Size Doesn't Matter. (When it comes to Protein Intake)

New research is now showing why individuals with more muscle mass do not necessarily need more protein.  Scientists from the University of Scotland have begun to look at muscle growth response from protein intake following full body workouts and split training workouts using large and small individuals.

We will give you the quick and easily understood version here!

It has been a long held belief in the sport science community that protein intake to support recovery is directly related to the SIZE of the individual athlete. We have all read the recommendations for weight training athletes that go something along the lines of, 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight or .5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. This is followed by a recommendation for post workout protein intake, again what is needed for proper recovery and again based on bodyweight. We’ll use the example of 140 pound females should ingest 25 grams of protein post workout, 180 pound males should ingest 40 grams of protein post workout.

Insert different numbers but they are all were predicated on how many grams of protein is required for an athlete of a certain weight to recover properly.

Seems like a good rule of thumb and certainly larger individuals require more calories, proteins carbohydrates etc.

Why then should the numbers not be solely based on bodyweight?

CrossFit, unlike bodybuilding, works on total body movements and involves much more muscle mass per workout than your typical split globo gym training routine. Legs one day, chest and triceps the next, back and biceps the following and so on.

While this “hypertrophy” style training does break down a large amount of muscle tissue, it does so in an isolated area of the body.  So, while the individual may be larger by bodyweight the total amount of muscle tissue broken down during training may be the same or even less than a smaller individual who did a full body style workout, A.K.A. as smashing a WOD.

What can be taken from this new research? Size, in the case of protein intake, doesn’t matter. You need to look at the total picture and the entirety of the muscle mass you are training to assess your protein needs.

It may be time to take a page from what your barbell hoisting bodybuilding brethren have believed for decades. If you want more gains, take more protein!

Take 40 grams of high quality whey, (Insert shameless plug here, DrivenWhey) immediately after you get done working out.

The full study can be found here:

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