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  1. #1
    Registered User Bigzperson's Avatar
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    How Much Protein can you take at once?

    Does anyone know how many grams your body can process at one time? As in, what is the 'preferred or perfect' amount of protein to take in a serving? A friend and I have an ongoing argument about this, and all that I can prove is what I've been reading about how much to take on average in a day. I would really like some help.
    Z
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  2. #2
    Registered User imccarthy's Avatar
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    There is no maximum to how much protein you can have in a sitting. Sure, if you eat more protein than your body needs for amino acids it will convert the excess aminos into glucose, but nonetheless the protein will not be magically 'wasted'.
    Food quality does not change the laws of thermodynamics. Provided you consume adequate protein, EFAs, fiber, and vitamins and minerals you can eat whatever you want.

    The only difference between a 'clean' and a 'dirty' food is how much of it you eat.

    The Glycemic Index is meaningless unless you eat carbs alone in a fasted state. As soon as you add fat, protein, or fiber to a meal or have eaten in the previous 4-6 hours the GI is irrelevant.
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by imccarthy View Post
    There is no maximum to how much protein you can have in a sitting. Sure, if you eat more protein than your body needs for amino acids it will convert the excess aminos into glucose, but nonetheless the protein will not be magically 'wasted'.
    Like he said your extra protein you eat is not just wasted like some say. Glucose is not what i want my protein to go towards.

    There has be so much argument on what is the exact amount of protein in one sitting. Most would sugguest 30-40g maximum besides post workout.
    Your situation is irrelevant. Just lift/exercise and stop making excuses.
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  4. #4
    wo0t! Mamut86's Avatar
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    I take 50g post workout
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  5. #5
    nevigsawkufelgnisaton in10city's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bigzperson View Post
    Does anyone know how many grams your body can process at one time? As in, what is the 'preferred or perfect' amount of protein to take in a serving? A friend and I have an ongoing argument about this, and all that I can prove is what I've been reading about how much to take on average in a day. I would really like some help.
    Z
    Depends upon MANY factors such as when exercise was performed last, last meals and compositions, type of protein(s) consumed and the fate of it varies from it being used for building structural / endocrine / etc... proteins (i.e. muscle, hormones, hair, ...) to it being oxidized for energy, to the rapid transit time of the bolus exceeding digestive capacity (i.e. sub-optimal digestion) and so on...

    It's one of those "how long is that string" questions.

    From Bodybuildings Biggest Protein Myths Debunked (Layne Norton)

    Myth: "You can only absorb 'X' grams of protein in one meal."

    The real deal: Not only is this myth not rooted in any kind of fact, it's actually a misnomer in and of itself. Absorption refers to the amount of a certain substance that makes it into circulation (blood) from the digestive tract. The body will absorb a good portion of the protein you eat regardless of the amount of protein in the meal (though there's a limit to the percentage absorbed and it will vary between protein sources). What this myth actually refers to is protein/amino acid utilization. Specifically, what's the maximum amount of protein at a meal that will be used for muscle-building processes, and at what point does the amount of protein become excessive and the extra amino acids burned for energy rather than retained? At this point, researchers have no good answer to this question, but the answer probably depends on many various factors, including but not limited to:
    - lean body mass
    - length of time since last protein-containing meal
    - amount of protein at previous meal
    - type of protein source
    - training state (Post-workout? Pre-workout? Resting?)
    - total calories in the meal
    - caloric balance

    Although there's no definitive answer as to the maximum amount of protein that's beneficial at a meal, there's some research out there that is mildly helpful. Leucine, the amino acid that's an anabolic component of protein1 and is responsible for stimulating protein synthesis, was administered at different doses in rats to see what dose elicited the maximum protein synthetic response.2 The researchers found that the maximum beneficial dose of leucine was achieved at 0.68 grams of leucine per kilogram of bodyweight. This equates to about 62 grams of leucine in a 200-pound individual, which is an unrealistic amount to get from whole food. There are many problems with applying the absolute numbers from this study to a whole food meal in humans because of the differences in protein metabolism between rats and humans. In order to determine what level of leucine at a meal elicits the greatest anabolic response for the longest period of time more human studies will be required, but the research is moving in the right direction. While there's most definitely a maximum beneficial protein intake at a meal, no studies have directly addressed the subject and the number is likely to be influenced by various factors. So, pay no attention to Joe Dumbbell who says you can only absorb (insert gram amount) of protein at a meal, because he has no clue.
    Last edited by in10city; 09-18-2008 at 06:51 AM.
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  6. #6
    Forever Available Micah123's Avatar
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    having 6 meals a day at 30-40 grams (lb's) each meal.
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  7. #7
    Registered User TheOnlyInvictus's Avatar
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    As mentioned, there really is no maximum that is set in stone.
    The more muscle mass you have, the more aminos you need; the harder you train the more aminos you need.
    I've worked my way up to ~50-70gms per meal when I was doing twice a days/7 days a week. And I felt like I could still take in more.
    The fact of the matter is, if you've been working out for 1-2 years, stick with 30-50 gms per meal, but after that you're no longer a newbie to the sport, you can ramp it up 50-70 a meal.
    Just my 2 cents.

    PS: I'm one of the strongest supporters of high-protein diets, and regularly take in 1.5-2 gms/lbs of body weight both on and off season.
    My philosophy is, give the muscle what it needs even if you go a bit overboard; at least you're making sure all your amino-requirements are met.
    Play around with carbs and fats as you wish, but keep your protein intake 1.25 - 2 gms (depending on goals and season)
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  8. #8
    Back for more liftjunkie06's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by in10city View Post
    Depends. Depending upon MANY factors such as when exercise was performed last, last meals and compositions, type of protein(s) consumed the fate of it varies from it being used for building structural / endocrine / etc... proteins (i.e. muscle, hormones, hair, ...) to it being oxidized for energy, to the rapid transit time of the bolus exceeding digestive capacity (i.e. sub-optimal digestion) and so on...

    It's one of those "how long is that string" questions.

    From Bodybuildings Biggest Protein Myths Debunked (Layne Norton)

    Myth: "You can only absorb 'X' grams of protein in one meal."

    The real deal: Not only is this myth not rooted in any kind of fact, it's actually a misnomer in and of itself. Absorption refers to the amount of a certain substance that makes it into circulation (blood) from the digestive tract. The body will absorb a good portion of the protein you eat regardless of the amount of protein in the meal (though there's a limit to the percentage absorbed and it will vary between protein sources). What this myth actually refers to is protein/amino acid utilization. Specifically, what's the maximum amount of protein at a meal that will be used for muscle-building processes, and at what point does the amount of protein become excessive and the extra amino acids burned for energy rather than retained? At this point, researchers have no good answer to this question, but the answer probably depends on many various factors, including but not limited to:
    - lean body mass
    - length of time since last protein-containing meal
    - amount of protein at previous meal
    - type of protein source
    - training state (Post-workout? Pre-workout? Resting?)
    - total calories in the meal
    - caloric balance

    Although there's no definitive answer as to the maximum amount of protein that's beneficial at a meal, there's some research out there that is mildly helpful. Leucine, the amino acid that's an anabolic component of protein1 and is responsible for stimulating protein synthesis, was administered at different doses in rats to see what dose elicited the maximum protein synthetic response.2 The researchers found that the maximum beneficial dose of leucine was achieved at 0.68 grams of leucine per kilogram of bodyweight. This equates to about 62 grams of leucine in a 200-pound individual, which is an unrealistic amount to get from whole food. There are many problems with applying the absolute numbers from this study to a whole food meal in humans because of the differences in protein metabolism between rats and humans. In order to determine what level of leucine at a meal elicits the greatest anabolic response for the longest period of time more human studies will be required, but the research is moving in the right direction. While there's most definitely a maximum beneficial protein intake at a meal, no studies have directly addressed the subject and the number is likely to be influenced by various factors. So, pay no attention to Joe Dumbbell who says you can only absorb (insert gram amount) of protein at a meal, because he has no clue.
    ^^^^ What he said. Many variables, but aim for a reasonable amount and you shouldn't worry about it anymore.
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  9. #9
    Not now chief... TonySturch's Avatar
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    I have plenty of 100+ gram meals without including a shake. Usually if I take too much at one time, ill be destroying a bathroom somewhere within a half hour.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Bigzperson's Avatar
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    All of you are awesome

    I want to thank each and every one of you for the help. I would like for some advice here though. I'm going to list my activities for a normal day and when and how much protein I take in. Please, if you could find the time, see if I am deficient or severly overloading. Thanks again.

    Before Breakfast
    45 Mins of cardio, one of the following
    -walking the hill
    -elliptical
    -running
    afterwards I take 40g of protein in a shake and wait about 45 mins, then head to breakfast

    About 0945-ish
    Lift weights for an hour and a half or so
    40g of protein, wait about 45-60 mins, go to lunch

    1430-1500
    Hit the heavy bag for 8-10 five minute rounds
    Take 40g of protein, wait 30 mins then
    Run one mile to the pool, swim 1000m, run one mile back, take 40g of protein

    Then I eat dinner around 1900-ish. I also take 40g of protein right before I go to bed.

    Thanks again. I've already learned so much in just teh few short days being here. You guys rock.
    Z
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  11. #11
    *SoClose* pushinplates's Avatar
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    I'd say a good reasonable amount I stick to is 35-45 grams per sitting.
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  12. #12
    Registered User TheOnlyInvictus's Avatar
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    My opinion is that you should raise your protein even more... That's quite a bit of activity and it's not very low intensity either!
    Props for your hard work. Munch down and extra 40-60 somewhere.
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