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  1. #1
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    What's this MPS thing?

    Learn me on muscle protein synthesis

    What is it?

    Why is it important?

    How do we optimize it?



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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Inb4 Mrpb
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    Registered User colontos's Avatar
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    try google
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    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by colontos View Post
    try google
    Some members here are more knowledgeable than Siri
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  5. #5
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Some members here are more knowledgeable than Siri
    I'll give you my understanding:

    MPS (muscle protein synthesis) is your body's process of creating (synthesizing) muscle tissue typically from either training or ingested protein/amino acids

    There are different tests that can be done to measure the 'rate' at which protein in your body is being converted into muscle tissue, but I am less familiar with them.


    MPS is never 'zero' or 'nothing'... we have a baseline rate/level at which your body is 'building' muscle tissue in the same way we have a baseline level of muscle 'breakdown'. The breakdown happens for various reasons, but just understand that we're constantly in a state of BOTH breakdown and repair (synthesis).

    Now, when it comes to DIET, what we're interested in is how meals/specific nutrients contribute to spikes/peaks outside of the baseline MPS level.

    If you think of baseline MPS as a flat line, anytime you eat a meal (ESPECIALLY those with large enough amounts of protein and especially leucine rich sources) your MPS will increase beyond that baseline level up to a maximum rate, and it will remain fairly high for a few hours.

    The severity of that 'peak' in MPS beyond baseline seem to top out at something like 30-40g of high quality protein per meal (I think, but it is tied to lean body mass), and last between 3-4 hours.

    Additionally, it appears that - in order to 're-peak' the MPS, enough time needs to pass for your body to re-sensitize to protein/leucine... something around 3 hours or so.

    This is why it is recommended to have multiple meals of high quality protein spaced 3-4 hours apart: you're able to again peak the MPS and improve from the baseline level.

    The problem with, say, ONE meal containing all your daily protein needs is that the peak can only get so high before additional per-meal intake does nothing more to help.... and if you ONLY increase MPS from baseline once per day... well.. you missed out on several chances to make it better.

    But again, you're still BUILDING muscle even with a single increase, just not nearly as well as you could with multiple feedings.
    Last edited by AdamWW; 09-28-2020 at 05:38 PM.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Inb4 Mrpb
    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Some members here are more knowledgeable than Siri
    You may as well have made this a Mrpb call-out thread, OP. I srsly think he's probably one of the foremost experts on the planet on MPS. Inb4
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  7. #7
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    I'll give you my understanding:
    Thank you so much! Well writen, clear and concise; as is all your advice you give here.
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  9. #9
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    Excellent article by Jorn Trommelen - The Ultimate Guide to Muscle Protein Synthesis
    http://www.nutritiontactics.com/meas...ein-synthesis/

    Cliffs:

    While muscle protein breakdown is an important process, it doesn’t fluctuate much, which makes it far less important for muscle gains than muscle protein synthesis. Whole-body protein synthesis is not really relevant for athletes. (often just called protein synthesis in studies, don’t confuse it with muscle protein synthesis). Muscle protein synthesis is predictive for muscle hypertrophy. Muscle protein synthesis studies are more sensitive to pick up anabolic effects than long-term studies measuring changes in muscle mass. It’s easy to draw wrong conclusions if you don’t fully understand the methods.

    Exercise guidelines:
    Train each muscle group at least twice a week with multiple sets
    Rep range doesn’t matter if you train (close?) to failure
    Rest at least 2 minutes between sets

    Nutrition guidelines:
    Eat 4-5 meals spread throughout the day: e.g. breakfast, lunch, post-workout shake, dinner, and pre-sleep.
    Eat 20-40 g protein at each meal. Amounts above 20 g give a small additional benefit.
    Choose animal protein (whey protein is the best). Or compensate by eating larger amount of plant protein.
    If your main goal is to build muscle, eat at least maintenance calories.
    My comment: for maximising MPS probably a good idea to make sure there's at least 2.5 gram leucine in each meal/shake/snack. For older people 3 gram is a good target.
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    Great replies by both Mrpb and AdamWW. Learned a lot thank you.
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    Thanks for the responses in the thread, very interesting. First time I'm hearing of leucine - although from a quick search it seems most of the regular protein containing food has leucine in it in fact.



    Is this chart a good representation of food which contains this 'essential amino acid'?
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    Originally Posted by xuerebx View Post
    Thanks for the responses in the thread, very interesting. First time I'm hearing of leucine - although from a quick search it seems most of the regular protein containing food has leucine in it in fact.
    YW. Actually every food containing protein has some leucine in it. Some foods just more than others.

    Cronometer (free app and site) and nutritiondata.self are good sources.

    According to Cronometer 135 gram chicken breast has 2.5 gram leucine. Quite close to the chart you linked.

    Keep in mind that maximizing MPS hasn’t been proven to actually lead to more muscle growth beyond just eating 0.7 gram protein per lb. it’s likely beneficial though if you’re trying to maximize muscle growth.
    Last edited by Mrpb; 09-29-2020 at 09:24 PM.
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    Well it sounds like I have everything covered; except that I tend to eat closer to the 2 hr mark.

    So for optimum MPS, I would eat every 3 hrs?
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Well it sounds like I have everything covered; except that I tend to eat closer to the 2 hr mark.

    So for optimum MPS, I would eat every 3 hrs?
    Meal spacing is a controversial topic without hard evidence. One study suggested that leaving less than 3 hours between meals might be suboptimal.

    How much do you weigh?

    How much protein do you tend to eat per day?

    How do you schedule your training per body part per week?
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    "Sufficient protein (1.6–2.2 g/kg/day) should be consumed with optimal amounts 0.40–0.55 g/kg per meal and distributed evenly throughout the day (3–6 meals) including within 1–2 hours pre- and post-training. "

    Eric Helms
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6680710/
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Meal spacing is a controversial topic without hard evidence. One study suggested that leaving less than 3 hours between meals might be suboptimal.

    How much do you weigh?

    How much protein do you tend to eat per day?

    How do you schedule your training per body part per week?
    I'm 51 yr old
    Right now I'm 172; will hit 175 then turn and start cut for spring shows. I'll go down to ~152
    I take in 210-220g per day consisting of chicken, beef, whey and casein

    I do:
    Mon= all upper body
    Wed=legs, traps
    Fri=all upper
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    I'm 51 yr old
    Right now I'm 172; will hit 175 then turn and start cut for spring shows. I'll go down to ~152
    I take in 210-220g per day consisting of chicken, beef, whey and casein

    I do:
    Mon= all upper body
    Wed=legs, traps
    Fri=all upper
    Mirin age to physique ratio
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post

    Keep in mind that maximizing MPS hasn’t been proven to actually lead to more muscle growth beyond just eating 0.7 gram protein per lb. it’s likely beneficial though if you’re trying to maximize muscle growth.
    Sure, doesn't hurt to try though
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Mirin age to physique ratio
    This. I'm about half your age and I have about half as good a physique as yours, OP. Mirin hard.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Mirin age to physique ratio
    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    This. I'm about half your age and I have about half as good a physique as yours, OP. Mirin hard.
    You guys are too kind

    I'm just trying to keep up with you whippersnappers
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
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    Maybe you should hang out in these other forums more often and start dishing out your knowledge instead of asking for it.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Maybe you should hang out in these other forums more often and start dishing out your knowledge instead of asking for it.
    I'm still learning all the time!
    I love to share and feel flattered when I can actually give someone some info that can help them.
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    I'm still learning all the time!
    I love to share and feel flattered when I can actually give someone some info that can help them.
    This is off your original topic, but was it you that posted a long time ago that you blend your meals into a shake? It came up in another thread recently and thought that might have been you that mentioned it once.

    If it was you I'd like to know the thought process behind that, because I just can't imagine the mental aspect of not being able to sit down and chew my meal, and the thought of blended chicken makes me want to throw up in my mouth.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    This is off your original topic, but was it you that posted a long time ago that you blend your meals into a shake? It came up in another thread recently and thought that might have been you that mentioned it once.

    If it was you I'd like to know the thought process behind that, because I just can't imagine the mental aspect of not being able to sit down and chew my meal, and the thought of blended chicken makes me want to throw up in my mouth.
    LMAO! I know it's like that at first; and even I didn't like it for the first 2 days. But after doing this for ~5-6 yrs, I actually look forward to "feeding time" now.

    Yes, this is me:


    And I'm not even kidding when I say, once you try this, you'll never go back to chewing food.
    I eat this way 7 days per week/52 weeks
    How this came to be for me is I manage a very busy auto center; I can't remember the last time I took a lunch break. I was having a hard time getting good, clean food in me and remembered seeing this Asian guy on youtube puree chicken and water.
    This sounded perfect for me.
    It's turned into my regular meal prep. Honestly, it's so easy and you can taylor your macros depending on you goals at the time.

    For instance, right now I'm bulking so I blend 13oz boiled chicken, 1tsp salt, 1/2 c oats, 1 avacodo and 1 scoop casein.
    Now, this is just for my middle 4 meals for the day. Breakfast is usually a bagel and a whey shake; dinner can be a variety of things from lasagne, to chicken/rice, chili...whatever my wife makes me for 3-4 days.
    But when I need to cut for a show, I can easily taylor this blend and drop to 11 or 12oz chicken, and I usually cut my oats to 1/4 cup; along with dropping the PB from my whey shake and I'll have smaller portion size for dinner.

    The only drawback is I've burned up 2 blenders already....
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    I looked at your video. That was funny, I thought you were going to tell us you gave up on normal food and we're going to drink those shakes all day

    You're 51 and getting great results with what you're doing. But could you do even better? I think it would be interesting to experiment.

    There's pretty good data showing that people above 50 need more protein in meals/shakes to maximise MPS. So every meal/shake should ideally be containing more than 3 gram leucine or about 40 gram protein.

    There's also pretty good data showing benefits to 40 gram protein from casein before bed.

    I wouldn't use casein in those lunch shakes because casein gives a slow, prolonged release lasting longer than 3-4 hours. Whey would be better imo if you're going to eat that frequently. I suggest using the casein before bed.

    Here's an example of what 5 'meals' per day could look like:
    7:00 breakfast
    11:00 lunch
    15:00 afternoon snack/shake
    19:00 diner
    23:00 casein shake

    That's what I would try to see if you notice any difference. You could try 6 meals too but that would likely mean there's not even 3 hours in between meals, which may be on the short side and thus slightly less optimal than 5.

    At the same time I realise that having a schedule that works for you may be more important than a schedule that maximises MPS. If it causes too much trouble to change your ways I wouldn't stress about it and just keep doing what you're doing.

    If you want to read about meal spacing here's an article by Layne Norton. But keep in mind that the idea that 2-3 hours between meals isn't enough relies on animal data. It's controversial and I know protein researchers like Jorn Trommelen and Stu Phillips don't fully agree. Afaik they believe 3 hours in between meals is fine.
    https://simplyshredded.com/the-truth-about-protein.html
    Last edited by Mrpb; 09-29-2020 at 10:59 PM.
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    I do:
    Mon= all upper body
    Wed=legs, traps
    Fri=all upper
    Have you posted the details of your routine somewhere? I'd like to read it.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Have you posted the details of your routine somewhere? I'd like to read it.
    I haven't but I'll post it here later tonight or tomorrow.

    Thank you for all the info man; greatly appreciated.
    Scheduling can be an issue but I can easily space it so I'm 3-3.5 hrs between meals.
    Interesting thought on casein in my blends. I'll switch to whey and use the casein before bed.
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    So yesterday and today I tried a different feeding schedule.
    Used to do:
    6
    9
    11
    1
    3
    dinner around6-8 depending on gym times

    Yesterday and today did:
    6
    9
    12
    3
    dinner around 8 after gym

    On my old pattern, I never really got hungry as it was only 2 hrs apart. Now I'm finding it tough to go 3 hrs lol
    Normal? That must be the idea of it all.
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    So yesterday and today I tried a different feeding schedule.
    Used to do:
    6
    9
    11
    1
    3
    dinner around6-8 depending on gym times

    Yesterday and today did:
    6
    9
    12
    3
    dinner around 8 after gym

    On my old pattern, I never really got hungry as it was only 2 hrs apart. Now I'm finding it tough to go 3 hrs lol
    Normal? That must be the idea of it all.
    Yes it's common that the body will get used to every pattern. It will take a while.

    And of course if you're going to wait longer between meals the meals will need to be bigger too; more calories, more volume, more fiber.

    Question about the video: you said something about more sodium being necessary for optimal functioning of the body. Is that something you concluded from your own experiments or did you get that somewhere else?
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post

    And of course if you're going to wait longer between meals the meals will need to be bigger too; more calories, more volume, more fiber.
    I just divided my 2 containers into 1/3's instead of 1/4's

    Question about the video: you said something about more sodium being necessary for optimal functioning of the body. Is that something you concluded from your own experiments or did you get that somewhere else?
    I just remembered reading that somewhere and it stuck. Most sites will say the body has a happy salinity level; just that the body functions properly at a certain level. Most everything I eat is pretty naturally low on sodium so I add some just for good measure I suppose.
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