Protein Pacing – a dietary strategy in 2 minutes

Today’s post is looking at a dietary strategy which is especially good for athletes and also a positive method to support longevity in general. Protein pacing as a strategy was introduced to me via the great mind of Prof Paul Arciero, courtesy of the equally great ‘We Do Science’ podcast, (episode 102).

Protein pacing is a dietary concept that allows for maximal protein synthesis, (MPS), throughout the day. MPS is essentially the turnover and production, or recovery and growth, of everything in your body from eyeballs, brain neurones to of course, muscle mass.

In summary, it’s about making sure that each meal, or ‘feeding’, consists of a high quality source of leucine containing protein. Leucine, an essential amino acid, is one of the primary drivers MPS. This is primarily found in animal and dairy but can also be found within plant based sources.

Ensure all feedings are centred around hitting the sweet spot of 20/40g of protein. This is not to take away from ensuring your other macro and micro nutrients are neglected, but just be mindful of how many calories you’re having within each meal.

Although a balanced diet is required to meet all the body’s needs, protein is the most satisfying and satiating of the macronutrients, another great reason it’s important for athletes and others who have weight loss goals in mind.

Try the below strategy;

– Ensure you have your first feeding of protein within 1 hour of waking up

– Ensure you’re having a feeding every 3 hours

– Last feeding of protein should be within 2 hours of bedtime

– Each feeding to be around 20/40g portion of protein, or roughly 0.25g protein per kg of body weight.

– Look at protein sources that contain leucine such as chicken, beef, pork, fish (tuna), tofu, canned beans, milk, cheese, squash seeds, and eggs

– Use a protein supplement to ensure compliance and ease of ensuring you’re meeting the protein threshold each feeding

– Any supplements need to be a high quality protein, preferably containing all the 9 essential amino acids – whey protein is ideal and cost effective

There you have it. Fairly basic but simple to put in place and achieve. Any questions, drop me a message or comment.

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