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TOPIC: Can I get too much protein at one meal?

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December 3, 2013 9:27 AM
Just had a super delish protein shake for lunch and saw that it totaled 50g of protein. Is this too much??? Can our bodies handle this much protein at one sitting?

Thanks!
  994999
December 3, 2013 9:28 AM
No such thing as too much in one sitting. .. I just down 97g of protein for lunch...
December 3, 2013 9:32 AM
QUOTE:

No such thing as too much in one sitting. .. I just down 97g of protein for lunch...


I disagree. You body can only process so much protein at once. Too much protein won't be processed and moved out of the body. Usually that number is around 40-50g every couple of hours.
December 3, 2013 9:41 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

No such thing as too much in one sitting. .. I just down 97g of protein for lunch...


I disagree. You body can only process so much protein at once. Too much protein won't be processed and moved out of the body. Usually that number is around 40-50g every couple of hours.


Agree too....I think the most a professional body builder can process in one sitting is like 45 grams. It's a waste if its too much.
December 3, 2013 9:44 AM
Your intestines are only going to absorb so much at one time. That's just common sense. However, I cannot tell you for sure how much that is. Some people will say 100g per hour and others will say 25g.
Edited by hwoeltjen On December 3, 2013 9:45 AM
  48896484
December 3, 2013 9:55 AM
Yes, you can eat too much protein in one meal--obviously if you ate 1000g of protein, you won't be having a good day.

But seriously, do not listen to the people saying 25-30g is all your body can digest in an hour, or whatever. That is broscience. Yes, you cannot use all the amino acids in that hour, but your body will hold on to the protein and only in desperation will it break it down into glucose. Note that this is why protein is so filling: it can stay in the body a long time without being "digested".

Unless you have kidney issues, and you are not eating several hundred grams of protein per meal, you're good to go.
December 3, 2013 10:02 AM
You guys may want to look at protein pulse feeding studies.

These elderly women under protein pulse feeding were consuming 1.7 g x kg of lean mass in protein during lunch. The average lean mass was 38.3 kg and heaviest being 45 kg - thus they were being fed an average of 65.11 g of protein, and up to 76.5 g, in a single meal. Both nitrogen balance and protein turnover were higher in the pulse group compared to the spread group.

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/69/6/1202.long#

Also, due to the high satiety value of protein, it isn't even realistic to consider the maximum absorption estimate in a single meal in clinical trials.
Edited by geekyjock76 On December 3, 2013 10:11 AM
  17993426
December 3, 2013 10:05 AM
QUOTE:

No such thing as too much in one sitting. .. I just down 97g of protein for lunch...


Had to go check your diary to see how...but not that hard based on what you eat...

I will have to check out the high protien breads as well.

ETA I can if I eat at home and plan get about 50 per meal.....lots of lean meats like chicken, pork, fish/seafood.

I don't see it as a waste as I have to get in at least 121 a day so eating 3 meals it's min 40g a meal
Edited by SezxyStef On December 3, 2013 10:07 AM
  45561484
December 3, 2013 10:07 AM
Since protein and fats are harder to digest (than carbs), too much of either gives me a stomach ache... Otherwise, I'm not sure.
  33596505
December 3, 2013 10:16 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

No such thing as too much in one sitting. .. I just down 97g of protein for lunch...


I disagree. You body can only process so much protein at once. Too much protein won't be processed and moved out of the body. Usually that number is around 40-50g every couple of hours.


Agree too....I think the most a professional body builder can process in one sitting is like 45 grams. It's a waste if its too much.


Strong broscience... good lord.
December 3, 2013 10:20 AM
If a body "can't" process more than 40ish grams at once, then I guess the rest of us are special snowflakes with Super-Bodies, made with extra-absorbent intestines? (Or just read the study GeekyJock posted)
  25631519
December 3, 2013 10:22 AM
Please. I eat 140 g in one meal every day. If I could only process 30 or 40 g at a time, I'd be losing muscle mass like crazy. Somehow, I managed to squat 230 lbs last night.
  517622
December 3, 2013 10:24 AM
Don't get too crazy. Ha ha
December 3, 2013 10:25 AM
QUOTE:

Please. I eat 140 g in one meal every day. If I could only process 30 or 40 g at a time, I'd be losing muscle mass like crazy. Somehow, I managed to squat 230 lbs last night.


obviously you are a very special snowflake then...
  25145832
December 3, 2013 10:26 AM
What do people think happens to the extra protein beyond 40 grams? It evaporates?

And seriously..... who actually thinks you can eat half a chicken, and the entire thing is digested within an hour or two? Do you even physiology?
  6438378
December 3, 2013 10:36 AM
Found this post....

"The 30 gram per meal guideline/myth/rule of thumb/urban legend/whatever MIGHT HAVE SOME BASIS IN FACT (all caps for those who want to argue).

Of your whole small intestine, protein is mainly absorbed by only the first 2/5ths, called the duodenum and jejunum. Once your meal gets to the ileum (3rd part of the small intestine), protein absorption drops dramatically. Several studies claim whey protein absorption at 10 grams per hour, and something similar for pork loin (but take the pork results with a grain of salt). So, the question is, how long does a meal spend in the duodenum and jejunum?

The answer is: It depends. It depends on the gastric emptying rate (how fast the stomach releases the food into the small intestine), the peristaltic rate (how fast the waves of contractions in the intestine move food along), and sometimes the previous contents of the small intestine (i.e. roadblock). The best answer I came up with is about 3-4 hours awake, and 6-8 asleep, however it's actually quite tough to find a good answer to the question of how fast food moves through the small intestine.

So while lots and lots of people will tell you the 30 gram limit is horse puckey, I'll tell you there just might be a grain of truth to that old rule of thumb. In general, eat some fats with your protein, they slow gastric emptying. Eat some solid food with every protein shake, as it'll slow things a bit too. If you're only using 30-40 grams of whey at a time between meals then it's probably not something to worry about. However, if you think about it, there are 24 hours in a day... 10 grams per hour... math says 240 grams is about the limit, depending on how big your intestines are (they scale with height, not weight)."
  683818
December 3, 2013 10:43 AM
QUOTE:

In general, eat some fats with your protein, they slow gastric emptying.


For me, that's a given. If I ever eat lean protein, I'm adding fats to it for flavor.
  25631519
December 3, 2013 10:49 AM
I have 65g of protein for lunch and dinner, and I'm doing just fine. I say that if you are going to overeat something, let it be protein; but keep your calories in mind of you want to have a deficit.
  48950490
December 3, 2013 10:54 AM
What does an excess of protein do to digestion? Will you not "do the number two" as often? (Apologies if anyone finds this question to be on the crass side!)
  13932317
December 3, 2013 11:31 AM
<Insert inappropriate joke about too much protein.>

But in all seriousness, I don't think there's any such thing as too much. Just be sure you have a balance with your other macros at the end of the day that aligns with whatever fitness goals you have.
December 3, 2013 11:45 AM
I haven't found any convincing study which suggests that protein is wasted when digesting more then a certain amount at any given time. I can say from experience that I feel better when I upped my protein intake from 80g to 200g a day. And I promise you I'm not carefully calculating how much protein I get at any given time.
December 3, 2013 12:10 PM
Thanks so much everyone! Very interesting and good to know.
  994999
December 3, 2013 12:42 PM
I would say no, you can't really have "too much" protein in a sitting.

I just had about 120 g in my lunch today. Am I worried about it going to waste? Not in the least. This isn't a quick shot of amino acids directly into my bloodstream, this is solid food that has to be digested. I imagine it will be a steady supply over several hours.

If I happen to get "too much" at any one time, whatever that means, oh well. I'd rather have more than enough than too little.
December 3, 2013 1:01 PM
Hey you all!
I just wanted to let you know... I am a medschool student and so happened to know little about the metabolism itself.... so I thought maybe you´ll be interested.
There is no wasted protein, and neither sacharides or lipids (fats) that you would eat and it would be "waisted" in your body. Everything you eat is broken down into small molecules, absorbed in your intestines, then transferred in blood to particular organs (usually first passing through liver).
So sacharides usually go into your blood (your glucose level) and that stimulates hormone insuline releasement. Insuline stimulates absorbtion of glucose by cells- every cell "eats" glucose/sugar and if you ate too much sugar the cells will start to store it as a fat, since they don´t need that much sugar. Therefore, avoiding sugar attacks will prevent you from fat building.
As for proteins. They are also broken down to aminoacids, these are absorbed and these aminoacids can be used for muscle building. So during your workout some of your muscles fibers are broken down and body/ muscle reaction to workout is to rebuild it and rebuild it little bigger so it would be ready for this "workout load" when it happens again. Because of that you have to have some protein/ aminoacids in a blood after workout- so you give your body building material for more muscle. If you don´t have any other protein available, your body simply have nothing to build from, thus you worked out, but are not gaining any muscle.
BUT if you have access protein in your body, it is used for energy, not muscle building. Proteins are though much harder for body to transfer into energy (compared to sacharides and fatts) and have side products- nitrogen compunds which are released when running on "protein energy". Your body have only limited ability to eliminate this through your urine and after that its harming your body- particularly liver and kidneys. So longterm protein abundance can lead even to kidney demage/failure, possibly later to liver demage. It is also believed that this nitrate compounts have oncogenic efect etc. it is harming your body in general!
I love proteins, and tend to eat a lot of them. But always try to balance it. If you eat few days more protein, give your body a day off etc. If you workout more, you need more protein, if not, you need just avarage protein amount per day- 0,7-1g/kg of body weight.
Since I mentioned other two... Fatts are devided into "bad" (saturated) and "good" (unsaturated). The bad ones are building your fatt and rising cholesterol levels. The good ones are very much needed for your body- each cell contains a membrane from "fatts", your brain and nerves need this "fatts", few hormones are "made from fatts" .... and of course fatts are a good source of energy. So fatts are good thing, very much needed in your body. However, just the propriate amounts and the right kind of them- avocado, nuts, oils....
As much as waisted nutrients- there is not such thing really- you absorbed most of what you eat and at the end- in your stool are pretty much undigestible foods such as fibers, then water and waists from your body.
I hope I helped. It is very basicly explained and I tried to explained it more metaphoricly then with any medical terms... but pretty much thats how it works....
December 3, 2013 1:16 PM
Very good information, Rosie7891. I would add that from what I've read, the body is able to absorb/utilize about 30 grams of protein per meal. Spreading out your protein intake throughout the day at 30 grams per meal will help insure that it isn't stored.

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