The Optimal Protein Intake

    Intensely training bodybuilders and power athletes need more protein than sedentary people for promoting protein synthesis and preventing protein breakdown. A review of literature led by Kasper Dideriksen from the Institute of Sports Medicine in Denmark discussed the ideal protein intake for exercising humans. The conclusions were based on maximizing protein synthesis, reducing protein breakdown and avoiding side effects from excessive protein consumption. Amino acids, particularly leucine, stimulate protein synthesis. Protein synthesis peaks out at a protein intake of about 20 grams of high quality protein at each meal. Older people need at least 20 grams of protein in a meal to maximize muscle growth. They seem to have an anabolic resistance that can be overcome by increased protein intake. Higher protein intake promotes muscle protein synthesis better in active than inactive people, regardless of age. (Nutrients, 5: 852-876, 2013)