ISSN publishes position stand on protein and exercise

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

 iStock/JANIFEST
iStock/JANIFEST
The International Society of Sports Nutrition ISSN has updated its position paper for the use of protein by physically active individuals.

Commenting on the importance of the update, Ralf Jäger, PhD, from Wisconsin-based consultancy Increnovo LLC and lead author on the ISSN paper, told NutraIngredients-USA: "Protein is the most important ingredient in sports nutrition and for muscle health, and rapidly expands from athletes into active lifestyle. In 2007, the ISSN published its first position stand on the use of protein and exercise, and a lot of new scientific data has emerged during the last 10 years. The 2017 position stand on protein discusses the latest recommendations on how much protein should be consumed, the different sources of protein, when protein should be consumed, and what benefits can be expected for endurance and resistance trained athletes."   

The ISSN’s review led to 14 key points about protein and exercise:

1) Both exercise, and resistance exercise in particular, and protein ingestion stimulate the building of muscle, and these are synergistic when protein precedes or follows exercise

2) A daily protein intake of between 1.4 and 2.0 grams per kg of body weight is needed for building and maintaining muscle mass. This value falls in line within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range of protein published by the Institute of Medicine.

3) Resistance-trained subjects on low calorie diets may need higher protein intakes, ranging from 2.3 to 3.1 g/kg/day

4) Novel evidence suggest that protein intakes over 3.0 grams per kg of body weight per day may beneficially affect body composition in resistance-trained subjects

5) For optimal protein intakes for athletes per serving, the general recommendations are 0.25 g of a high-quality protein per kg of body weight, or a total dose of 20–40 g.

6) Protein doses should contain between 700 and 3000 mg of leucine and/or a higher relative leucine content, in addition to a balance of the other essential amino acids (EAAs).

7) Protein doses should be evenly distributed throughout the day, preferably every three or four hours

8) The optimal time period during which someone should consume protein is likely to vary between individuals, but the anabolic effect of exercise lasts at least 24 hours.

9) While whole foods can supply the daily protein requirements of a physically active individual, supplementation can provide a practical way of ensuring adequate protein quality and quantity intake.

10) Muscle building is stimulated the most by adequate leucine intakes and rapidly digested proteins that contain high proportions of essential amino acids.

11) Amino acid bioavailability is affected by the type and quality of protein in supplements.

12) Athletes should focus on whole food sources of protein that contain all of the essential amino acids needed to boost muscle building.

13) Endurance athletes should focus on adequate carbohydrate intake for optimal performance, while protein may offset muscle damage and boost recovery.

14) Ingesting 30 to 40 grams of casein before bed may increase overnight muscle building and metabolic rate.

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
2017, 14​:20, doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8
“International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise”
Authors: R. Jäger, et al. 

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