Introduction Of Protein Absorption. You eat too much protein at one meal and just like stop absorbing the protein . How much protein your body can actually absorb is really crucial if you’re looking to achieve a body recomposition goal which is where you’re losing body fat but not losing muscle .
Using Intermittent Fasting
Especially if you’re also using intermittent fasting because you’re eating less frequently so you might be eating three or two or even one meals a day meal one meal so understanding how much protein your body can actually absorb from that meal is really critical to understand.
Now you may have heard before that you can only have about 20 grams or maybe 30 grams of protein at a meal before your body just stops absorbing it now in reality your body can absorb essentially unlimited amounts of protein when we say absorb it means literally the protein that your body can absorb from your small intestine.
When you eat it and into the blood supply what might be limited is how much of that protein that your body absorbs can actually be used to make muscle or pretty much anything else that protein is used for this concept is called muscle synthesis or muscle creation .
Increased Muscle Synthesis
Now some original research on this topic found that this muscle synthesis was capped at around 20 to 30 grams of protein add a meal now give you an idea of how much this is this is about two and a half ounces of cooked chicken breast so yeah it’s not really a lot of protein now this could be a huge problem.
Especially if you’re intermittent fasting and need to make sure that you’re fitting all of your protein needs in during that smaller eating window or even if you just have really high protein needs because you’re exercising or because you’re above the age of 50.
How much protein your body can actually absorb from a meal just to give you an idea there’s been additional research that found when study participants had 20 grams worth of whey protein versus 40 grams worth of whey protein after performing total body workouts those who had the 40 grams had increased muscle synthesis .
Release Of Amino Acid
Than those who had the 20 grams so obviously that test group was able to use more of that protein than just the 20 grams which to give you an idea of what 40 grams looks like this is going to be about four and a half ounces of cooked chicken a huge problem with a lot of these studies is that they’re usually just testing protein on its own
And most people aren’t just consuming protein on its own they’re going to be having like their chicken in a salad with avocado or they’re going to be having eggs which contains both fat and protein in a true meal setting which is what you would be applying this information for you’re not just having protein and because of this the additional fats.
The fibers in a complete meal would slow the release of the amino acids or of the protein into the body anyway and that slower release has been theorized to make it so the body can use more of the protein than just consuming protein alone which is exactly what this study had concluded as well.
In fact that same study had stated that it’s a bit up in the air on what this exact protein ceiling is not just because of the mixed meal concept but also because each person’s protein needs varies so much so for example 20 or 30 grams of protein for me might actually be enough protein to have at one meal versus someone who’s 6’4 and is trying to be arnold.
Their protein needs are going to be a lot higher so theoretically their protein sealing should be a lot higher as well but the very clear must that is so important when it comes to protein is that you’re actually just getting enough within each day whether that be split between three meals two meals or even all at one.
This is actually a bigger problem i see with most people they’re way get it way under consuming protein this under consumption of protein alone can cause the muscle loss increase hunger and decrease muscle synthesis making it harder to achieve the goals that you’re looking for so whether you’re having three meals or you’re eating less meals per day.
The first most important factor is to make sure that you’re actually getting all of your protein needs in between those meals that’s why i have found that for most people the one meal a day approach if you’re using intermittent fasting can be pretty difficult because protein is so satiating even putting this concept of a protein sealing aside protein is so satiating.
Because it causes the release of our satiety hormone peptide that physically getting all the protein you need in at one meal can be almost nearly impossible i mean consider if your protein needs are about 100 grams per day just going back to that chicken example that’s about 11 and a half ounces of cooked chicken at one meal which i know some people are like yes more food but that’s a lot of protein.
And from what i’ve seen with most of my clients eating that amount of protein at one meal is just almost physically impossible if it works for you great but putting this protein sealing aside as it is very up in the air just first make sure that between the meals you’re actually able to get in.
But you’re getting to the total amount of protein that you need for your body and the amount you need per day can range between 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and if you’re over the age of 50 or 60 where you have increased bone loss you might have even higher protein needs.