    Fernstrom, J.D., Wurtman, R.J. 1972. Brain serotonin content: physiological regulation by plasma neutral amino acids. Science 178:414-416.

    May 30, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. DarthJedi

    Nutrition guy. I all most forgot.This is coming from some one that has no idea how the endocrine system works.For anyone thinking of taking advice from him; ask him to first detail to you how the endocrine system works. Also ask him to explain mTOR.

    May 30, 2011 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. rclee

    The comment regarding "Vegetarianism is not healthy. Period" is a hoot. I'm 6'3", 200 lb., less than 10% body fat, a mountain climber who can move continuously over hard terrain for 24 hours– and oh yeah, I'm 54 and have been a vegetarian for more than 20 years. Eating meat is absolutely not necessary for good health. Why someone would claim this, I don't know. For many years I weighed around 185, but started to develop neck and shoulder problems a couple of years ago. Went to a trainer and chiropractor- who both told me I needed to build up my upper body (pects, lats, etc.). Along with workouts with the trainer once per week, I increased my protein intake (soy, rice, etc.) to 200 g per day, and I gained 15 lbs of muscle on my shoulders and chest in 6 months. I've had to start building up my legs a bit to compensate for the extra mass, but have stayed around 200 lbs by running around 100 miles/week.

    May 30, 2011 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Tod

    The best protein to take after a workout is a high-quality, whey protein ISOLATE. It is fast absorbing, pure and lean. The best one I have seen is from http://www.royalsportsnutrition.com/, which they make in the USA. (Stay away from Isopure). Add a good Glutamine Complex to this, such as from http://www.profightsports.com/, and even a CarboPlus supplement for a perfect protein-to-carb recovery ratio. Beyond that, a slower absorbing protein before bed and/or in the morning is good. For the absolute BEST results, the best Creatine to take is one with phospho-buffered creatine, such as Power Caps from http://www.powernutritiondepot.com, which is the best I have seen (I've taken them all) and only needs to be taken on workout days; no daily powder or "loading" nonsense. Good diet and a high potency multi-vitamin, greens and perhaps a good digestive enzyme (MRM makes a great one) and you are complete for healthy body-building or toning.

    May 31, 2011 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DarthJedi

      Every human should stay away from protein ISOLATEs. The way in which the protein is converted from a whole protein to an ISOLATE becomes harmful over time to the body not to mention that we have evolved over 100s of 1000s of years breaking down whole proteins. Are body likes whole portiens. Whey Concentrate by far is better for the body. Before you INGEST any thing you should find out how it was processed. Please watch the video on this page http://proteinpowder.mercola.com/pure-protein.html. I am not an affiliate, There are more boring links that I can post and clinical research to point you to but that all conclude what this video will explain.

      May 31, 2011 at 05:57 | Report abuse |
  32. JBR

    Why would you recommend caffeine pre-workout? Many pre workout supplements have it, but its just so it feels like its actually working. The real benefit is from the nitrous oxide which is a vasodilator. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor. Recommending caffeine for an optimal workout is like recommending a cigarette (another vasoconstrictor). Might make you feel real good for your workout, but definitely not the best for gains.

    May 31, 2011 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Beth

    Comments on calculating protein intake was a good response. The dig on the dietary supplement industry as 'largely unregulated' is absolutely false. The FDA has full regulatory authority over the dietary supplement industry. If you check out their website, you can find quite a few notices, warning letters and enforcement actions that prove they not only have regulatory authority, but they use it. Furthermore, the FTC has the authority (and uses it) to go after any company that makes unsubstantiated claims. There is a science to strength and conditioning and protein consumption including protein shakes are components.

    May 31, 2011 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. austinn

    I love this forum, will back here everyday! This is what i was looking for

    July 29, 2011 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Diana@MYO-T12.com

    This product is far better than any other supplements check this out:

    For the first time in bodybuilding history its possible to greatly enhance muscle growth beyond your genetic limitations with the worlds first clinically validated dietary supplement myostatin modulator.

    Myostatin is a protein naturally produced in our body that increases as we age. Myostatin limits muscle growth. Reducing Myostatin levels helps build lean muscle mass despite the effects of aging.

    MYO-T12 is the ONLY clinically validated Myostatin inhibitor ever created – a major scientific breakthrough for body builders, athletes and those who want maximum fitness results naturally.

    MYOSTATIN REDUCTION was important to people at Mr. Olympia. We are getting a great response from the show. Visit http://www.myo-t12.com if you weren’t able to be at the show and enter coupon code: Olympia 30 to receive 30% OFF MYOT12!!

    October 5, 2011 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Ju Litt

    We have been taught that protein is the best thing for us to eat or drink in order to build muscle however this is not entirely true. Check out this site to get some real insight about protein. http://www.howmucproteindoineedtobuildmuscle.org

    January 7, 2012 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Ju Litt

    We have been taught that protein is the best thing for us to eat or drink in order to build muscle however this is not entirely true. Check out this site to get some real insight about protein. http://www.howmuchproteindoineedtobuildmuscle.org

    January 7, 2012 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RichardDavis

    Thanks for sharing general issue.. I appreciate your answer and approximately all thing cover in our answer..

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    January 19, 2012 at 01:41 | Report abuse | Reply
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    February 7, 2012 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. David

    Hi doctor.
    I am currently a new body builder and I wanna ask that "will whey protein makes my testicles smaller"?

    February 17, 2012 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bhavani

      I have only been taking the pills for about a month now, so I can't nscesearily say how well they work. I can say that I was really happy to see how big this bottle was when it arrived. Well worth the price! Update November 2008: I have now been taking these pills for 8 months and in a recent check-up the doctor told me my cholesterol was at amazing levels. My 2008 cholesterol levels: Total Cholesterol = 175 mg/dl (recommended below 200 mg/dl) HDL Cholesterol = 95 mg/dl (recommended above 50 mg/dl) LDL Cholesterol = N/A (below 100 mg/dl) The doctor specifically told me that it was amazing for a 30 year old male to have an HDL of 95 and an LDL that was so low it did not register. My 2007 cholesterol levels: Total Cholesterol = 198 mg/dl (recommended below 200 mg/dl) HDL Cholesterol = 61 mg/dl (recommended above 50 mg/dl) LDL Cholesterol = 127 (below 100 mg/dl) Aside from taking these pills my diet has remained the same. This suggests that these pills have done wonders for my cholesterol levels While less scientific, I have also witnessed the following benefits – Better Skin (less breakouts/more even color) – Less joint pain (I have had bad knees from years of Running) – Stronger hair – More energy (I used to always want a nap at 3pm) This change in my body was gradual and there is great potential that it was a result of other things in my life. I won't claim these pills are a miracle substance, however, the cholesterol improvement alone should be enough proof that these pills are worth adding to your diet

      March 5, 2012 at 22:44 | Report abuse |
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  43. James

    Hey happened upon this post looking for some insight.

    About a year ago I started educating myself on fitness and nutrition and did some mild training and dropped close to 100 lbs, I was at around 270lbs. Now I’ve decided to take up the gloves again and start building muscle definition and overall fitness. I am 24 this coming April, 6’2.5’’.

    My more direct questions involve supplements. I’m a huge buff about 100% safe and natural wholesome stuff. I started my workout regiment early February. I started with 2 weeks of cleansing and light workout, drank a ton of water, and took some body cleansers, ate lots of fiber got lots of rest trying to clean my system out of any toxins. And after that I began my heavy workout. (Monday push, Wednesday pull, Friday legs and shoulders) with 45~ minutes of cardio every week day, Saturday and Sunday cardio as well if I have the time. Also I add in lots of special targeted exercises whenever I have spare time. I am currently at the end of my 4th week on this plan, and have gone from 180-190~ lbs and have noticed good overall visual improvement on my physique and cardiovascular abilities.

    (My workouts are a little over 80 minutes 3x a week [but are condensing as I become able to take less rest time inbetween sets], and 45~ minutes of cardio 5x or more a week.)

    My first round I was on a strict diet, my nutrition depended wholly on my quality of food intake, which for the most part was pristine. This time around I’ve decided to give supplements a go. I started by going to the local Nutrishop and asking for a sample pre-workout supplement, boy what a mistake that was. Gave me some glowing green stuff looked like radio-active waste (N-Sane) had me bouncing off the walls and running down the street all night long after finishing my workout 2-3x over. After consulting a friend I ordered some Neurocore by Muscletech, it seemed to be a pretty solid supplement, and have been using it for the last 3 weeks, in combination with 100% natural designer whey protein 28grams~(of protein) directly after my workout.

    I’m nearing the end of my supply and have already placed an order for some Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard, Double Rich Chocolate. And also had Muscle Pharm Assault, Raspberry Lemonade Creatine in the order but cancelled it upon reading some discerning info. So based on all the info I’ve given you, what would be your opinion on which pre-workout supplements I should be using? Can you recommend a couple and why you choose them? I was under the impression Neurocore and Muscle Pharm Assault were both pretty good. I like safe, effective, no long term downside effects, a little safe and natural stimulant is ok, don’t want to overdo it. Sometimes my sleep gets a little sketchy with 2.5 scoops of Neurocore (about 33g caffeine per scoop).

    Also about how much TOTAL daily intake of protein do you think I should be getting? Right now I’m a little skinny for my height, but quickly toning up and filling out. I want to build lean, dense, quality muscle and stay fit and agile, and eventually get just muscular enough to where I don’t lose my naturally perfect physique, the kind you’d see on a pre-historic man, hunting large prey in the wild with a spear. XD I want to be healthy above all else, a little bit of muscle I won’t turn down. But I don’t want to BULK UP mixing fat and muscle looking like a meathead.

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.

    James

    March 4, 2012 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
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