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Why You Might Want to Vary Your Post-Lifting Protein Intake

Historically, post-workout protein recommendations for athletes have varied depending on their body size or muscle mass. But new research from the University of Stirling is challenging that claim, a sign that you might want to reconsider how much protein you have after a weightlifting session.

The study “found no difference in the muscle growth response to protein after a full body workout between larger and smaller participants.”

However, researchers did notice a difference when the study’s participants conducted different exercises. After resistance exercise (weightlifting), athletes that went through difficult workouts which engaged multiple muscle groups needed a higher dose of protein. Meanwhile, participants undergoing weightlifting focused on individual muscle groups compared to whole-body exercise – regardless of body size or muscle mass – found that they didn’t need to consume as much protein.

“In our study, participants completed a bout of whole-body resistance exercise, where earlier studies – on which protein recommendations are based – examined the response to leg-only exercise. This difference suggests the amount of muscle worked in a single session has a bigger impact on the amount of protein needed afterwards, than the amount of muscle in the body,” said Kevin Tipton, according to Science Daily.

This study only examined young males who have weightlifting experience, so it’s too early to definitively say that people should be changing their post-lifting protein consumption. But the intriguing findings suggest it may be worthwhile to try ingesting more than just one scoop of BiPro whey protein isolate after a grueling weightlifting session. At the same token, if your resistance training isn’t very extensive then you might not need to have a full scoop after that workout.

"In order for nutritionists to recommend the correct amount of protein we first need to consider specific demands of the workout, regardless of athletes' size. This throws commonly held recommendations into question and suggests the amount of protein our muscles need after exercise may be dependent on the type of workout performed. These results are limited to younger, trained men so we may see different results with other groups, such as older individuals or females digesting different amounts of protein,” Tipton said.

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