|Protein before workouts "accelerates protein catabolism"? That sounds worse than it actually is (photo BSN).|
But is it actually possible that consuming more protein (albeit at the wrong time) will have a negative impact on your gains?
Before we can answer this important question it is necessary to take a look at the actual design of the randomized cross-over study.
|Figure 1: Graphical overview of the experimental protocol (Hasegawa. 2014)|
"Each testing period began on Day-1 and ended the meat-free diet consisting of grains, beans, and milk, and 24- hour urine sample collection on Day-8 (Figure 1). Participants were allocated into one of three groups; egg white protein (E), soy protein (S), and mineral water control (C) group with no additive, and all were carried out this study protocol three times, and asked not to change their lifestyle behaviors." (Hasegawa. 2014).
|The result of this study should remind you of the "Protein-Wheysting" Article | more is not always better!|
- 20 g of egg protein,
- 20g of soy protein, or
- an isoenergetic placebo without protein
The exercises were performed for three sets of 10 repetitions at ~80% of a predetermined 1-RM with one min rest between sets and two minutes between each exercise.
|Figure 2: no significant difference in perceived fatique, but a significant reduction in peak muscle soreness in the soy (grey blocks) vs. the control (white triangles) group (Hasegawa. 2014).|
How is that possible? Increased protein breakdown and reduced muscle soreness?
So, here we are with an obvious contradiction between the reduced muscle soreness (Figure 2) and the scientists claim that "pre-exercise protein supplementation taken in excess may accelerate protein catabolism" (Hasegawa. 2014)... you already guessed it: The contradiction depends on the false assumption that "protein catabolism" means "catabolism of muscle protein", which is not generally the case and in this specific case certainly wrong.
|Figure 3: Urinary nitrogen excretion measured for 72h after the workout (Hasegawa. 2014)|
- Baty, Jacob J., et al. "The effect of a carbohydrate and protein supplement on resistance exercise performance, hormonal response, and muscle damage." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 21.2 (2007): 321-329.
- Hasegawa, Yuko, et al. "Effect of Egg White Protein Supplementation Prior to Acute Resistance Training on Muscle Damage Indices in Untrained Japanese Men." Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 3 (2014) 2: 5–12.
- Rasmussen, Blake B., et al. "An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise." Journal of Applied Physiology 88.2 (2000): 386-392.
- Wycherley, Thomas Philip, et al. "Timing of protein ingestion relative to resistance exercise training does not influence body composition, energy expenditure, glycaemic control or cardiometabolic risk factors in a hypocaloric, high protein diet in patients with type 2 diabetes." Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 12.12 (2010): 1097-1105.