Muscle Protein Synthesis from Eating Protein

From (Muscle for Life. The Truth About Protein Absorption: How Often You Should Eat Protein to Build Muscle. Michael Matthews):

When you eat protein, your stomach uses its acid and enzymes to break it down into its building blocks, amino acids. These molecules are transported into the bloodstream by special cells that line the small intestine, and are then delivered to various parts of the body. Your small intestine only has so many transporter cells, which limits the amount of amino acids that can be infused into your blood every hour.

The article goes on to say that different proteins sources are absorbed at different rates.

According to one review, whey clocks in at 8 to 10 grams absorbed per hour, casein at ~6.1 g/hr, soy at ~3.9 g/hr, and cooked egg at ~2.9 g/hr.

Here’s a really interesting point that I didn’t know about:

For instance, the presence of protein in the stomach stimulates the production of a hormone that delays “gastric emptying” (the emptying of the food from the stomach). This slows down intestinal contractions and thus how quickly the food moves through the small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed. This is one of the ways your body “buys the time” it needs to absorb the protein you eat.

That seems to be the mechanism by which protein gets processed by the body. That’s how the area under the curve for protein is so long.

The article goes on to say that:

Carbohydrates and fats can move through your small intestine and be fully absorbed while the protein is still being worked on.

The page then quoted a study (Protein feeding pattern does not affect protein retention in young women) which indicated that it doesn’t matter if the protein is consumed all at one time (Intermittent Fasting style) or over the course of the entire day.

It was higher during the experimental period, but not significantly different in the women fed the spread or the pulse patterns [59 +/- 12 and 36 +/- 8 mg N/(kg fat-free mass. d) respectively]. No significant effects of the protein feeding pattern were detected on either whole-body protein turnover [5.5 +/- 0.2 vs. 6.1 +/- 0.3 g protein/(kg fat-free mass. d) for spread and pulse pattern, respectively] or whole-body protein synthesis and protein breakdown. Thus, in young women, these protein feeding patterns did not have significantly different effects on protein retention.



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