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The New Science Of Using Protein To Build Muscle - Menno Henselmans

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The New Science Of Using Protein To Build Muscle - Menno Henselmans

How Much Protein Can Your Body Absorb? (00:00:00)

  • The myth that the body can only absorb 20 grams of protein per meal is false.
  • The body can easily digest and absorb large amounts of protein in a meal.
  • The limit to muscle protein synthesis is called the muscle full effect.
  • Whey protein, a rapidly absorbed high-quality protein, maximizes muscle protein synthesis at 20 grams in resting conditions.
  • Mixed meals, slower-digesting protein sources, and post-workout conditions increase the productive amount of protein per meal to 40-80 grams.
  • In rare cases, consuming 100 grams of protein in a single meal may be beneficial if it's the primary meal of the day.
  • The body adapts to using protein when there is a demand for muscle protein synthesis.
  • Muscle protein synthesis has a ceiling that can be raised through exercise, protein scarcity, and androgen levels.
  • mTOR, a master enzyme, integrates signals for protein synthesis and determines the body's need for muscle growth.
  • An acceptable protein target per meal for moderately hard training individuals is 20-40 grams of high-quality protein.
  • Distributing protein evenly over at least three meals per day is recommended.
  • Sandwiching workouts within a 5-hour intermeal window optimizes protein utilization.
  • Consuming protein after a workout and during the period between the workout and sleep is crucial for muscle growth.

How Much Protein Do We Actually Need? (00:05:10)

  • The optimal protein intake for maximizing muscle growth is approximately 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
  • Protein intake above this point does not provide additional benefits for muscle growth.
  • Consuming excess protein can contribute to fat gain due to its caloric content, but it does not directly convert to fat.
  • Protein shakes and supplements can be useful for individuals who struggle to meet their protein goals through food alone.
  • Increasing protein intake to 1 gram per pound of body weight can make a substantial difference in muscle building, especially for individuals who are not hardcore gym-goers.
  • Incorporating fattier foods and even cheese as protein sources can help increase protein intake without sacrificing taste or variety in the diet.

The Protein Placebo Effect (00:10:45)

  • Expectation and belief can significantly impact physiological responses and performance, as demonstrated in studies involving fake steroids and the nocebo effect with gluten intolerance.
  • Genetic predispositions can be overridden by expectations, as individuals have outperformed based on their beliefs rather than their actual genetic makeup.
  • Brand perception and expectations can influence the perceived effectiveness of medications, even when the actual composition is the same, as seen with Red Bull's unique taste and its association with medicinal properties.
  • Some products, like Parodontax toothpaste, deliberately have unpleasant tastes to create an association with natural and effective remedies, leading to initial success before consumers prioritize enjoyment over perceived benefits.

Thoughts on Flexible Dieting (00:18:16)

  • Flexible dieting emphasizes macronutrients and total energy intake for fat loss but may overlook fiber, protein type, and micronutrients.
  • Calorie tracking is not sustainable for long-term healthy eating.
  • A balanced approach is needed, considering both theoretical knowledge and practical sustainability.
  • Sustainable diets, such as paleo, provide better food choices and satiety, leading to long-term success.
  • Backloading and skip loading are practices of consuming carbohydrates at specific times to maximize carb intake and reset the metabolic rate.

Is Caffeine Effective for Building Muscle? (00:24:18)

  • Caffeine primarily aids psychological performance and has limited long-term effects on muscle gain, fat loss, or strength.
  • Caffeine's benefits are more noticeable in sleep-deprived individuals, in the morning, and in those who are less well-trained.
  • Excessive caffeine intake can disrupt sleep quality, leading to a negative cycle of increased caffeine consumption and worsening sleep.
  • Pre-workouts have not significantly advanced since the early 2010s, and anhydrous caffeine (caffeine powder or pills) is often as effective, if not slightly more effective, than pre-workout supplements.
  • Pre-workout supplements may have negative interactions with caffeine, creatine, citrulline, or beta-alanine.
  • Coffee or Red Bull can be effective pre-workout options.
  • Caffeine powder is the most cost-effective and accurate way to consume caffeine.
  • Fat burners are generally ineffective and may have negative side effects.
  • Fiber supplements can aid in fat loss by reducing appetite and food intake.

The Importance of Optimising Appetite (00:31:23)

  • Hunger is a fundamental principle that influences food intake, and palatable, calorie-dense foods contribute to modern weight gain and health problems.
  • Fiber helps fill up stomach space and reduce overconsumption of calorie-dense foods, while protein helps fill up appetite units and aids in satiety.
  • Meals should include a protein source and a low-calorie filler like vegetables.
  • Long-term sustainable fat loss diets can be achieved without constant calorie tracking, but calorie awareness gained from tracking macros is beneficial for creating a sustainable meal plan.
  • Time blocking and sleep tracking are important for productivity and understanding sleep patterns, and sleep tracking devices align well with natural waking and feeling refreshed as indicators of good sleep quality.
  • Optimizing happiness, sleep, and productivity can be counterproductive, as applying pressure to oneself to achieve something can induce stress, making the achievement of that thing harder.

Sleep’s Impact on Fat & Weight Loss (00:39:02)

  • Sleep has significant effects on fat loss and muscle growth.
  • Sleep restriction can reduce fat loss by over 50% and double muscle loss.
  • The effects of sleep deprivation are more pronounced during weight loss diets.
  • Sleep deprivation and stress may have a negative interaction effect, further impairing sleep quality and increasing adverse responses to stress.
  • Lack of sleep can affect diet adherence, leading to overeating and preference for unhealthy foods.
  • Poor sleep quality can negatively impact training performance and overall results.

How Safe Are Artificial Sweeteners? (00:42:54)

  • Artificial sweeteners are generally safe and effective for weight loss and do not negatively impact the microbiome.
  • The potential risks of artificial sweeteners should be weighed against their benefits, such as improved diet adherence and satisfaction.
  • Intermittent fasting (OIC) appears to have fewer risks compared to obesity.
  • Artificial sweeteners do not manipulate brain systems, but humans can develop a preference for sweet tastes regardless of the source.
  • Sweeteners can alter taste perception and increase the preference for sweet foods, so adding them to vegetables is not recommended.
  • Sweeteners can enhance the taste of certain dishes like pasta and tomato soup by increasing their sweetness, especially when using high-quality tomatoes.

Does a High Protein Diet Impact Longevity? (00:49:43)

  • High protein diets have significant health benefits, including fighting sarcopenia, reducing diabetes risk, and providing other positive effects.
  • Concerns about mTOR activation and negative effects of high protein intake are generally exaggerated, as most long-term studies do not find a significant relationship between protein intake and all-cause mortality or longevity.
  • While research on mTOR activation in the lab is concerning, tissue-specific effects in real life must be considered, and eating more protein does not necessarily lead to muscle cancer or enlarged organs.
  • For individuals who are not strength training, BMI can be a useful metric for determining leanness, while for strength-trained individuals, body fat percentage is a better indicator, with lower levels generally associated with better health markers.
  • Very high body mass can put stress on the heart and may lead to ventricular hypertrophy, but the body can adapt to these loads over time.
  • Muscle growth effectively lowers blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, while both fat loss and muscle growth are highly effective in reducing fasting blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity.
  • High blood sugar levels and low insulin sensitivity are strongly associated with chronic inflammation, which is linked to various health issues, while muscle mass has positive effects on insulin sensitivity and reduces systemic inflammation, contributing to overall health and well-being.
  • The benefits of muscle mass are generally positive up to the natural maximum achievable without taking androgens.

New Wave of Glucose Monitor Technology (00:57:57)

  • Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are becoming popular for tracking blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
  • CGMs can be useful for understanding how body composition affects health.
  • Body composition significantly impacts health.
  • Losing fat improves various health markers, regardless of diet quality.
  • The combination of being lean and muscular has substantial health benefits.
  • Most health biomarkers improve as leanness increases, with few exceptions.
  • Extreme leanness (e.g., 5% body fat) is not sustainable and may have negative effects.
  • Menno Henselmans shares his experience of being very lean (4-5% body fat).
  • He describes feeling terrible at such a low body fat percentage.
  • His body naturally tends to maintain a body fat percentage between 12% and 15%.

What People Are Getting Wrong (01:01:25)

  • Carbohydrate intake is overemphasized for strength training.
  • Most supplements are overrated and provide minimal benefits.
  • Exercise order is not as important as people think, and combo sets can be effective.
  • Combining exercises for non-overlapping muscle groups can save time and be just as effective.
  • Antagonist supersets, such as L-curls and leg extensions, can increase performance and save time.

Is it Worth Obsessing Over Small Details? (01:05:58)

  • People who are overly obsessed with small details of training and diet may not necessarily achieve better fitness results.
  • Motivation is a significant factor in achieving results, and highly motivated individuals tend to get better results.
  • It is important to find a balance between being overly analytical and being highly motivated.
  • Obsessive individuals may be more consistent with their training and pay more attention to details, but they may also lack motivation.
  • The worst combination is someone who pays attention to many details but lacks obsession, as they may be overly concerned with minor details while neglecting essential aspects of their training.

Keeping Motivation to Train High (01:08:19)

  • Intrinsic motivation, characterized by relatedness, competence, and autonomy, is crucial for maintaining high motivation for training.
  • Crossfit fosters relatedness and a sense of community, promoting intrinsic motivation.
  • Self-motivational techniques like self-talk and visualization can enhance motivation and performance.
  • Religion can provide positive outcomes such as increased life satisfaction and happiness, despite its potentially irrational nature.
  • Protein is vital for building and maintaining muscle mass, with an optimal intake of 0.8-1 gram per pound of body weight daily.
  • Whey protein is the most effective protein for muscle growth due to its rapid absorption and high concentration of essential amino acids.
  • Creatine, BCAAs, and HMB are supplements that can aid in muscle strength, power, recovery, and growth.

Most Underrated Bodybuilding Food (01:13:32)

  • Olives are a healthy and satiating food with great fat source.
  • Berries are exceptionally satiating for their low calorie content.
  • Pangasius fish is flavorful, has a good amount of protein, and contains omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Eggs are not unhealthy but not particularly health-promoting either.
  • They have a neutral effect on overall mortality and cholesterol levels.
  • Some people may experience an increase in LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Eggs are nutritious and have a good protein content.
  • Red meat has mostly neutral effects on health.
  • It is nutritious and has a lot of protein.
  • Consuming red meat in moderation is not unhealthy, especially when it's not processed.
  • Organ meats, such as liver and kidney, are very nutritious.
  • They score high on nutrient indices.
  • However, consuming a lot of organ meats may not lead to objective improvements in longevity or health biomarkers, unless there are specific deficiencies.

The Tribal Nature of Diet Culture (01:18:05)

  • Diet and nutrition have become a battleground for semi-religious existential wars between different tribes.
  • The digitalization of society and increased welfare levels have reduced the importance of materialism.
  • Social media has made things that signal identity more important than material goods.
  • Diets have become identity indicators, with people caring more about whether they are carnivores or vegans than whether the diet is healthy.
  • This is because diets are now seen as upstream from longevity, and attacking someone's diet is seen as reminding them of their impending death.

Where to Find Menno (01:22:35)

  • Menno Henselmans is active on Spotify and YouTube.
  • His Instagram handle is @menno.henselmans.
  • His website is menohenselmans.com.
  • His newsletter provides a tour of his most popular content.
  • Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue.
  • The recommended daily protein intake for athletes is 1.6-2.2g per kg of body weight.
  • Protein should be consumed throughout the day, with a focus on consuming it after resistance training.
  • Whey protein is the most effective type of protein for building muscle.
  • Casein protein is a slow-digesting protein that can be consumed before bed to prevent muscle breakdown.
  • Plant-based proteins can be effective for building muscle, but they need to be consumed in larger amounts than animal-based proteins.
  • Protein supplements can be a convenient way to increase protein intake, but they are not necessary for building muscle.
  • Progressive overload is the most important factor for building muscle.
  • This means gradually increasing the weight you lift over time.
  • Focus on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once.
  • Train each muscle group 2-3 times per week.
  • Get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet to support muscle growth.

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