How much PROTEIN can your body absorb at one time?

This topic seems to be a constant argument between athletes, trainers, nutritionists and others. There is a myth out there that apparently your body can only absorb up to 30g of protein at any given time. Is this true?


I remember reading about this myth many years ago, and being a lot younger, I just believed it (who was I to argue with people a lot more qualified?). But with the qualifications I have earned, the tons of research I have personally done about a variety of health and fitness topics, I stumbled across a few studies and articles that completely disagreed with this myth.

Let's say that you eat a meal that consists of 100g of protein. If this myth is correct, then you can only absorb 30g. So according to that, you would be getting rid of 70g of protein, as your body simply can't do anything with it. To me, that seems completely odd. The human body is a very smart, clever and an adaptive machine. There is no way your body will get rid of nutrients that it needs. Your body doesn't need a ton of fat, but yet it has the 'ability' to store it. So why would your body store fat, but get rid of anything above 30g of protein? doesn't make sense to me.

When I've done some research on bodybuilders - looking at their diets, their intakes, different dietary methods and so on, I never once found a bodybuilder eating a maximum of 30g of protein in each meal. If the average bodybuilder eats 6 times per day, that means they could only eat 180g of protein. Again, not true. Many bodybuilders eat a lot more than that. Your body will digest a lot more than 30g of protein, how much will depend on the individual. I see many athletes, fitness enthusiasts, trainers, bodybuilders, all eating around 50-60g of protein per meal. I honestly do not think they would spend the money and time on doing that if their bodies only digested 30g of protein per meal.

So, my conclusion would be - your body can digest more than 30g of protein per meal. Eating way too much protein than your body needs can be bad, so there will be a limit (and also a limit on how much you can actually eat! protein fills you up - good luck eating 10 chicken breasts in one meal!).

Don't always listen to myths. Some things have been founded many, many years ago when there wasn't the ability to actually properly find out the truth. From what I have found, 30g per day is a myth.

Lee Gregory Fitness

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