Sussex Performance Centre

Even Out Your Protein Intake & Gain 40% More Muscle

When combined with weekly resistance training, this simple method can help you increase your muscle mass by 40%!

The Problem

We generally end up eating a meager amount of protein at breakfast (if we don’t skip the meal entirely) because most people eat the equivalent of just one or two eggs.

But two eggs only provide a duck snort of protein; hardly enough to fuel muscle growth. And while we do better at lunch, we still eat the bulk of our protein at dinner, where we try to make up for the day’s protein shortcomings by devouring

It might not be a big deal if regular folk follow this kind of unbalanced protein intake, but it could be damaging to people who measure their success by how much muscle they can grow.

Why is muscle important? Building lean muscle for both genders helps increase bone density, manage weight, decrease risk of chronic disease, and improve quality of life. Muscles act as an “engine” that burns calories, even at rest.

What They Did

It was a simple study. The Japanese scientists took 26 male students and divided them into two groups. One group received three daily meals, each of which contained roughly the same amount of protein.

The other group also got three-square meals but had the majority of their protein consumed in their final meal. This was the low-protein breakfast group and it reflected the societal habit of skewing most protein intake towards dinner.

The experiment lasted 12 weeks and all the subjects were required to lift weights three times a week for the duration.

What Happened?

The high-protein breakfast group put on over 40% more muscle than the low-protein breakfast group.

Despite there being no significant difference in the total daily protein intake between the two groups, eating disproportionate amounts of protein (low protein) at breakfast and lunch, but especially breakfast, adversely affected muscle growth.

What to do?

People who eat smart breakfasts are generally in better shape than those who don’t. They’re generally more insulin sensitive and they don’t store as much of what they eat as fat.

At the very least, this study ought to put a stranglehold into the practice of having “just coffee” for breakfast. Start your day with high protein options to really start notice the changes your efforts deserve with your training.

Need Recipe Ideas? Download a free copy of our recipe book here!

Study: Jun Yasudea, et al, “Evenly Distributed Protein Intake over 3 Meals Augments Resistance Exercise-Induced Muscle Hypertrophy in Healthy Young Men,” The Journal of Nutrition, 2020, April 22.
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