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Cortisol decreases amino acid uptake by muscle tissue, and inhibits protein synthesis. The short-term increase in protein synthesis that occurs subsequent to resistance training returns to normal after approximately 28 hours in adequately fed male youths. Another study determined that muscle protein synthesis was elevated even 72 hours following training.
A small study performed on young and elderly found that ingestion of 340 grams of lean beef (90 g protein) did not increase muscle protein synthesis any more than ingestion of 113 grams of lean beef (30 g protein). In both groups, muscle protein synthesis increased by 50%. The study concluded that more than 30 g protein in a single meal did not further enhance the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly. However, this study didn’t check protein synthesis in relation to training; therefore conclusions from this research are controversial.
It is not uncommon for bodybuilders to advise a protein intake as high as 2–4 g per kilogram of bodyweight per day. However, scientific literature has suggested this is higher than necessary, as protein intakes greater than 1.8 g per kilogram of body weight showed to have no greater effect on muscle hypertrophy. A study carried out by American College of Sports Medicine (2002) put the recommended daily protein intake for athletes at 1.2–1.8 g per kilogram of body weight. Conversely, Di Pasquale(2008), citing recent studies, recommends a minimum protein intake of 2.2 g/kg “for anyone involved in competitive or intense recreational sports who wants to maximize lean body mass but does not wish to gain weight. However athletes involved in strength events (..) may need even more to maximize body composition and athletic performance. In those attempting to minimize body fat and thus maximize body composition, for example in sports with weight classes and in bodybuilding, it’s possible that protein may well make up over 50% of their daily caloric intake.”