If you want to build muscle, you need to pay attention to quantity Protein that you eat. But what is the maximum amount of protein you can eat in one meal?
A high-protein meal provides your body with the essential elements it needs to produce muscle protein, and this process is called muscle protein synthesis. This can only happen if you absorb sufficient amounts of amino acids, which make up proteins.
Now how much protein can your body actually absorb with each meal?
First, we must clarify the difference between protein absorption and the amount of protein your body needs to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Everything you eat is absorbed, because this simply means moving nutrients from the intestines into the bloodstream, and as studies show, there is no real limit to this for healthy individuals.
This means that all the protein you eat in a meal is absorbed by the body.
Next question: How much protein can your body use from each meal to build muscle?
The answer is 30 grams of protein max. A review conducted by researchers at McMaster University in Canada found that from the protein consumed in each meal, there appears to be a specific amount of protein used to build muscle, which is 20-330 grams of protein. If you exceed this limit, it will not give you any additional benefits in terms of muscle building.
Another study compared two groups with each other. The first group was given a piece of beef containing about 30 grams of protein. The second was given a larger portion containing 90 grams of protein. The results showed that there was no significant difference in muscle protein synthesis between the two groups.
Age and your need for protein
As you age, what is known as anabolic resistance increases, which means that older people need more protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis than younger people. But according to a study by Practice and Sport Sciences Review, you can reduce your anabolic resistance if you stay active and exercise regularly in old age.
Body weight, muscle and protein ratio
The more muscle mass you have, the more protein your body can use to build muscle at each meal. The more you use your muscles in training, the more protein your body will absorb.
Does eating lots of protein build more muscle?
The American Mayo Clinic says that this is wrong, and although protein is necessary, strength training – such as lifting weights – is what leads to muscle growth, not eating more protein. You cannot build muscle without exercising.
Mayo Clinic points out that the body cannot store protein, so once needs are met, any additional protein is used for energy or stored as fat. Excess calories from any source will be stored as body fat.
Therefore, eating excess protein can lead to high blood lipids and heart disease because many of the protein-rich foods you eat are high in total and saturated fat. Eating excess protein, which can exhaust the kidneys, poses an additional risk for people at risk of developing kidney disease.
How much protein you need
About 10 to 35% of your calories should come from protein. So, if your needs are two thousand calories, that means 200-700 calories from protein, or 50-175 grams.
The recommended amount of protein per day per kilogram of body is as follows:
- Averagely active adult: 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For example, someone who weighs 75 kilograms should consume 60 grams of protein daily.
- After the age of 40-50 years, a person's protein needs increase to about 1-1.2 grams per kilogram, or 75-90 grams per day. This is because as we age we lose more muscle, and she must eat more protein to combat this.
- People who exercise regularly: about 1.1-1.5 grams per kilogram.
- People who regularly lift weights, train, run or cycle: 1.2-1.7 grams per kilogram.
What is the best time to eat protein?
Usually, people tend to get most of their protein during evening meals while eating less at breakfast. However, some recent studies show that moving some protein from dinner to breakfast can help with weight control by reducing hunger and food cravings throughout the day.
Mayo Clinic recommends consuming 15-30 grams of protein at each meal. Studies indicate that eating amounts greater than 40 grams in one meal is not more beneficial.