T Nation

Max amt of protein at one time?

I keep hearing that excess protein just gets peed out (& not sure whether to believe that or not) because too much is ingested at one time. Is that true & what’s the maximum amount of protein that can be taken in all at once, if there is a maximum?

Drax…not sure I can answer your question, and frankly I’m not sure anyone can at this point. I definitely wouldn’t listen to the old rule of 30…that’s definitely crap. Anyway, I just wanted to make sure you and everyone else knows what happens with “excess” protein. It’s not like you start peeing out that chicken breast or advanced protein! Actually, what happens is after the body breaks the protein down to aminos, if the aminos aren’t needed for protein synthesis, they are deaminated–meaning that the nitrogen portion of the amino is cleaved–and the c/h/o portion can then be converted to glucose or fat. The nitrogen part goes through a process leading to urea and that is the part that you pee out. Pretty cool, huh? Anyway, I say it’s better to push the protein envelope and err on the side of more than enough than not.

Drax I believe that this is a largely individual thing. It would depend on they type of protein probably and the person’s own digestive system. It would also probably depend on the amount of time between meals and content of the meal before it. For instance if you ate a meal containing 50 grams of protein and then 2 hrs later ate another meal containing 50 g protein. Digestion would not be as good as if it had been say 3 -4 hrs since you last meal…or if you last meal contained only say 20 grams protein. These are just some thoughts… hope they help a bit…Mike

I’m no poster boy for nutrition but I hear that pee out stuff from people I could talk down to, so yeah I guees that helps.

Actually, the whole “pee out” thing is just
incredibly bad “reasoning.”

First, does anyone actually think the protein
ought to go into your body (say, 100 grams
per day) and then neither it nor its metablites
ever leave??? (E.g., get “peed out”.) What,
it would be desirable to retain 100 grams
per day, 36.5 kilos (about 80 lb) per year, year in year out? I don’t think so!

How about other nutrients? Do they build up in the system, never being excreted? How about carbs, vitamins, minerals… do they just build up and you wind up weighing 10,000 lb? Of course not.

Furthermore, protein is not EVER normally excreted in the urine at all, nor I think are amino acids. Only protein metabolites – after the body has USED the protein.

It’s surprising how often people are gulled by the “peeing out” argument. Ellington Darden (of HIT fame) is an example. A professor proved to him by chemical analysis that he peed out as much protein metabolites as he took in. This he accepted as proof that the protein was useless… A sad commentary.

Except when rapidly gaining muscle mass, which is rare with the natural athlete, nitrogen (from protein) out basically equals nitrogen in. Just as water out equals water in, etc. Some levels of nitrogen in will do better for you than others, just as some levels of water in will do better for you than others – regardless of the fact that balance may be maintained at lower levels (with losses, in the case of protein, at a lower rate than the precision of measurement allows you to detect
in one day, but certainly enough to affect your long term results.)