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  • Jakob De Coninck

Article: Timing of protein ingestion post workout

Article: Cribb, P.J. and Hayes, A., 2006. Effects of supplement-timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 38(11), pp.1918-1925.

Design: 17 amateur bodybuilders took part in the 10 week study. They were to either ingest the supplement drink at morning and evening (MOR-EVE), or immediately prior and post workout (PRE-POST). All participants consumed the 1gram of the supplement per kg of body weight. Per 100g the supplement contained 40g Protein (PRO), 43g carbohydrates (CHO), <5g fat, 7g Creatine (Cr). For an 80kg person it equates to 32g PRO, 34.4g CHO, <0.4g fat, 5.6g Cr.

Findings: The PRE-POST group saw a significant increase body mass and lean body mass, as well as a decrease in fat, no change in MOR-EVE. Both groups improved their strength, however the PRE-POST group improved significantly more. The PRE-POST saw an increase in muscle fibre size and contractile protein, as well as higher glycogen and creatine, compared to no change in MOR-EVE.


My Thoughts: This is a very articulate study, they took a lot of care to limit any variables. The testing was very accurate (DEXA scans, muscle biopsies) but they also made it real-life in that they didn't change the timing of normal diet or altered their diet, but still matched the macronutrients. They even limited the learning effect by making the participants complete 8weeks of training prior to taking first assessments. The supplement was also made relative by bodyweight.

The finding of improved strength, muscle size, glycogen and creatine stores as well as body fat loss was significant and very interesting, many other studies find minimal change with timing of protein consumption, however other studies tend to limit the food intake the 3 hours around training, which may cause and influence on muscle synthesis, this study did not change their diet or timing of diet, only the supplementation drink. This provides a strong argument the a supplement of high protein and carb as well as 5g of creatine could improve body composition, hypertrophy and strength.However they consumed 2 of these per day, in real life, this can be a very costly regime, I would recommend the general population focus on hitting the 1.8-2g/kg of protein a day, and if possible pushing protein and carbs around the training time to make the most of the higher anabolic 'window' that could exist here.

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