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  1. #1
    Registered User 57football's Avatar
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    How much protein can the body absorb?

    Right now, I'm trying to cut some fat, while still getting stronger. So far what I've been doing is just eating Protein, Fruits, and Vegetables All Day. It's been working really well so far, but I was wondering how much protein is too much in a shake.

    What I usually do is take 60g of ON Pro-Complex every 5 hours, or if I eat anything that has protein in it, I'll take 30g of the Pro-Complex every 5 hours. My older Bro told me that it's a rule of thumb with the whole "5 Hours" thing but idk if I should be taking more.. or less.

    I'm 16 years old
    H:6'3
    W:220

    I lift Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri from 3-5pm
    Starting August 15th, I'm going to have football practice from 9am-9pm (3-a days) and I wanna know how much protein to take during that period of intense cardio.
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  2. #2
    BulknCut gekkoboy14's Avatar
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    the majority of anything you eat
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  3. #3
    Chasing cats since 1967 WonderPug's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 57football View Post
    How much protein can the body absorb?
    About as much as you're likely to be able to eat and, if you try, you can even reach morbid obesity pretty darn fast because your body is very efficient at nutrient uptake.
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  4. #4
    Registered User SugarFree1's Avatar
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    It has never been proven specifically how much protein can be absored at a time. However studies do show advantages of taking overall higher protein averaging 1-1.5 grams per lb of body weight.
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  5. #5
    Will lift for food. HunterCML's Avatar
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    OP, your body can handle as much as you give it. You dont have to time a certain amount every "x" amount of time passed. I often eat meals containing over 100-150 grams of protein at one time.
    IIFYM - not even once.

    www.AlanAragon.com
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  6. #6
    Registered User 57football's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SugarFree1 View Post
    It has never been proven specifically how much protein can be absored at a time. However studies do show advantages of taking overall higher protein averaging 1-1.5 grams per lb of body weight.
    As of now, I'm trying to eat 1.5g or protein per pound, but i don't know how much I should space this out or if I can eat a big chunk of it at a time and if it'll be as effective.
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  7. #7
    Chasing cats since 1967 WonderPug's Avatar
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    ^ You can eat once a day, twice a day, thrice a day or more often. It's a matter of preference. Your nutrient intake will be absorbed and your outcome will be functionally the same (in terms of body composition and bodyweight), assuming constant intake.


    Originally Posted by SugarFree1 View Post
    studies do show advantages of taking overall higher protein averaging 1-1.5 grams per lb of body weight.
    Not exactly.

    Nitrogen balance techniques suggest that the protein requirements to attain zero nitrogen balance in those that engage in resistance training range from 1.2–2.2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight [1-6]. FYI: 1.2 grams per kg = 0.54 grams per pound and 2.2 grams per kg = 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.

    --------------------
    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14971434
    2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15798080
    3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1763249
    4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11023001
    5. http://sportsci.org/jour/9901/rbk.html
    6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15212752
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  8. #8
    Registered User 57football's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    ^ You can eat once a day, twice a day, thrice a day or more often. It's a matter of preference. Your nutrient intake will be absorbed and your outcome will be functionally the same (in terms of body composition and bodyweight), assuming constant intake.




    Not exactly.

    Nitrogen balance techniques suggest that the protein requirements to attain zero nitrogen balance in those that engage in resistance training range from 1.2–2.2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight [1-6]. FYI: 1.2 grams per kg = 0.54 grams per pound and 2.2 grams per kg = 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.

    --------------------
    Well I'm trying to gain muscle so... would having 1.5g /lb a bad thing?
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by 57football View Post
    Well I'm trying to gain muscle so... would having 1.5g /lb a bad thing?
    Nope, it's not a bad thing.
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  10. #10
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    Read the stickies.

    Get your protein mainly from whole foods.

    There is no limit to how much protein you can have in one sitting that will fit within your macros/diet plan.
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  11. #11
    Will lift for food. HunterCML's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    ^ You can eat once a day, twice a day, thrice a day or more often. It's a matter of preference. Your nutrient intake will be absorbed and your outcome will be functionally the same (in terms of body composition and bodyweight), assuming constant intake.




    Not exactly.

    Nitrogen balance techniques suggest that the protein requirements to attain zero nitrogen balance in those that engage in resistance training range from 1.2–2.2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight [1-6]. FYI: 1.2 grams per kg = 0.54 grams per pound and 2.2 grams per kg = 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.

    --------------------
    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14971434
    2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15798080
    3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1763249
    4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11023001
    5. http://sportsci.org/jour/9901/rbk.html
    6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15212752
    In essence, by consuming 250g of protein daily like I have been will have no benefit over ~170g protein (barring net caloric amount differences from TEF), and adding those calories to CHO may better energy levels and therefore have a greater effect on my overall body composition over time?

    Wondering.
    IIFYM - not even once.

    www.AlanAragon.com
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  12. #12
    Registered User SugarFree1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 57football View Post
    Well I'm trying to gain muscle so... would having 1.5g /lb a bad thing?
    Hell no. Thats exactly what I would be aiming for. My own preference is making sure I have some form of protein every 3-4 hours.
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  13. #13
    Chasing cats since 1967 WonderPug's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HunterCML View Post
    In essence, by consuming 250g of protein daily like I have been will have no benefit over ~170g protein (barring net caloric amount differences from TEF), and adding those calories to CHO may better energy levels and therefore have a greater effect on my overall body composition over time?
    It's largely a personal preference, but higher protein intake is unlikely to afford any special benefits.

    Originally Posted by SugarFree1 View Post
    Thats exactly what I would be aiming for. My own preference is making sure I have some form of protein every 3-4 hours.
    Emphasis on preference, as I don't believe there's relevant, credible supporting research showing unique benifits.
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  14. #14
    Registered User SugarFree1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    It's largely a personal preference, but higher protein intake is unlikely to afford any special benefits.



    Emphasis on preference.
    Agreed however there is plenty of literature available stating that protein only lasts so long before it is absorbed but as many things in the science world there are just as many conflicting reports about the same. So yes, emphasis on preference
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    Originally Posted by HunterCML View Post
    In essence, by consuming 250g of protein daily like I have been will have no benefit over ~170g protein (barring net caloric amount differences from TEF), and adding those calories to CHO may better energy levels and therefore have a greater effect on my overall body composition over time?

    Wondering.
    The sticky has minimum macros for optimal body composition. Above which there is no benefit.
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  16. #16
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    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say... as much as you give it.

    Now can I say 100% of it is going to be used towards muscle growth or repair? Depends on your levels of training and amount ingested but your body is going to 'use' all of it.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    It's largely a personal preference, but higher protein intake is unlikely to afford any special benefits.



    Emphasis on preference, as I don't believe there's relevant, credible supporting research showing unique benifits.
    1.2-2.2 seems like a pretty big range.

    For a 150lb person that's between 81 and 150 grams.
    I like having fun.
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    Smile

    Originally Posted by SugarFree1 View Post
    Agreed however there is plenty of literature available stating that protein only lasts so long before it is absorbed but as many things in the science world there are just as many conflicting reports about the same. So yes, emphasis on preference
    So you got to make sure you have a steady stream of protein right?
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  19. #19
    Registered User gerente's Avatar
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    listen up, bro. your body can only take 30 g of protein at once. You read that right, bro? So if you have 31, that means all of it gets stored as fat. If you have 29, then that means that the protein is used as fat too. Dont question me bro, dude at the gym told me, and hes got a six pack.


    (sarcasm, your body can absorb as much as you give it. digestion does not occur in 10 minutes)
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    Originally Posted by SugarFree1 View Post
    It has never been proven specifically how much protein can be absored at a time. However studies do show advantages of taking overall higher protein averaging 1-1.5 grams per lb of body weight.
    http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-n...a-single-meal/

    Research examining speed of absorption

    A thorough literature review by Bilsborough and Mann compiled data from studies by various investigators who measured the absorption rates of various protein sources [6]. Oddly, an amino acid mixture designed to mimic the composition of pork tenderloin made the top spot, at 10 g/hour, while whey took a close second at 8-10 g/hour. Other proteins fell in their respective spots below the top two, with little rhyme or reason behind the outcomes. As a matter of trivia, raw egg protein was the most slowly absorbed of them all at 1.3 g/hour.

    It’s important to note that these data have some serious limitations. A major one is the variance of the methods used to determine the absorption rates (i.e., intravenous infusion, oral ingestion, ileal ingestion). Most of the methods are just too crude or far-fetched for serious consideration. Another limitation is that these figures could be skewed depending upon their concentration in solution, which can affect their rate of gastric evacuation. Another factor to consider is the timing of ingestion relative to exercise and how that might differentially affect absorption rates. Finally, short-term data leaves a lot open to question.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    1.2-2.2 seems like a pretty big range.

    For a 150lb person that's between 81 and 150 grams.
    There's considerable individual variance including differences in LBM, BF, activity level, intensity of workout, recovery rate, sleep, etc., all of which can impact protein utilization.
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    I don't really think there is any value in eating your entire daily protein in a single setting.

    As I understand it - it's protein synthesis we want to increase and it's the muscle breakdown we want to avoid. A single meal simply will be unable to provide sufficient levels of either to promote maximal growth throughout the day. Your protein synthesis will eventually go down after several hours has passed and so will your insulin levels which keep the muscle breakdown in check.

    Absorbing the protein isn't really the issue here. It's whether or not it's actually being made into the muscle or not. And whether or not that muscle gain exceeds the muscle breakdown.


    Depending on your fitness goals, things may very well be different and may require other ways to adjust your food intake. But if you want maximum muscle gain. You'd do well to space out our protein intakes over let's say 3 meals, through-out the day. Eat too often and you'll desensitize the muscles. And you will end up reducing muscle gains. (however it will be good for fat loss)
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    Originally Posted by ArchangelEST View Post
    As I understand it - it's protein synthesis we want to increase and it's the muscle breakdown we want to avoid. A single meal simply will be unable to provide sufficient levels of either to promote maximal growth throughout the day. Your protein synthesis will eventually go down after several hours has passed and so will your insulin levels which keep the muscle breakdown in check.
    I don't believe your "understanding" is supported by relevant research, as intermittent fasting does not affect whole-body glucose, lipid or protein metabolism in healthy lean men despite changes in muscle phosphorylation of GSK and mTOR.*


    Originally Posted by ArchangelEST View Post
    Eat too often and you'll desensitize the muscles. And you will end up reducing muscle gains. (however it will be good for fat loss)
    Now that's just utter nonsense.



    ---------
    * See: http://www.ajcn.org/content/90/5/1244.full.pdf
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    There's considerable individual variance including differences in LBM, BF, activity level, intensity of workout, recovery rate, sleep, etc., all of which can impact protein utilization.
    You know I recall a thread discussion you and I had months ago regarding a post Pogue had made within the last two years on his blog. Specifically, muscle synthesis could be achieved with as little as .7 grams per pound body mass, and had studies and figures to back it up.

    http://pogue972.blogspot.com/2010/09...ally-need.html

    Although, if you think about it and crunch some numbers, in effect the individual would be eating at their LBM or a hair more than it, and still experiencing muscle synthesis.
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    I don't believe your "understanding" is supported by relevant research, as intermittent fasting does not affect whole-body glucose, lipid or protein metabolism in healthy lean men despite changes in muscle phosphorylation of GSK and mTOR.*

    Now that's just utter nonsense.
    ---------
    * See: http://www.ajcn.org/content/90/5/1244.full.pdf
    I'm sure we could both dig up plenty of studies/articles for either argument.

    But I'm pretty sure that from a practical viewpoint - Eating more than one meal a day is way, way more doable anyway for your protein needs.

    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/mus...nutrition.html
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    Originally Posted by ArchangelEST View Post
    I'm sure we could both dig up plenty of studies/articles for either argument.
    Please do present relevant, peer-reviewed journal published research in support of the view that you expressed. I'm very interested to review such.
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    I'll try to scourge the internet.
    I have a few friends with backgrounds in Biochemistry and nutrition. I'll ask around for their opinions. But don't expect me to fire out a dozen papers immediately.

    Do you have more than one study for your argument? A single 8 person study group does not a valid argument make, if we are going into a deep discussion here.
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    ^ Perhaps then you should not assert what you asserted above.

    Anyway, here's a bit of balanced reading on the topic:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19943985
    This study shows there was no difference in weight loss between subjects with high/low meal frequencies.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9155494
    Evidence supports that meal frequency has nothing to do with energy in the subjects.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11319656
    Yet again, no difference in energy in the subjects compared to 2 meals/d to 6 meals/d.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1905998
    Eur J Clin Nutr. 1991 Mar;45(3):161-9.Links
    Influence of the feeding frequency on nutrient utilization in man: consequences for energy metabolism.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11319656
    Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Apr;25(4):519-28.Links
    Compared with nibbling, neither gorging nor a morning fast affect short-term energy balance in obese patients in a chamber calorimeter.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18053311
    Br J Nutr. 2008 Jun;99(6):1316-21. Epub 2007 Dec 6. Links
    Acute effects on metabolism and appetite profile of one meal difference in the lower range of meal frequency.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1905998
    Eur J Clin Nutr. 1991 Mar;45(3):161-9.Links
    Influence of the feeding frequency on nutrient utilization in man: consequences for energy metabolism.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11319656
    Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Apr;25(4):519-28.Links
    Compared with nibbling, neither gorging nor a morning fast affect short-term energy balance in obese patients in a chamber calorimeter.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18053311
    Br J Nutr. 2008 Jun;99(6):1316-21. Epub 2007 Dec 6. Links
    Acute effects on metabolism and appetite profile of one meal difference in the lower range of meal frequency.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9155494
    Br J Nutr. 1997 Apr;77 Suppl 1:S57-70. Links
    Meal frequency and energy balance.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15806828
    Forum Nutr. 2003;56:126-8.Links
    Highlighting the positive impact of increasing feeding frequency on metabolism and weight management.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9504318
    Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998 Feb;22(2):105-12.Links
    Evidence that eating frequency is inversely related to body weight status in male, but not female, non-obese adults reporting valid dietary intakes.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15085170
    Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 May;28(5):653-60. Links
    Decreased thermic effect of food after an irregular compared with a regular meal pattern in healthy lean women.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15220950
    Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jul;58(7):1071-7. Links
    Regular meal frequency creates more appropriate insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles compared with irregular meal frequency in healthy lean women.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17228037
    Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jan;15(1):100-6. Links
    Association of eating frequency with body fatness in pre- and postmenopausal women.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15640455
    Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;81(1):16-24. Links
    Comment in:
    Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;81(1):3-4.
    Beneficial metabolic effects of regular meal frequency on dietary thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and fasting lipid profiles in healthy obese women.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10578205
    Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Nov;23(11):1151-9.Links
    Acute appetite reduction associated with an increased frequency of eating in obese males.
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    lol.

    /thread.
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    I tried to find it on Wikipedia but failed with limited success: What happens if you take in like 100 g of protein in a meal? I understand most of it is broken down into amino acids/polypeptides during digestion and then it enters the bloodstream...? So do you have way more amino acids in your blood after you eat a meal rich in protein and at other times you have very little (after a fast)? Where is this "pool" of amino acids and/or nitrogen located?
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