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Bill Roberts: Thoughts On This Protein Study?


Bill, I ran across this study on www.ergo-log.com/20grams.html

How applicable do you think this is to people with higher than normal LBM and/or using more demanding exercises such as squats, deadlifts, etc. Could this be a case where the overall amount of protein IS dependent on LBM and demands of training, but the specific requirements pre, during, and post-workout remain basically the same across populations?

Given a protocol of pulsing 15 min. pre-workout (with Surge Recovery 1 scoop & 5g. Leucine), at the start (with hydrolyzed casein, 25 g.), during (with Surge Recovery,again 1 scoop), do you think 25 g. hydrolyzed casein protein & 5g. leucine post-workout is sufficient ( I currently add 1 scoop Surge Recoverey and 50 g. of a Vitargo-like carb,5 g. creatine, 1 g. Beta-Alanine to my post-workout HC & leucine), or should I keep the Surge Recovery?

Insofar as the speed of digestion is concerned, there's no reason to believe that the researchers in this study used hydrolyzed protein;do you believe that the use of hydrolyzed proteins allows for the use of higher amounts post-workout with increased protein FSR?

One last question: what do you think (or know) about David Barr's suggestion that protein synthesis rates are actually increased if one does NOT drink a protein shake directly after training, but, rather, waits an hour?

I know that's a lot of questions but I value your knowledge and insight. I've been training a long time and this whole area of peri-workout nutrition is evolving so fast--it's very exciting. I really get a gut feeling that this may represent a huge leap forward in our knowledge concerning maximizing the effects of resistance training on muscle mass and body composition in general.

Thanks for your time and insight,



I actually am able to give this only a quick reply at the moment.

Reading that brief article, there are several reasons to not reach any be-all, end-all conclusions from it.

One, is that there's an implicit assumption that somehow the body is not supposed to burn amino acids for energy, that this is bad, that it is "optimal" to minimize this.

What, every gram of protein is EXPECTED to yield a gram of added protein in the muscle?

So if consuming even a paltry 60 grams of protein per day, this is expected to add 60 g of protein to muscle, which would be about a pound of added muscle per day? Therefore even that amount is proven to be too much?

No, of course not. Amino acids being a source of energy is a fact of life.

Second, there's an assumption that measurement of post-exercise protein synthesis is a be-all, end-all determination of how well hypertrophy was stimulated. This is wrong. I discuss it a bit in the thread on ibuprofen which is in either the Bodybuilding forum or this one.

So in other words, their measurement on that doesn't give any basis for conclusion on what the long term effect on hypertrophy would be.

On whether 25 g casein hydrolysate is sufficient in the post-workout drink: if anything that may be more than what CT has been working with. At most it may be the same. I wouldn't think there is a need to go beyond that particularly when taking whey hydrolysate from Surge at the same time as well.

I hadn't known about David Barr's suggestion, that is, that he had said that. It seems similar to what CT has advocated, if I understand correctly. At any rate, if the pre- and during workout nutrition is up to the job and really is meeting needs, which has generally not been the case following traditional protocols, then I don't see a problem in waiting the hour. A possible reason for better uptake would be, blood amino acid levels having fallen, then having higher uptake after that in response to that, possibly giving a greater total uptake.


Isn't the main point of workout nutrition to increase muscle protein synthesis and prevent the further breakdown of muscle protein? How is the usage of a higher percentage of amino acids from hydrolysates as energy beneficial in this respect?


In and of itself, if the only effect of increasing protein intake from hydrolysates was oxidation of those amino acids -- burning them for energy -- and all else were remaining equal, then indeed what would be the benefit.

But first, not all else is going to remain equal, and second, the study didn't show that all the added aminos are burned.

Although to be clear, the idea that if protein isn't burned for energy then it is wasted -- which has been an idea many have had for many years -- doesn't make sense and is not right.

For example, Dr Ellington Darden (and by no means am I saying this to disrespect him: rather he provides in this a great example of a very smart person being led astray on this point) had an experience in college where a nutrition professor, or other professor, insisted that his bb'ing style protein intake was a pure waste, and he only needed some very small amount, perhaps 60 g/day or something like that. Darden disagreed.

The professor proposed a test, which Darden agreed to. His urea nitrogen output would be measured, I think at both intake levels. The professor said the "excess" protein would be accounted for in the urine, thus pissed-away and wasted. Darden agreed -- mistakenly -- that this would be a valid test.

Well of course the nitrogen in the added protein did appear in his urine, having been metabolized. Darden mistakenly concluded he was wrong.

What, did anyone think that having an extra say 100 g protein per day over some rather low intake is going to put on 100 g of protein content into the muscle every day, 365 days a year or anything close to it?

That would be hundreds of pounds of added muscle per year.

It's a fact that most protein taken in does NOT go towards adding yet more contractile protein.

But does a bb'ing style protein intake, or improved versions of that, create a better environment for muscle anabolism? Tremendous amounts of practical experience show that this is the case.

So, the simple fact that in this study, most of the added protein was burned (oxidized) is:

1) To be expected
2) In no way a disproof of usefulness.


Very well illustrated and stated, Bill.



Sure thing! :slight_smile: