Protein Fuels Satellite Cells

Protein Fuels Satellite Cells Intense training breaks down muscle fiber, which is rebuilt with rest and amino acids from protein. How important is protein to your muscle building efforts? A study on muscle satellite cells published in The Journal of Nutrition provides an interesting look into the post-workout recovery window.

Because muscle satellite cells have an important role in your body's adaptive response to exercise, researchers took biopsies of the cells in type II muscle fibers 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours after 20 healthy college aged men trained with weights. Some were put on a low protein diet consisting of 0.1 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight while the rest consumed a standard diet that included 1.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight.

This controlled diet lasted 4 days with weight lifting taking place on the second day. All subjects experienced decreases in satellite cells up to 48 hours after training. The normal protein group saw cell numbers return to normal shortly within 2 days of recovery, but satellite cell numbers remained reduced for subjects on a low protein diet.

True Strength Moment: This research provides interesting insight into the recovery timeframe. Even if you do manage to get an adequate amount of daily protein, how many times have you headed back into the gym to train the same muscle group without allowing 48 hours for complete recovery?
Leave a Comment