A study recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concludes that protein supplementation is beneficial for those who partake in resistance training – for both increased strength and muscle mass. Individuals who took part in prolonged bouts of resistance training and who took in above average amounts of protein obtained the best results. Protein, one of the three primary macronutrient groups, is key to tissue repair, muscle protein synthesis, and other important processes of the body.
Consuming extra protein to support strength training has been recommended by many for years, of course, but this study (which is a meta-analysis based on many other studies) further reinforces the point with scientific evidence.
Perhaps most interesting is the conclusion that total dietary protein intake beyond 1.6g/kg/day does not show additional benefits. This is considerably lower than some trainers recommend. For a 200 pound person this would equate to only about 145 grams of protein per day. However, this is still significantly more than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein for the average healthy adult.
Secondly, the study notes that older trainees require more protein for a similar response when compared to a younger trainee: “Older individuals are anabolically resistant and require higher per-meal protein doses to achieve similar rates of MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis).” If you are older, you must eat more protein to get the same effect.
As such, we recommend that when strength training, be sure to get adequate amounts of protein – and certainly more than the RDA amount for your weight and age, to see the best results.
Fit At Midlife Bottom Line:
Research results show
- Results of resistance training can be maximized by increasing total dietary protein intake to 1.6g/kg/day.
- Protein intake beyond those levels show minimal benefits
- Older trainee’s bodies cannot utilize protein as well, and may benefit from additional protein compared to younger trainees
- Morton RW, Murphy KT, McKellar SR, et al A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults Br J Sports Med Published Online First: 11 July 2017. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097608