T Nation

Maximum Protein Absorption

does anyone know the MAXIMUM quantity of proteins the body can absorb in one sitting/meal?

i’ve seen ranges from 20-40g per meal.

can anyone shed light on this? i mean, i’ve heard individuals pounding on 100g of proteins in their post-workout shake… but if absorption is limited to, say, 40g, what’s the point?

so, my questions are:

  1. what’s the maximum qty (g) of protein the body can absorb
  2. what should the time interval be between 2 doses?

thank you

WOW! Your friend must have some toxic farts.

I also would like to know, anyone!

For years, the rumor was 40 grams of protein at a sitting was all the body could handle.

You could find the figure in scores of articles.

Finally, a few gray beards asked themselves, “Just where the hell did this figure come from?”

The answer? It appears someone made it up.

There’s no research that supports the figure.

And there’s still no good answer that I’m aware of.

Protein needs appear to vary enormously as it’s used not only to build muscle, but to manufacture hormones, neurotransmitters, and repair and replace cells.

Max levels probably have something to do with age (the older manufacturing fewer enzymes), intestinal health and length, and probably a whole bunch of other factors that I’m not considering.

Also, I’ve known plenty of guys who suck up 90 grams at a sitting without apparent gastrointestinal problems who also happen to have an appreciable amount of muscle.

thank you all for replying. (toxic farts? hehe, i can relate!)

ok, how should one figure out one’s own maximum absorption? is there any way at all without going to a major research lab? should one take GI (gastro-intestinal) problems as a maximum limit marker? or is it just because of lactose overload? if that’s the case it depends on the type of proteins, some proteins do not create any sort of GI problems (for me), while others do.

Man, this is the first post I’ve seen about protein absorption instead of the usual digestion. I guess we’re all getting more educated.:wink:

I’ve never heard of protein absorption being a limiting factor, when that’s the only macronutrient involved. Of course the more you chug, the higher the oxidation, but that’d have nothing to do with your problem.
Which proteins are okay and which give you the problems?

Cheers

shamr0ck:

Probably a more useful consideration is whether or not you would ever REALLY need to take in enough protein in one sitting to hit your theoretical max uptake.

So you figure out you can eat 300 grams of whey protein at one time before your stomach surrenders. Is that really useful to know? Does that mean it would do you much good to eat 300 grams of protein 6 times a day?

Nick

that’s not what i meant. some powders come in 50g servings, while others in 25 or so.

IF gi symptoms were a marker for maximum absorption, then we’d all know our personal limits…

however, when you’re doing 1-2g protein per pound body weight, then throwing down 6+ shakes per day is tidious. don’t know about you, but that’s my opinion. all i wanted to know was whether i was WASTING protein that came in 50g per serving.

proteins that give me gi issues: ultimate nutrition, pro-rated protein… they didn’t until recently… one protein product that has never messed me over (so far) is nature’s best.

let me know what you think.

Shamrock, I’d agree that 6 protein shakes per day is tedious. Honestly, I try to limit protein shakes to one or two a day and eat real protein (i.e., the kind you chew) all my other meals.

Just make sure you’re getting some protein each and every meal. There’s nothing wrong with eating at the low end of the range and seeing how your body responds. Adjust accordingly.