Ok, so it seems common knowledge in the BB community that you need a minimum of 1 gram (often said 1.5 or even more grams) of protein per pound of lean mass. How much protein can the body actually use in one day?
I ask because I am a type 1 diabetic. This gives me a strange advantage (as well as numerous disadvantages which are off subject) in that I can see when I eat more protein than I can use and my body converts the rest into glucose/glycogen.
I am also, just FYI, on a low carb diet that is very consistent. I eat at regular times, take consistent amounts of insulin, and can keep my blood sugars fairly stable between 80 - 100 24/7.
So what I’ve noticed is that if I eat a big ole steak, my blood sugars do not significantly increase, despite the 40+ grams of protein in it. Most likely this is because those 40+ grams of protein take time to be digested, time in which the body can burn through the previously available proteins and thus is able to utilize the new ones as they become available.
On the other hand, if I take 2 non-rounded scoops of whey protein (roughly 42 - 44 grams) each of which have ~3 grams of carbs (not that signicant, broccoli has much more), I need to take a bolus of around 10 units of humalog insulin just to not get sugar high. If instead I take one non-rounded (or even rounded) scoop of whey protein (say 20 - 24 grams) I only need around 2 units of insulin to avoid a blood sugar increase.
There are the factoids. My theory is that with whey protein, because it is quickly digested and made available, is able to be more easily wasted. If you ate 160 grams of dead cow for your protein, your body would probably be able to utilize most of it. Why? Because that is a HUGE amount of MOOOO. It would require multiple meals, combined with slower digestion, which means more even distribution of that protein throughout your system over the course of a 24 hour period.
Simultaneously, it is very easy to have 2 scoops of protein after a workout, along with a meal, with a snack, whatever. It is fairly obvious to me that it is easy to waste alot of the whey protein you may consume and thus your body would not get its recommended number over the course of a 24 hour period. If you, for example, ate 100 grams of moooo, squak, oink and baaaah over the course of the day, but had two 50 gram protein shakes as well, it is quite possible your body only gets 150 grams of that protein and the remaining 50 get turned into sugar/bodyfat/whatever.
I bring this up not as solid proof, but as a hypothesis based on personal, ie not to be trusted, research (because n=1 is not good science). When people say “I’ve had better results when I eat most of my protein rather than drink it” there may be some truth to the bro science. If you do (as I do) take whey protein, take smaller amounts more frequently. I have found that this does not significantly impact my blood sugars implying minimal stimulation of gluconeogenesis.
Cheers, and your thoughts are welcome.
P.S. Sorry about the wall of text there.