#452: Stuart Phillips, PhD – Bacterially Synthesized Whey, Plant vs. Animal Proteins, Muscle & Extended Fasts, & Much More

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This episode was oringally published as one of our “Expert – ask me anything” (AMA) episodes, which we published for Premium prescribers. In such bonus episodes, we collect questions from Premium subscribers and ask them direct to a world-class expert and past podcast guest.

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In this episode Prof. Stu Phillips takes questions about synethized whey protein, plant proteins, post-exercise MPS, and many other topics related to protein, muscle function and ageing.

Guest Information

Professor Stuart Phillips

Professor Phillips is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Skeletal Muscle Health. In addition to being a full Professor in Kinesiology, also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Medicine at McMaster University.

He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American College of Nutrition (ACN). His research is focused on the impact of nutrition and exercise on human skeletal muscle protein turnover. He is also keenly interested in diet- and exercise-induced changes in body composition.


Questions answered:

  1. What is muscle protein balance?
  2. Why is the focus always on muscle protein synthesis?
  3. Is MPS a good proxy measure for outcomes we care about (e.g. muscle growth/repair)?
  4. What’s the difference between ‘whole body protein synthesis’ and ‘muscle protein synthesis’?
  5. We’re starting to see commercially available whey that has been produced by bacteria engineered to synthesize whey protein directly from nutritional substrate. It seems like we should expect this to have directly comparable effects given the identical molecular structure. Is there any reason to think this bacterially synthesized whey will have any different effects that whey from dairy?
  6. Does the literature still show that an additional dose of plant-derived protein is required to equate a similar response from animal protein?
  7. During post-exercise conditions does protein ingestion stimulate MPS for longer than the usual 2-3 hour period reported in rested conditions?
  8. Considering the growing interest in fasting protocols (both TRF and longer fasting protocols) – what would you recommend in these circumstances for the preservation / growth of muscle mass. Would it differ between IF/TRF and longer (1-3 day) fasts?
  9. Is it a waste to take too much protein powder at once because some of it won’t get absorbed?
  10. Does protein powder lose some of its quality if boiling water is added due to protein denaturation?
  11. Would you please share your opinion about how you evaluate protein status in the body?
  12. I am now over 60 and lift heavy twice a week. What would be a reasonable body fat % for me to aspire to and how much daily protein should I be targetting in my diet?

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