Meal Frequency & Nutrient Timing

Meal frequency 

MEAL FREQUENCY AND NUTRIENT TIMING

Meal frequency and nutrient timing is NOT needed or important. (hitting your daily calorie requirements and macros targets is).

You don't have to eat 6x per day it has no effect on the metabolism or metabolic rate, you can eat carbs late at night before you go to sleep, it wont automatically make you gain fat.

When people say that eating at night causes fat gain, in a way it does sound like it would make sense because your going to sleep and you aren't going to be expending much energy. But when look at that from a biological standpoint it is bogus because your body works more on a 24,48,72,weekly - what ever you want it - NET balance. It is constantly in an anabolic and catabolic state, constantly breaking down and repairing, constantly storing and oxidizing. So it really doesn't matter when you eat, or how frequently you eat, its the overall balance that matters, so your either in a caloric deficit or a calorie surplus. Hit your macros targets however and whenever you want throughout the day and there will be no difference in body composition.You can go 6 or so hours without eating, your muscle wont fall off or shrink or get attacked by the catabolism monster, you have to look at the bigger picture. A daily basis, calories in VS calories out. Calories are a form of energy, they cannot give you any more or any less of what they are.

- Deficit calories you will lose weight.

- Surplus calories you will gain weight.

It comes down to is application and awareness. Some of you wont bother to change your opinion and theories, some will have a hard time accepting it, while others will be interested to learn more and excited that there is more than one way. Remember that people get results because they apply themselves to what they do, not because their way is the best.

STUDies ON MEAL FREQUENCY

You have most likely heard someone say this before:

"You have to eat every 2-3 hours to burn more fat!" or "Your body needs a constant supply of protein to keep it building muscle." You also see this a lot in magazines and online, but recently this statement is being challenged more often online (usually without reason).

Below are a few study's done on meal frequency, click them for more information.

EFFECT OF THE PATTERN OF FOOD INTAKE ON HUMAN ENERGY METABOLISM

This study compared 5 meals a day to 2 meals a day, both with the same total caloric intake. The conclusion of this study came to be: "With the method used for determination of DIT no significant effect of meal frequency on the contribution of DIT to ADMR could be demonstrated."

MEAL FREQUENCY AND ENERGY BALANCE

This is some-what of an analysis of ALL studies done regarding meal frequency and energy expenditure (calories burnt). It essentially states that most studies are neutral on the matter, that is meal frequency has no effect on metabolism. The VERY few studies saying otherwise were likely flawed.

OPTIMAL PROTEIN INTAKE AND MEAL FREQUENCY TO SUPPORT MAXIMAL PROTEIN SYNTHESIS AND MUSCLE MASS

That is a slideshow done by Dr. Layne Norton. It essentially shows that protein synthesis is not related to an absolute increase in plasma amino levels, which would be sustained by frequent meals. It's hypothesized that plasma amino spikes are able to stimulate protein synthesis at a much greater rate. This would actually support eating LESS frequently rather than more frequently.

REDUCE MEAL FREQUENCY WITHOUT CALORIE RESTRICTION IN NORMAL MIDDLE AGED ADULTS

Here's another study that may be taking this myth and completely reversing it. It showed that although eating one meal/day as opposed to three caused an increase in hunger, it actually caused a DECREASE in fat mass, it also showed decrease in the catabolic hormone cortisol.

Myth DENIED! Eating every two to three hours is definitely not necessary, and is quite likely even less beneficial than eating every 5-6 hours, possibly more.

STUDies ON NUTRIENT TIMING

You have most likely heard someone say this before:

"You must IMMEDIATELY take a fast-digesting protein, such as whey after working out to stimulate the best gains" (well actually you don't need any protein post workout at all as long as you meet your protein requirements [1g protein per pound of LBW] over the entire day, remember like I mentioned above, the body works on a much larger time frame) You have probably also heard over myths such as.. "You have to consume casein protein at night before going to sleep to stay anabolic during the night" or even "Don't eat carbs at night, your body won't use them and it will get stored as fat"

Below are a few study's done on protein intake post-workout (nutrient timing)

WHEY AND CASEIN AND MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS: EFFECT OF RESISTANCE EXERCISE AND PROTEIN INGESTION

This study showed that immediate responses to whey and casein ingestion were different... But the end result was the same. They both stimulated protein synthesis equally.

INGESTION OF CASEIN AND WHEY PROTEINS RESULT IN MUSCLE ANABOLISM AFTER RESISTANCE EXERCISE

This study shows almost exactly the same thing. Both proteins caused equal protein synthesis.

These findings are only compounded by having solid pre-workout nutrition. A quote by Alan Aragon states: "Properly done pre-workout nutrition EASILY elevates insulin above and beyond the maximal threshold seen to inhibit muscle protein breakdown. This insulin elevation resulting from the pre-workout meal can persist long after your resistance training bout is done. Therefore, thinking you need to spike anything is only the result of neglecting your pre-workout nutrition"

Myth, again, DENIED! You do not need a fast-digesting protein immediately post-workout. Nor do you need ANY protein post workout provided you are not lifting in a fasted state.

CONCLUSION

Meal frequency and nutrient timing is irrelevant for improving body composition, just hit your daily macronutrient targets and calorie requirements for the day, however and whenever.

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