The bottom line is as long as you consistently consume an adequate amount of protein on a regular basis, whether its 1 large serving or 5 to 6 small servings per day, you will have all the protein you need for your muscles to grow. It’s important to note that I am not condemning protein supplements. I’m talking about ALL sources of protein. Whether it’s a chocolate flavoured whey protein shake or a skinless chicken breast, neither one seems to be overly effective at causing you to build massive amounts of muscle mass.
The super massive amounts of protein that bodybuilders eat might work in conjunction with steroid use, but no scientists have been able to prove it in a properly conducted research study. Safety concerns and ethical issues prohibit research on people taking mega-doses of illegal anabolic steroids, so no scientist on earth can actually tell you what is going on in the bodies of those 300 pound behemoths you see in bodybuilding contests and on the cover of ‘fitness’ magazines.
Furthermore, the research that supports the necessity of post-workout protein just isn’t there yet. Acute research tends to show an improvement in markers of protein synthesis, but this has not yet translated into measurable improvements in muscle mass.
Right now, I feel confident in saying ‘if you want to build muscle, workout and possibly take your creatine’, but that’s about it. I cannot find a scientifically valid reason to tell you to take protein after your workouts nor can I find a reason to eat any more than 70-120 grams of protein in a 24-hour period. The good news is that this means that if you are interested in gaining muscle, you can concentrate on the real hero behind your muscle gaining, and that is you and your workouts. The amount of protein you eat should not concern you any longer.
Outside of your height and genetics it is the quality of your workouts that will determine how much muscle you are able to add and keep on your body.