Mechano Growth Factor Understood
The long workout was smashed, you feel yoked, your arms are massive, your ego is even bigger and you start to focus on your recovery. You wrap up your bags, finish the gallon of water you brought to the gym and you pull out your powder and immediately start shaking up your protein drink. Has anyone ever challenged this concept? Is the post-workout shake really necessary? Let’s find out!
Remembering back to our hormone video on hypertrophy, we can recall a brief discussion of MGF or mechano growth factor. When strength training is executed, the muscle groups that are targeted during a training session immediately get to work and start to focus on renovation. If we can think about recovery as a means of renovation, it makes it easier to understand hormones and their role with Satellite Cell proliferation.
When a localized muscle is damaged, our body releases IGF-1 and MGF. During the recovery period, MGF calls on satellite cells to begin renovation and in turn, MGF mobilizes amino acids to contribute to the muscular renovation. This leads to a potential growth in size and strength, because of the presence of MGF and it’s role that coincides with satellite cells and protein.
MGF increases protein synthesis and this obviously means you get more amino acids mobilized to the fiber that has been damaged during resistance training. This is increased for about 72 hours after resistance training. For 72 hours after exercise, IGF-1 and MGF are elevated and enhanced recovery occurs during this time frame.
What does this mean?
After training, recovery is an essential part behind growth. MGF contributes to this massive growth, ESPECIALLY if we have ample amounts of protein. If you can recall in our video about nutrition and protein, we know that we need to be getting close to 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.
MGF is responsible for promoting protein synthesis, particularly while sleeping. It is an absolutely KEY part behind recovery. This brings us to the call out section of standard fitness practice.
If Mechano Growth Factor is activated and used by the body AFTER resistance training to mobilize satellite cells and increase muscle protein synthesis AND we know that MGF is active for up to 72 hours post-workout...AND we know that MGF and muscle renovation occurs more so during sleep. Is it really necessary to crush our protein shakes post-workout?
The answer. NO! We don’t need to crush our protein shakes post-workout. We 100% need to make sure we are getting a MASSIVE amount of protein, we need to make sure we are getting plenty of sleep and we need to make sure we are preparing for sleep properly.
So...keep this in mind when you are smashing your protein shake after your next session and be sure to recognize that overall daily protein intake and sleep are more important than getting in that post-workout shake.
Will everyone continue to crush their post-workout shakes? For sure, but just recognize it’s not needed for those massive gains of strength!
Dane Miller is the owner and founder of Garage Strength Sports Performance. He works with a select handful of clients on building comprehensive programs for fitness and nutrition. Several times a year he leads a workshop for coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.