Another Popular Belief Debunked – Fats Don’t Interfere Protein Absorption, so is it okay to take Fish Oils and Whole Eggs Post Workout

As a resistance training enthusiast, I cannot count on how many times I was advised by “experts” (while munching on my post workout hard boiled eggs – TOGETHER WITH THE YOLK) that it is not good to take fats (in form of whole fats, fish oils, egg yolks, etc.) with my post workout protein. And just to admit the truth I also used to believe this – and I’m just a little hard-headed so I did it anyways.

At first glance this would sound rather accurate – since after training you would have induced a butt-load of stress and micro-trauma to your body and you would need some “fast-acting” nutrients and proteins to immediately feed your hungry muscles to kick start the growth and recuperative processes.

A “slow-acting” substance like fats would seem counterproductive and might hinder the fast transportation of protein to our affected muscle cells that desperately need URGENT protein supplementation, RIGHT?


This new study begs to disagree:

Muscle Protein Synthesis and Balance Responsiveness to Essential Amino Acids Ingestion in the Presence of Elevated Plasma Free Fatty Acid Concentrations
-Christos S. Katsanos, Asle Aarsland, Melanie G. Cree, and Robert R. Wolfe

Context: Elevated plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations are observed under various clinical circumstances and are associated with impaired glucose disposal in skeletal muscle.
Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the effects of elevated plasma FFA concentrations on the response of protein synthesis and balance in muscle after essential amino acids (EAAs) ingestion.
Design: Leg protein kinetics were determined in young healthy individuals before and after the ingestion of EAAs at 10 h after the initiation of either lipid (Liposyn/heparin+EAA) or saline (saline+EAA) infusions

Results: Plasma insulin responses where higher (P <0.05) in the Liposyn/heparin+EAA group than the saline+EAA group both before (14 ± 4 vs. 6 ± 1 μIU • ml−1) and after (1038 ± 257 vs. 280 ± 87 μIU • ml−1 • 210 min−1) the EAA ingestion. After the EAA ingestion, the rates of both leg phenylalanine disappearance (Rd; nmol • min−1 • kg lean leg mass−1) and muscle proteins fractional synthesis (FSR; % • h−1) increased (P <0.05) in both the Liposyn/heparin+EAA and saline+EAA groups, but these changes were not different between the two groups (Rd, 102 ± 32 vs. 118 ± 34; FSR, 0.014 ± 0.005 vs. 0.018 ± 0.007; P > 0.05). Although the leg phenylalanine rate of appearance (Ra; nmol • min−1 • kg lean leg mass−1) was lower (381 ± 47 vs. 518 ± 40) and the balance was greater (−109 ± 20 vs. −172 ± 17) in the Liposyn/heparin+EAA group compared to the saline+EAA group before the EAA ingestion (P <0.05), the changes in both of these parameters were not different between groups after the EAA ingestion (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: Elevated plasma FFA concentrations do not interfere with the response of muscle protein synthesis and balance to a bolus ingestion of EAAs.
Essential amino acids stimulated muscle protein turnover in the presence of elevated plasma free fatty acids.

So in that regards, feel free to down a couple of Fish oil capsules with your Whey protein shake – It will even help your muscle gains. And no it will not make you FAT (read more about that here). Also it will ease the concerns of some of us to eating a full meal after a workout.

“Essential amino acids stimulated muscle protein turnover in the presence of elevated plasma free fatty acids.”

I myself love to down some steaks and tapas after going to the gym. Off course I would have already took my mandatory post-workout by then. But before reading the above study it sometimes worries me that these solid meals and the fat in the meat might “slow-down” the protein absorption to my muscle cells –well didn’t stop me anyways!

Go for Cholesterol


Furthermore this study would also explain why I respond well to resistance training even after taking WHOLE EGGS as post workout! Some people tell me that

“hey ,Georgie those fats in those eggs will just slow the absorption blah blah blah!” –didn’t stop me doing that either.

Plus these are usually from people who look like they never stepped into a weight room before anyways so why the hell would I believe them? As far as I was concerned, yes it might slow down the rate (anyways I wasn’t seeing that as a case since I tend to develop well even so) but the benefit that egg yolks offer would just outweigh all those negative effects.

But now we see that there isn’t any! Now you can gulp down 10 whole eggs right after training or take fish oil with your post workout protein without worrying one bit about hurting your progress!!

Till next time! Eat your eggs – EAT MORE eggs, and FATS people! – Don’t forget the YOLK!!!

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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