If you eat very little protein with breakfast and lunch and then pack in most of your protein in for supper, you’re doing it all wrong, according to a new study.

The study measured the effects of two different diets in which 90 grams of protein was consumed over the course of the day by volunteers.

In one diet, protein consumption was equally split into between breakfast lunch and supper, and in another diet breakfast contained 10 grams, lunch 15 grams and supper 65 grams of protein.

Scientists found a difference in the participants ‘muscle protein synthesis’ between the two diets. Your muscle synthesis rate, is described as “essential to the body’s on-going growth, repair, and maintenance of muscle groups”

The muscle protein synthesis was 25% greater in those volunteers who ate equal amounts of protein with each meal when compared to volunteers who ate most of their protein with dinner.

“We’re not taking enough protein on board for efficient muscle building and repair during the day, and at night we’re often taking in more than we can use. We run the risk of having this excess oxidized and ending up as glucose or fat,” says study leader and by muscle metabolism expert Doug Paddon-Jones.

“You don’t have to eat massive amounts of protein to maximize muscle synthesis, you just have to be a little more thoughtful with how you apportion it,” says Paddon Jones.