How Much Protein Can You Really Absorb in One Meal?

how much protein study

A new study published in late 2023 called “The anabolic response to protein ingestion during recovery from exercise has no upper limit in magnitude and duration in vivo in humans” concluded that ingestion of 100 g protein resulted in a greater and more prolonged (>12 h) anabolic response when compared to the ingestion of 25 g protein.

However, several key questions remain:

1. How does consuming 100g of protein compare to 40, 45, or 50g? The study only measured 100g vs 25g.

2. What are the effects of consuming 100g of protein in trained vs. untrained individuals? This study assessed the muscle protein synthesis (MPS) response after a resistance training session in untrained subjects. As Layne Norton, Ph.D. explains, “The protein turnover response in untrained subjects is massive & creates a huge demand for tissue remodeling. This allows for greater utilization of exogenous amino acids.”

3. What are the MPS effects of consuming 100g of other protein sources? This study only measured 80% casein (milk protein), which is a slower-digesting protein and has a much different anabolic response than other sources.

Protein researcher Dr. Don Layman and Dr. Gabrielle Lyon did a review of the study here:  

Dr. Layman told me that they also have an upcoming discussion with the study author coming out soon. 

Here’s my takeaway:

Is the study intriguing?

Yes.

Should it make us question conventional wisdom about how much protein we can absorb in a sitting?

Sure.

But let’s not jump to conclusions without thinking critically and understanding that there are still many unanswered questions here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *