Most people say you need atleast 1g of protein per pound of body weight. I have also been told your body can process only a certain amount of protein. In Christian T's program..he consumed 500gs of protein. I personally consume 230gs. How much of what I am taking in is actually being used? Do I need some sort of supplement to help absorb it like HMB?
I do about 250... but not at ONCE. You can't just sit down and shovel ten scoops of whey isolate into your mouth and expect to have all your protein for the day.
From what I've heard, you can process a maximum of about 80 grams at once, although "at once" is a little generic. If you're eating six to eight small meals a day, instead of two or three large ones, splitting your protein up into thirty to fifty gram chunks per meal will get you the protein you need.
If your slitting your protein intake throughout the day then you are getting as much as you can out of it. I wouldn't waste my money on HMB. Most of the what I've seen and experienced from it is that it is worthless...although it does sell for a lofty price.
Don't spend your money on HMB. Also, from a muscle protein synthesis standpoint there is no scientific evidence that the body can use any more than 1.5g of protein per KILOGRAM (that's 0.7 grams per pound) of body weight. That is not to say that there are no benefits to consuming more than this, but the reality is that it isn't going to grow you any more muscle.
Actually, several studies using stable isotope tracers (much better than the old nitrogen balance studies) have been done to show that there is no additional benefit (for protein synthesis) than going above 1.5 grams per kilo. In fact, the 1.5 grams would be considered high.
HOWEVER, I did not say that I don't consume above this amount. Just because science can't prove it doesn't mean that it's not true. After all, they used to think that steroids didn't work.
I'm currently doing a tracer study right now as I write this, and the way things are going, we'll only do these studies on elderly, or sick, or "normal" (ie untrained subjects). It's just FAR too expensive, and exercise research is dying as it is. Even a study using trained subjects (as rare as that may be) won't be on someone as serious as your typical T-Nation reader.