The Truth About Protein Absorption
A plethora of people claim that our organism can only absorb a certain amount of protein per meal. Some claim more and some claim less. Well, who’s then right? We’ll find that out in the paragraphs that follow. There are many people in the world who use to eat protein every two to three hours, every single day, like clockwork. Truth About Protein Absorption in your body.
And those same people claim if they would miss their protein “dose,” they would feel miserable. And why do you think they felt that way? Well, the reason is that they read in the “professionally written” bodybuilding magazines that they should be eating up to 400 grams of protein every day.
If you are one of those people, we want you to read this article thoroughly and to escape the whole madness about eating so much protein. Don’t believe everything you read in the bodybuilding magazines. These magazines claim that lifestyle, genetics, and body composition don’t influence protein metabolism at all. This nonsense just defies the common sense. To help you escape this madness, we will get to the bone of protein metabolism in this article. Continue reading.
Protein Absorption Science:
When we eat protein, our stomach uses stomach acid and its enzymes to break down the protein into its building blocks, called amino acids. The amino acids molecules are then transported into our bloodstream by special cells found in the small intestine.
Our small intestine has numerous transporter cells, which in turn limits the amount the amino acids that can be accepted into our bloodstream. Carbohydrates and fats, unlike proteins, are absorbed better and quicker into the bloodstream. Once the amino acids arrive in our bloodstream, our organism does various things with them, such as tissue repair and growth.
Our body is also able to store the excess amounts of amino acids in muscle for future needs. If there are still amino acids circulating in the blood after doing the things mentioned before, our body can convert them into glucose and fuel our brain and other cells.
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Protein Absorption Problem:
Claims that our organism can only absorb so much protein in only one sitting are usually based on the idea that all foods move through our small intestine in 3 hours.
However, even if you eat protein that is absorbing fast, our body could only absorb 30 grams of it. But, as you know now, that is not how things work. Our organism is able to regulate the speed of protein moving through the small intestines. And this isn’t a theory. This was proved by a scientific study.
Scientists at the Human Nutrition Research Center in France had 16 women eat 54 grams of protein in four or one meal over the course of two weeks. And do you know what they found out? They found out that there were absolutely no differences in protein metabolism in the group who ate four meals and in the group who ate one protein meal.
What About 20 Grams of Protein?
One study conducted in the United States found out that our organism can only absorb 20 grams of protein per sitting. This study is commonly cited. However, this study was only limited to post-workout protein absorption in young men.
The mistake in this study is that it the only anabolic response to protein was examined. Acute anabolic response won’t ever give us the whole picture how much protein we can absorb. If you know about this study, don’t rely on it that much since the only thing it tells us is that each time we eat protein, we only absorb 20 grams. Also, remember that this study found out that only 20 grams of protein after a workout stimulated protein synthesis in younger men. So, don’t assume that these 20 grams apply to everyone. Everyone’s protein metabolism is affected by various factors.
The Bottom Line:
You don’t need to eat protein every three hours to skyrocket muscle growth. What actually matters is eating a sufficient amount of protein every day. The frequency of your protein feedings doesn’t matter at all. When it comes to us, we prefer eating every few hours. However, if you have large meals every day, don’t be afraid to load them with proteins.