How much protein can be absorped in a meal?
If you have heard, “the body can only digest 25-30grams of protein at one time, the rest is wasted”, you are not alone. I remember first hearing this from an owner of a supplement store when I was in high school. Why would i not believe him?
What was hard for me to understand was how can a 115lb woman and a 250lb man have the same rules for protein digestion? I didn’t know it then but i was right. Now I know better and I have found better resources for nutrition then the “supplement guy”.
Surprisingly the 25-30gram statement I once heard was apart of a research study. However, just like any research article it must be read and understood completely. The research showed that acute (short-term) muscle protein synthesis (MPS) plateaus at a dose of about 25-30 grams and in some subjects 40 grams. Like we see in some studies on the benefits of jogging vs. sprinting, there is failure to look at the long-term. Nutrition expert Alan Aragon has a great article where he states, “A small amount of protein will take a few hours to be processed, while a Thanksgiving-sized portion of protein can take all day. Either way, it gets absorbed & put to use according to the homeostatic demands of the body at the time. It’s not like any amount beyond, say, 30 grams is magically wasted”. The rest of his article can be found here.
Very good read!