Debunk your Protein Limit
So, you have been told to hit the gym and to meet your daily protein requirements to ensure you are maximizing your muscle gains at the gym, pretty simple. This is now a thing of the past and now you are told that the body can only handle about 30 grams of protein per meal and that any excess will either be excreted or oxidized, what that leaves you with is having to portion out your total protein intake throughout the day... making your meal planning a hassle. So, is there really a protein limit per day and per meal?
Let’s use logic. To illustrate an example of this claim, assume we’ve got two individuals, both with a requirement of 150 grams. Assume person A portions out these 150 grams through the day with 5 meals with 30 grams of protein each. Now assume that person B gets their entire 150 grams of protein in one meal. What does that leave us with according to the protein limit claim? Person A meets their protein requirements and their body is happy while person B is only able to ingest 30 grams of protein out of the 150 grams and their body runs into protein deficiency. According to what we know about the human body and its powerful survival mechanisms this does not make a lot of sense. The human body does a great job of efficiently utilizing everything we give it and will take its time to digest and utilize any protein dose it gets. Now you ask why then are these protein claims supported? Well, short-term researches are used to support these “magic protein limit” per meal claims. These researches do not take into account long-term effects, the effect of muscle mass and training on protein utilization, and the effects of different exercises on nutrient uptake. In simpler words, these studies have considerable limitations and they do not examine long-term effects.
If you are still not convinced to debunk the protein limit claim, here you go: a long-term study examining fat-free mass and nitrogen retention in the body found no difference between people who ingested more protein per meal than those who divided their protein intake throughout the day. More evidence? A study comparing Intermittent Fasting with participants consuming more than 100 grams of protein in a 4-hour window with conventional diets found no difference in the preservation of lean mass and muscle protein between the two groups. That’s that. It is false to assume that the body can only consume a specific amount of protein per meal, our bodies are smarter than that.
What do you? Stick to your daily protein requirement, in most cases that would be about a gram of protein per pound of weight if you are a drug-free trainee. As long as you are meeting your calorie requirements per day, how you divide your total protein in-take does not matter and will not deteriorate your muscle gains, leave it up to your preference and your digestive tolerance.