Most people know that its important to consume enough protein when strength training. A new study now suggests, however, that when you take that protein may also be important, finding that protein consumption before sleep may increase strength and muscle mass. Published in the Journal of Nutrition, the study placed 44 young men (average age 22) on a resistance training program for 12 weeks. The participants all ate a relatively high-protein diet and received a protein snack immediately after exercising. However, researchers also divided the men into two groups: one group received a supplemental protein blend before sleep (27.5 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 0.1 g fat), while the other group received a placebo. By the end of the 12 weeks, here is what the researchers discovered:
The men receiving extra protein before sleep saw a significantly greater increase in strength, as well as a greater increase in leg muscle size, compared to the placebo group.
It is not clear whether the muscle gains in the new study came about simply because the protein group received more protein, or because the protein was consumed before sleep. In addition, the research was partially funded by the Dutch Olympic Committee as well as by DSM Food Specialties, the company that manufactured the protein supplement used in the study.
Source: Journal of Nutrition