The Truth About Protein Absorption
Many claims 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. Many people in the world use to eat protein every two to three hours, every single day, like clockwork. That is only part of the 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 escape the madness of eating so much protein. Don’t believe everything you read in bodybuilding magazines. These magazines claim that lifestyle, genetics, and body composition don’t influence protein metabolism. This nonsense defies 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 acid molecules are then transported into our bloodstream by special cells found in the small intestine.
Our small intestine has numerous transporter cells, limiting the number of foods that goes 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. It is another surprising truth about protein absorption.
Our body can also store the excess amounts of amino acids in muscle for future needs. If amino acids are 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 come from the idea that all foods move through our small intestine in 3 hours.
However, even if you eat protein that is absorbing fast, your body can only absorb 30 grams of it. But, as you know now, that is not how things work. Our organism can regulate the speed of protein moving through the small intestines. And this isn’t a theory. A scientific study proved this.
Scientists at the Human Nutrition Research Center in France had 16 women eat 54 grams of protein in four or one meal over two weeks. And do you know what they found out? You will be shocked by the truth about protein absorption after internalizing these findings. They found out that there were 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 our organism can only absorb 20 grams of protein per sitting. There is a reference to this study whenever such concerns arise. However, this study was limited to post-workout protein absorption in young men.
The mistake in this study is that the only anabolic response to protein doesn't point at a specific parameter. Acute anabolic response won’t give us the whole picture of 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:
The about protein absorption is that you don’t need to eat protein every three hours to skyrocket muscle growth. What matters is consuming 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 daily, don’t be afraid to load them with proteins.