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How Much Protein In One Sitting?

I’m sure this has probably been answered a hundred times, but i haven’t found a satisfactory answer anywhere.

How much protein can the body absorb in one sitting?

I ask this because i am lead to believe that any proteins that aren’t synthesized are converted to fat. If this is the case, I don’t want to eat more protein than my body can absorb.

The most common answer i’ve heard is 30-35grams.

I suppose there are many variables, but i’m curious to know if there is definitive answer to this question.

Any ideas?

[quote]gewman wrote:
I’m sure this has probably been answered a hundred times, but i haven’t found a satisfactory answer anywhere.

How much protein can the body absorb in one sitting?
[/quote]

There is no answer to this because it would not be the same for all people anyway. How much food can you digest in one sitting? My guess is, if you weigh 300lbs and play pro ball for the Raiders, you can probably absorb more calories in one sitting than some skinny kid who thinks protein shakes will put muscle on him if he drinks enough of them. Someone larger would no doubt be able to take in more at one time than someone smaller. Yes, any excess CALORIES (not just protein) will be converted to body fat.

If you are small, you probably won’t be able to absorb more than 30-50gr no matter what you do. There is no science available to come to any specific conclusions for weight lifters.

You’re so damn useful sometimes, Prof.

it also has a lot to do with the TYPE of protein you are eating. considering equal amounts, you’re going to “absorb” more protein from say chicken than from whey concentrate. has to do more with oxidation rates of the protein than with your bodies ability to “absorb” it. and excess protein will be eliminated from the body before much (if any) is converted to fat. sure, a few amino acids are converted via gluconeogenesis into glycogen and perhaps then into fat, but that’s a long process.

and like prof said, it depends on the individual. but in any case it is usually better to have more protein (and ensure positive nitrogen balance) than it is to not have enough!

Correct me if I am wrong…

Your body will absorb ALL of the protein you eat. Just like it will absorb ALL the fat you eat and ALL the carbs you eat. Thats how fat people get fat…their bodies absorbed all that food. Even if they only ate it in one sitting(sumo wrestlers come to mind).

Will your body use 800 grams of protein a day for building muscle? Probably not, but it will absorb it all. If you are eating 4000 cals a day, and 33% of that is protein, thats only 330 grams.

Take home message should be to make your body need to use as much as possible…AKA - Bust ass in the gym day in and day out.

…this is why I usually have three whey shakes the day I work out,instead of single big one.
I am small and I want to make sure I “absorb” my protein shake properly
:wink:

Hmmmmm…

I think what I’ll take most from posting this question, is to choose my words carefully. Never has the word ‘absorb’ caused so much confusion and head scratching. I would have thought the collective intelligence of T-Nation readers would have been able to read between the lines and interpret a simple question without using it as a vehicle to further their own agendas.

it was not too dissimilar to the image of the skinny runt getting sand kicked in his face by all the he-men.

“knowledge is power”. most of you seem incredibly knowledgeable on nutrition. what a shame you aren’t capable of sharing that knowledge without throwing in some barbed comment designed to both highlight and deride any perceived lack of knowledge in this area by the one posing the question.

we all have to start somewhere. the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. i want to further my understanding of nutrition. i thought this forum might help. all it’s done is invite spineless types to take pot shots at a sitting duck.

As a crude “rule of thumb” you should be able to handle 1/4 your lean bodyweight (in lbs) in grams of protein.

This is the amount some recommend with the post workout drink. It also has twice as much sugar as protein.

[quote]gewman wrote:
Hmmmmm…

I think what I’ll take most from posting this question, is to choose my words carefully. Never has the word ‘absorb’ caused so much confusion and head scratching. I would have thought the collective intelligence of T-Nation readers would have been able to read between the lines and interpret a simple question without using it as a vehicle to further their own agendas.

it was not too dissimilar to the image of the skinny runt getting sand kicked in his face by all the he-men.

“knowledge is power”. most of you seem incredibly knowledgeable on nutrition. what a shame you aren’t capable of sharing that knowledge without throwing in some barbed comment designed to both highlight and deride any perceived lack of knowledge in this area by the one posing the question.

we all have to start somewhere. the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. i want to further my understanding of nutrition. i thought this forum might help. all it’s done is invite spineless types to take pot shots at a sitting duck.[/quote]

As far as I can judge, you got useful answers and weren’t flamed once. So… why the drama?

I think most people could stand to eat MORE protein rather than worrying about whether 30 grams per meal is your body’s cutoff.

I think this is still the most annoying debate in the fitness industry.

There’s no such thing as your body not absorbing protein. It gets used as it gets digested. The more protein you eat, the longer it will digest, and it will be absorbed as it digests.

This is the case of course with the average person. If you eat 10,000 calories of protein a day, and you only need 3,000 of them, you probably will store the other 7k on your body. But over-eating protein has NEVER been heard of.

Dude, if you’re taking offense at the answers to your post you are WAY too sensitive to survive here. Check out bodybuilding.com or one of the other less hardcore sites.

I thought you Aussies were tougher than that! Maybe some deadlifts will help strengthen your backbone ;^).

[quote]Kruiser wrote:
Dude, if you’re taking offense at the answers to your post you are WAY too sensitive to survive here. Check out bodybuilding.com or one of the other less hardcore sites.

I thought you Aussies were tougher than that! Maybe some deadlifts will help strengthen your backbone ;^).[/quote]

No, he is right… We were simply furthering out own agendas. I hope everyone picked up on what my agenda was, and we ALL know what Professor X’s agenda is.

Wow… Some people are amazing. What kind of answer did he want, “Yes” ?

I don’t have an exact answer for you, I don’t think anyone does. But let me give you a good place to start; take your bodyweight in pounds and divide it by 6. Then eat that number of grams of protein in each of 6 evenly spaced out meals. There are many more nuances to it, but that would be a great start.

gewman, I think you’re probably jumping to the wrong conclusion on where people are coming from, responding to your question. I’ve been reading (and contributing) to T-Nation for years, and what I see is some people answering and some people clarifying and thinking/talking/discussion out loud. Nobody is dis’ing you.

Give it a chance and do some more reading. Online communications and dynamics are a bit different than face-to-face communications. And as far as being a collective, no more or no less than any other online community. There’s diversity and different levels of knowledge, expertise, perspective and even goals. The lack of consensus and different points of view are part of what make T-Nation the incredible resource that it is!!!

[quote]Kruiser wrote:
Dude, if you’re taking offense at the answers to your post you are WAY too sensitive to survive here. Check out bodybuilding.com or one of the other less hardcore sites.

I thought you Aussies were tougher than that! Maybe some deadlifts will help strengthen your backbone ;^).[/quote]

Nice one Kruiser… i’ll pay that.

Having re-read my nonsensical rant, i’ll be off to another planet now. Maybe i’m just hormonal…

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
gewman, I think you’re probably jumping to the wrong conclusion on where people are coming from, responding to your question. I’ve been reading (and contributing) to T-Nation for years, and what I see is some people answering and some people clarifying and thinking/talking/discussion out loud. Nobody is dis’ing you.

Give it a chance and do some more reading. Online communications and dynamics are a bit different than face-to-face communications. And as far as being a collective, no more or no less than any other online community. There’s diversity and different levels of knowledge, expertise, perspective and even goals. The lack of consensus and different points of view are part of what make T-Nation the incredible resource that it is!!![/quote]

thanks Terry, i think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

[quote]King of Vice wrote:
There’s no such thing as your body not absorbing protein. It gets used as it gets digested. The more protein you eat, the longer it will digest, and it will be absorbed as it digests.

This is the case of course with the average person. If you eat 10,000 calories of protein a day, and you only need 3,000 of them, you probably will store the other 7k on your body. But over-eating protein has NEVER been heard of. [/quote]

cheers King of Vice…

i think you’ve answered me. i guess i was wondering if i miss a meal for various reasons, and then i eat, say, 80grams of protein in my next meal, is all that protein useful to my system in the way i want it to be?

i was under some assumption that there was a limit to what your metabolism could “deal with” - an upper limit, if you will.

[quote]gewman wrote:
King of Vice wrote:
There’s no such thing as your body not absorbing protein. It gets used as it gets digested. The more protein you eat, the longer it will digest, and it will be absorbed as it digests.

This is the case of course with the average person. If you eat 10,000 calories of protein a day, and you only need 3,000 of them, you probably will store the other 7k on your body. But over-eating protein has NEVER been heard of.

cheers King of Vice…

i think you’ve answered me. i guess i was wondering if i miss a meal for various reasons, and then i eat, say, 80grams of protein in my next meal, is all that protein useful to my system in the way i want it to be?

i was under some assumption that there was a limit to what your metabolism could “deal with” - an upper limit, if you will.[/quote]

Did you actually read the responses in this thread? How much do you weigh? If you are a muscular 260+lbs, that 80gr protein shake may actually be put to good use. If you weigh 150lbs, it may not. There are no specifics available but common sense is free.

[quote]King of Vice wrote:
There’s no such thing as your body not absorbing protein. It gets used as it gets digested. The more protein you eat, the longer it will digest, and it will be absorbed as it digests.

This is the case of course with the average person. If you eat 10,000 calories of protein a day, and you only need 3,000 of them, you probably will store the other 7k on your body. But over-eating protein has NEVER been heard of. [/quote]

That’s not all true. You typically digest and utilize about 90% of the protein you consume, the rest is excreted.
Digestion rate has more to do with protein type and food combinations than the amount.

Excess protein is RARELY stored as body fat; rather, it is simply excreted from the body.

It just doesn’t make sense physiologically because it takes a lot of time and work for the body to convert proteins into fat.
As others have stated, shoot for at least 1g/lb and you’ll be good to go!