T Nation

Amount of Protein in One Sitting


#1

Ok, I have done a ton of research and haven't hammered down an answer. Time to ask the pros.

How much protein can the body use in 1 sitting? I am supplementing a shake or 2 per day pre/post workout. I have heard anywhere from 30 to 50 in one sitting is all I can handle. Also, how far do you have to space it out if the limit is 30 or so? I normally wouldn't be picky, but I am trying to iron out my diet and also not waste money/protein.

Thanks!


#2

before anyone can attempt to answer you, please define a time frame for “a sitting”.

because, a sitting for me might be 1.5 hours, whereas for you it’s a quick 20 minutes.


#3

That was part of my question as well… so I will define:

What would be the most in a 30 minute period, say post workout or a meal.
Also, lets say you wait 2.5 to 3 hours to consume more again…


#4

Your body will use whatever it needs, and what it’s given. It’s not like if you eat 51g of protein your kidneys will explode.

EDIT:

Also, how much protein you need will vary from person to person.


#5

I think I remember Thibs saying that it varies, as Chimera says, and that some people can absorb up to 100g at a time.

I tend to go for 60-70g max, myself, though.


#6

Thats a very good question. The reason you can’t find a solid answer is because there are a lot of variables to consider. I’ll try to help give some input, but I don’t have any real research just my thoughts on it.

You want to know how much protein to eat at one time without “wasting” any of the precious aminos. And how long before you can consume some more?

I think it depends on the type of protein source:
BCAAs (not a complete source but I use them a lot) - I don’t take more than 5grams at one gulp but I will mix up 15grams in a water bottle and drink right before/during/immediately after my 1 hour long workouts.

Whey - I usually consume 40-50grams at the most.

Blended protein powders - I consume more around 50-65grams because they are releasing at different times over a longer period of time.

Steak or chicken - I usually eat around 50-60 grams but I don’t have a problem with eating more (up to 70-80grams).

Im a 200lbs guy who has been eating a high protein diet for years. If you are very new to eating a lot of protein like 1.5+ grams a day you will find it very hard to digest all of this protein at first. Your body will adjust and you will poop out less of it after a few weeks.

What you consume with your protein has a big effect. If you eat a fatty steak with some veggies (fiber) it will slow down the digestion and maybe block absorption of the aminos. But lets say you have a post workout shake with 50grams of carbs and some glutamine to spike insulin , then you are really going to absorb the aminos a lot easier.

Also eating some of the slower digesting proteins in high amounts fairly close together can tell your body its OK to push out the earlier meal and start work on the new one. (read if you eat too close together you will poop out the protein before fully absorbed).

Don’t eat a bunch of protein then go for a run because you will be forcing the blood away from your GI tract that breaks down and absorbs the protein.

After a really intense workout I tend to follow my post workout drink with a pretty big carb protein meal because I know my body is wanting a lot of protein.

I’m sure there are a lot of other things to consider and I’d like some input from someone with some real research too. As long as you don’t decide to consume 350 grams a day split between 3 big meals with a lot of fat and some Metamucil I think you will be alright. If you want to do it right you know you should have it split between 5-7 meals with a few carbs thrown in spread 2-3 hours apart.


#7

I usually aim for about 70-80 grams at a time, myself.
It seems to be working well thus far.


#8

I’m sure there are a lot of other things to consider and I’d like some input from someone with some real research too. As long as you don’t decide to consume 350 grams a day split between 3 big meals with a lot of fat and some Metamucil I think you will be alright. If you want to do it right you know you should have it split between 5-7 meals with a few carbs thrown in spread 2-3 hours apart. [/quote]

That is great info, thanks. I do split it up over 5-6 meals a day. I am working on keeping the carbs low as Thib has written about in his personal story. I just wanted to make sure I would be able to properly consume enough protein as I am 344 lbs currently and have been working hard for over a month to define what I need.

thanks


#9

Not only does it depend on the individual, but it also depends on the timing of that one meal. Your body’s ability to metabolize and utilize nutrients are going to vary from hour to hour, especially when you consider the different metabolic needs peri-workout, versus when you’re watching a movie as an example. Don’t over complicate eating.


#10

Thanks for the input. I have spent the last 2 nights worth of free time researching Thib’s articles. I think I have a good formula for maximizing my efforts.

I am going to keep it simple and not over analyze, as you suggest. Thanks!


#11

I don’t think it actually matters…it just depends on how many meals you are going to eat and how much protein your going for day to day.

It will all get digested and used!


#12

On my 20 minute walk home, I drink a half gallon of milk. That’s 80 grams.