Much of the popular press writes that we should eat more meals a day. As an example (How Much Protein for Strength and Mass Gains?):
total protein amount should be spread out over 5 to 6 intakes a day
They advise the amount of protein to be:
For males, who aim at increasing muscle mass and strength gains, if you only train once a day, 2 g a kg should be more than enough (for women 1.2g /kg of bodyweight).
Let’s do the math here. Suppose someone is 75 kg (about 165 lbs). At 2g/kg that would be 150 grams of protein per day. If they eat 5 meals a day that would be 30 grams of protein per meal. The problem is that they will probably not ever reach the Leucine threshold at any of the meals (Protein Gurus – Part 2). As a result they will never maximize muscle protein synthesis.
Also the timing between protein meals should be 5 hours and that would be 25 hours of eating in a day. Doesn’t quite fit.
My current optimized method is three protein meals a day spread out by five hours (Muscle Protein Synthesis Meal Spacing Maximum). This can be challenging and does require advance planning for meals.