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How Much Protein To Have In One Sitting To Build Maximum Muscle

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If I had a dollar for every time someone said you can't absorb more than 20 to 25 grams of protein in a sitting, I would have been close to being stashed.  This 'myth' is probably what gave rise to the misconception of having to eat 6-8 meals a day if you are looking to build muscle. One of the reasons you see iron-heads carrying tupperware everywhere. The funny part is, no one knows where this 20-25 gram cap originated from. This 'rule' of not eating more than 20-25 gram protein in a sitting has been followed by professional bodybuilders and fitness enthusiast for as long as anyone can remember.

How Much Protein To Have In One Sitting To Build Maximum Muscle

Explanations ranging from excess protein being wasted to too much protein being harmful for kidneys, there have been many senseless reasons given without any backing whatsoever, but luckily we now have research to tell us how much can we eat in a sitting and no, 'excess” protein will not be wasted'.  An analysis of the collective research on the subject of protein utilization done by Alan Aragon and Brad Schoenfeld concluded that lifters interested in maximizing muscle protein synthesis should consume protein at a minimum rate of 0.4 g/kg per meal, spread across a minimum of 4 meals, in order to reach a minimum daily goal of 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram. For people who eat 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram, the number is 0.55 g/kg per meal, likewise spread across a minimum of 4 meals. Here's the research

So, if we take an average 80 kg man, the calculations would be-

Minimum recommendation (0.4 g/kg/meal): 32 grams of protein per meal

Maximum recommendation (0.55 g/kg/meal): 44 grams of protein per meal

This means, the experts have been heavily incorrect in the past in saying that you cannot digest more than 20-25 grams of protein per meal because the opposite seems to be true and you should be looking at eating more protein in every sitting and increase your protein intake in general. Eating more protein is better when compared other macronutrients because of high TEF (thermic effect of food) and other metabolic advantages such as faster recovery. Although I am not recommending skipping any macronutrients in favor of eating more protein but if you have a big buffer of calories and you can cut down on either fat or carbs a little without any discomfort, then doing so seems like a good idea. So much so that a study done be Jose Antonio found that subjects consuming higher than recommended amount of protein gained very less fat as compared to people who were not. The high amount of protein did not have any negative effects on the kidneys or any other body functions. take an indeth look here.  

Take home points-

There is no such term as “excess protein” and if you eat protein above a certain amount, it would not go to waste. The higher the intake of protein, the better it is for you when trying to make changes in body composition, whether trying to lose fat or gain weight. Shoot for around 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. High protein intake does not affect renal (kidney) functions in healthy individuals. If one is already suffering from kidney issues, consulting with a medical practitioner before deciding on the protein intake is the best thing to do. There is no such term as “excess protein” and if you eat protein above a certain amount, it would not go to waste. The higher the intake of protein, the better it is for you when trying to make changes in body composition, whether trying to lose fat or gain weight. Shoot for around 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. High protein intake does not affect renal (kidney) functions in healthy individuals. If one is already suffering from kidney issues, consulting with a medical practitioner before deciding on the protein intake is the best thing to do.
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