How important is protein at breakfast, for muscle growth?

A new study suggests morning protein is key to maximising performance gains, says James Witts

How important is protein at breakfast for muscle growth?

Low-glycogen training’s a popular triathlete strategy, the idea being that depleting the body of carbohydrates shifts fuelling demands to fat. It’s particularly popular after a night’s fast.

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Now, recent research out of Japan suggests that on days when you’re seeking strength gains rather than metabolic, your breakfast should include a high hit of protein. The team recruited healthy men aged between 18 and 26 with each undertaking a 12-week resistance programme.

They followed the same plan but different nutritional intakes. The ‘high breakfast’ (HBR) group consumed 0.33g/kg protein at breakfast compared to the ‘low breakfast’ (LBR) group’s 0.12g/kg protein.

The result? Greater muscle hypertrophy (growth) in the HBR group. Why? It seems down to higher morning protein intake heightening stimulation of muscle protein synthesis throughout the day. Like the HBR subjects, supplementing your morning yoghurt and granola with a protein shake is an easy win

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Illustration by Daniel Seex