Muscle growth can be achieved with resistance training. Muscle protein synthesis is simply a way of measuring how effectively an exercise promotes muscle growth. Muscle protein synthesis can be enhanced by increasing protein intake, where the amino acids from protein will replace lost protein due to exercise. Learning how to stimulate muscle protein synthesis through exercise and nutritional supplements can help speed up muscle growth, improve recovery, and boost athletic performance.
Protein is the building block of muscles. Muscle protein synthesis is a process in which protein is produced to repair muscle damage caused by intense exercise. In contrast to protein synthesis is protein breakdown, in which protein is lost due to exercise. Protein balance or turnover is the relationship between muscle protein breakdown and muscle protein synthesis. No muscle growth or wasting occurs when your body is in protein balance. However, if the protein synthesis rate exceeds the muscle breakdown rate, muscle growth is achieved. When the opposite occurs, muscle loss results.
Exercise can cause muscle protein breakdown, but rarely it exceeds the rate of muscle protein synthesis. In fact, the greater the intensity of an exercise, the greater the muscle protein synthesis occurs.
A research study has indicated that daily resistance exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis rates by 24% over a 3-day post-exercise period, with the influence of several factors, such as supplemental protein intake, daily physical activities, and sleep, among others.
Resistance training intensity is measured using the so-called one-repetition maximum (1-RM), or the maximum amount of weight you can lift for one repetition. According to a study, intensities of under 40% of the 1-RM do not cause many changes in muscle protein synthesis. In contrast, more significant than 60% intensities will increase muscle protein synthesis two to three times. However, this does not mean that lower-intensity exercise cannot cause an effect. Increases in muscle protein synthesis are also seen at 30% 1-RM, but this is performed up to the point of fatigue. This may be an option for those who want to stimulate muscle hypertrophy but are not fond of heavy lifting. With endurance-type exercises such as running or cycling, muscle protein synthesis is increased by approximately 50–60%. However, these may not be associated with significant changes in muscle mass, such as hypertrophy.
In terms of the type of contraction, there is no substantial difference in muscle protein synthesis in both concentric and eccentric exercises, although the eccentric-type exercise has been shown to result in more significant muscle hypertrophy.
There are strategies you can use to promote muscle protein synthesis. You can start by increasing the intensity of your workout. For example, if you have been lifting weights for endurance, you can switch to heavier loads to promote more remarkable muscle protein synthesis.
Massage guns can help with muscle relaxation. When your muscles are relaxed, they are more receptive to nutrients, especially protein, which is necessary for muscle growth. Regular use of a massage gun might help your muscles relax even when you are under much stress. Further, massage, in its basic form, aids in producing muscle protein. So, massage gun can enhance protein synthesis and help with muscle growth.