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Dr. Paddon-Jones

Balancing daily protein intake across meals increases muscle protein

By Forbes, July 15, 2014

In a new paper published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers asked a simple question, assuming that a total of 90 grams per day would be best: Would human subjects make more muscle protein if their optimal intake was evenly split across the three meals when compared with typical protein intake patterns skewed toward a protein-heavy dinner? The study was conducted with a group of five men and three women between ages 25 and 55. The subjects were physically active, but not athletically trained, averaging 32 percent body fat and with an average body mass index in the normal range. The research team was led by Douglas Paddon-Jones at UTMB and Donald K. Layman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Paddon-Jones and colleague, Blake Rasmussen, originally proposed in 2009 that the even ingestion of protein at each meal could reduce aging-related sarcopenia, the progressive 3 to 8 percent loss of muscle that we inevitably face with each decade after age 30. This is the first study testing that hypothesis in young and middle-aged adults.

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Dr. Paddon-Jones speaks in general terms about the evenly-distributed protein approach in this video from the UTMB research experts' page.