First, I increased my protein intake from pre cycle. Prior to cycling it was 1.5g/lb of body weight. On cycle, and still, I am aiming for 1.75-2 g/lb of body weight. Once I start PCT, should I drop it back down to 1.5 grams? The gear helps utilize the extra protein versus being off cycle, 1.5 grams is the higher end anyway. Any point on keeping it higher than 1.5g/lb? If so, when should it decrease?
So muscle protein synthesis (MPS) can be increased in a few ways. Obviously being on cycle is one of them. But the way in which you train is also a major factor in how long you are in a state of MPS (vs muscle protein breakdown). So light resistance training causes one response while doing one rep max (for multiple sets) causes another. Both cause muscles to be able to utilize protein for a longer time than in an unstimulated state. So basically timing of nutrients is less important than total intake.
Now here’s the rub…your muscles can only absorb so much at one time. Even with a good stimulus the limit to protein loading is maybe somewhere around 20g. The study that was done on this also factored in amino acids as well, and they found that 10g of EAAs were the equivalent to that 20g of protein as far as load capacity. But more EAAs throughout your diet actually increase the anabolic window that is opened up by exercise. Bigger window=more optimization of protein=more growth.
Anyway, the tl;dr version is this: get adequate protein and EAAs and you’ll be able to grow. If you get too much of either they will not be utilized as efficiently. I don’t see any reason to continue at 1.75-2g during pct. if 1.5g worked when you were not on cycle then go back to that. If you find that you perform and feel better with more then go ahead and get more. You won’t hurt yourself by getting too much protein (within reason, obviously) but not getting enough (which is definitely not an issue for you) would be bad.
Good luck, man. Keep us posted on how your cycle ended up and how your pct goes.