Does it matter how you spread your protein intake over the day?

Research shows us that yes, spreading your daily protein over 3-5 meals seems optimal for muscle growth [Areta 2016].

Makes sense, as one single meal wouldn’t get you a steady stream of amino acids (protein building blocks) throughout the day.

Similarly not only does total amino acids per day matter, but also *per meal*.

Some researchers argue this is not needed because there’s always “a pool of amino acids” in the body, which can compensate for any amino acid deficiencies of a (plant-based) meal.

However, multiple studies indicate that this is just a nice theory, and *per meal*, a certain amount of crucial amino acids, such as methionine and lysine, may be needed for optimal growth [Volek 2013, Hartman 2007, Wilkinson 2007].

Finally, there’s research emerging by @victoriahevialarrain that shows amino acids per meal may not be that important after all, but this remains unclear [Hevia-Larraín 2019].

All in all, if you eat non-meat meals and are willing to go the extra mile ‘just to make sure’, then *per meal*, focus on getting enough of ‘the big 4’ amino acids (leucine, lysine, methionine, cysteine).

Read our article to discover how to ensure optimal amino acids in non-meat meals: