T Nation

Super-Frequent Meals Better?


To keep metabolism up and hunger down, I've been reading that we should eat 5-6 smaller meals a day vs. 2-3 bigger meals. So does eating 10-12 even smaller meals every hour make sense? Why or why not?


I'm no expert, but I would say not. I don't necessarily think it would hurt, but you need to give your body a chance to digest at least. If you are trying to gain mass, a small meal may not cause a large enough insulin response.

If you're trying to diet, what happens when you are used to eating every hour and then have to take half a day off for something? You'll feel starved and probably binge when you finally find time to eat.


Eating about every 3 hours seems to be fairly optimal. To sum up some of Dave Barr's research (presented at the Test-Fest):

When you ingest protein, your body has a spike in protein synthesis (in layman's terms: eating protein = muscle growth). The spike lasts about three hours before you hit baseline again. However, ingesting additional protein during the synthesis period will not prolong the spike. So eating every 1.5 hours will not have any benefit.

Besides, do you really want to have to eat every ninety minutes?

So, (Candy) Barr, when is the Anabolic Index coming out?


I'll throw some thoughts at you guys if you'll let me. Keep in mind I don'tactually eat 10-12 times a day. I'm simply curious how 5-8 meals became optimal vs. 10-16 or 20-32.

-The more frequently you eat, the more your metabolism gets fired up.
-Since eating 5-6 meals instead of 2-3 meals keeps you fuller all day, 10-12 meals should keep you even more satisfied.
-Your body absorbs nutrients and stuff better in smaller doses.

Man...20-32 super mini-meals a day would be ABSURD.

Edit: Changed will to should


Who wouldn't?


This is correct. I belive they've done studies that show that you need to have spikes for the best protein synthesis. An iv (or how ever it would be done, driking protein shakes all day) with protein 24/7 for example wouldn't work as well.


i wouldnt want to eat every 90 minutes..... i have a hard time planning my 6 meals around school and work more or less 10-18 meals...lol

eating every 90 min would keep me constantly focused on my next meal and would leave me no time to think about life.


I eat every 2-3 hours, but about an hour after eating each meal, I am already looking forward to the next one.


There is actually an article on here that talks about this issue. They had hooked some people up intravenously to feed throughout the day, and it turned out to be less efficient that six feedings. From what I've read here at T-Nation it's generally accepted that you get great benefits all the way through five meals a day, after that it's diminishing returns up till about eight or so, anything after that is pretty much not helping.


I think the solution is IV. Just strap it on and be fed continuously throughout the day.

Hmmmm Hmmm yum!


I remember reading something about protein than I saw brucevangeorge's avatar and now I don't know where I am.


The food IV would be my solution!