A Note On Nutrition and Meal Frequency
How often you should eat:
Arent is a fan of meal frequency and nutrient timing. Does that mean you have to eat protein right after your workouts? No. “One of your best bets is spreading out your protein intake throughout the day,” he adds. “Small, frequent feedings, somewhere between 20-40g (even 50g if you’re a bigger guy) at a time. You’re looking at .3-.35g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. If you’re a 100kg guy/220lb, aim to get 35-40g per meal spread out throughout the day.
Eat 5 to 6 meals every 2-3 hours. “And stop thinking of it as 3 meals and 3 snacks!” Arent says. “Because when you think of a snack, you’re probably eating crap.” Don’t reach for prepackaged food; eat meat and vegetables, fruit, or a starch. (Also, this isn’t to say you can’t gain mass on 3 meals a day. But most people have an issue with the math.)
How much protein you should get:
There’s a ceiling or a cap on how much protein your body can utilize from a meal and it hovers around 30-50g per meal. Anything above that won’t spike muscle protein synthesis. So, if you weigh 100kg/220lb and need 2-2.5g of protein per kg, you’d have to eat roughly 70-80g of protein per meals if you’re only eating three times a day. Think about it: The math doesn’t add up if the protein cap is 30-50g per meal for protein synthesis. You have to eat 6 times in order for this to work. If it’s just weight loss you want, then sure, meal frequency isn’t absolutely necessary; but if you want to maximize your body composition, lose fat, and gain lean mass, then frequency is necessary.
How much time after a workout can pass until you should eat:
“Every feeding is a chance to hit your luecine threshold,” Arent says. Leucine is the amino acid largely responsible for protein synthesis and your gains. When you can spike that response, you get the best results. “Some guys think there’s no such thing as an anabolic window; well, there is, but it’s more like a garage door (it’s much bigger than you think),” Arent says. This “window” lasts about 24 hours. So, why not squeeze in as much protein as possible? To utilize more of the protein you take in, the timing does matter.
Where most guys go wrong: