Drinking protein during your workout has no benefit!
Those of you who are sipping on amino acids (BCAAs) during your workout are probably not getting any benefit from it. The idea is that supplying amino acids will preserve muscle by reducing protein breakdown and stimulating protein synthesis (MPS).
What many people don’t know, however, is that amino acids can only stimulate MPS for a short period of time. When you ingest protein, MPS will increase then stay at that level, known as “muscle full” before declining again. This increase is dose dependent and having one large dose of protein (a “bolus dose”) has been proven to stimulate MPS more than having the same amount of protein sipped over a longer period of time.
Once “muscle full” is reached, more BCAAs won’t help. Few studies have been done on this topic, unfortunately but a study on newborns shows that bolus protein is better and infusions. Though newborns aren’t bodybuilders, this study definitely says something about how our bodies react to protein intake. Have your protein before your workout and focus on the workout at the gym instead!
1: Bohé J. Latency and duration of stimulation of human muscle protein synthesis during continuous infusion of amino acids. J Physiol. 2001 Apr 15;532(Pt 2):575-9.
2: Areta JL. Timing and distribution of protein ingestion during prolonged recovery from resistance exercise alters myofibrillar protein synthesis. J Physiol. 2013 May 1;591(Pt 9):2319-31.
3: Davis TA. Bolus vs. continuous feeding to optimize anabolism in neonates. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2015 Jan;18(1):102-8.