Whats the most protein I can absorb in one meal?

  1. Whats the most protein I can absorb in one meal?

    How much protein can a person obsorb in one meal? I would guess around 50grams but some of my meals are almost 80-90grams protein and I think its a little overboard..but i figure overdoing protein isnt that bad of a thing.

  2. This has been debated for years, and very recently on this board ... I would try not to go over 45.

  3. 50g per meal X 6 meals is only 300g. Over 50 per meal is usually fine, but it depends on your size and where the protein is coming from.

  4. Yeah lots of opinions on this lately. Recently, I've decided to go the safe route with supps, and that isn't just limited to protein either. Risking harm to your body just isn't worth the possible gains that you might be missing even if there would be to myself.

    So now I don't and won't go over 400grams anymore. That seems like plenty to me and probably still too much. Remember, total protein concsumption should be based on total LBM, not total weight. Bobo had to remind me of that again the other day. And I'm sure as hell not 250 lbs. of steel...LOL...

    If I ever I ever reach 300lbs. at 10%BF (which is my lifelong goal) then I will reconsider bumping up to 450-475, and that's still a big maybe....

  5. I think that we will all agree that it is better to have a little less protein total, and to eat a lot of meals throughout the day (I actually eat more than 6 times).

    In other words, for a 180 lb guy, its better to eat 8 meals of 35 grams (280 g total) than to eat 5 meals with 60 grams each (300 g total).

  6. What does everyone think about digestive supps? I've started taking ginger, acidophilus, and Now super enzymes. Really not sure if they're doing anything in particular, but I don't have gas as much or as badly as I used to.

  7. I usually get 6 meals at around 70-80 grams protein each, accompanied by at least 2 gallons of water per day. When I don't get that much, I feel weak. Weighing in at around 263lbs now.

  8. for me personally I think about 50-55g a meal is about it..

  9. I'd guess its probably an impossible question to answer because everybody is diffrent. I will say that I have been working alot of hours latley and not getting as many meals as I'd like. It was hurting my gains so I upped my protein from 50 to 75g's and It seems to have put me back on track.

  10. it would certainly be individaully variable

    does anybody believe that the digestive "capacity" of a 5'0 90 lb woman are the same as ronnie colemans in regards to protein?

  11. Quote Originally Posted by intv
    What does everyone think about digestive supps? I've started taking ginger, acidophilus, and Now super enzymes. Really not sure if they're doing anything in particular, but I don't have gas as much or as badly as I used to.
    ginger is fantastic for protein digestion. i just grate some fresh ginger & rub it on my chicken or steak but not on fish though.

    if i go to a bbq where i know i'm going to eat a lot of meat i ALWAYS take along some ginger root caps.


  12. i personally dont believe there is a limit with in reason, e.g when im on a work out day i have easily eaten about 100 - 150 g of protein with in half an hour but on a non training day max i can take is about 50 - 60 it depends on how you feel. Your body will usualy say wether you have had enuff protein or not (im mainly talking actual food rather than supplements)

  13. I have found that when i Eat a Ton of Protien (100+ Grms) in a Meal, i Get The Worst Gas!!

    Thats how i know ive Eaten too Much Protien.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by wildman536
    I have found that when i Eat a Ton of Protien (100+ Grms) in a Meal, i Get The Worst Gas!!

    Thats how i know ive Eaten too Much Protien.
    me too,..protein gas is RANCID- my friends hate me when i get too much protein in.

  15. When protein is digest, it is separated into individual amino acids. A protein can be made up of hundreds of amino acid molecules... (or is it Thousands?, whatever)...

    There were some very old studies saying that a maximum of 30g of protein would be digested completely by the average human digestive tract. Does that mean that if you eat 60g, 50% of it will be throwaway? By no means, since peptides, i.e. chains of a few amino acids, can be very useful to the body in its anabolic processes.

    OTOH, the "bad gas" from eating TOO MUCH protein is exactly that : partially digested protein that does not get absorbed. Enzymes certainly do help and one must also suppose that, like almost every other aspect of the human body, adaptation is possible, meaning that if you gradually eat more and more protein, one might make the assumption that your digestive tract will produce more and more of the required enzymes. But then again, I have zero fact on that, myself. Enzymes certainly are the key and exogenous ones will help.

  16. What's up Luna.
    How you been brother...

    I hear the exact same things regarding the supplemental enzymes. If you use 'em too often for too long you're body will supress your own bodies production. Anybody know if this is fact?

  17. There seems to be some debate as to whether or not supplemental enzymes actually help:

    Herb Blurb: Digestive Enzymes

    This month I chose the topic of oral enzyme supplementation since I recently had inquiries about the efficacy of taking digestive enzymes to complement health. As with many herbs and supplements, there is limited scientific support for the effectiveness of these supplements. Many of the human studies lacked proper control, randomization, and appropriate statistical analysis. Also, controlled clinical research is needed to determine if their long-term use is safe.

    What is the role of digestive enzymes?
    They break down the food we eat into simple nutrients the body's cells can use.

    Are digestive enzymes destroyed in the stomach making them useless?
    Not all supplemental digestive enzymes are destroyed in the stomach. Some enzymes are acid-resistant and remain active.

    Do supplemental enzymes effect the stimulus mechanism for enzymes produced in the body?
    There does not appear to be a negative effect of supplemental digestive enzymes on digestive organs.

    What are the most common digestive enzymes on the market?
    Bromelain contains proteases extracted from the pineapple. It is sold individually or in combination with other enzymes (pancreatin, papin, betaine, lactase, cellulase, etc.)
    Marketing claims:

    "Good for respiratory infections"
    "Anti-inflammatory--speeds healing"
    "Reduces angina and blood pressure, and improves cardiovascular conditions"
    "Anticancer agent"
    "Digestive aid"
    "Antibacterial, antidiarrheal properties"
    Pancreatin contains three classes of enzymes: 1) amylases, 2) lipases, and 3) proteases.
    Marketing Claims:

    "Helps control digestive disorders"
    "Supports healthy digestion and absorption"
    "Enhances the immune system"

    Bottom Line

    At this time, there is no evidence from controlled human trials that digestive enzymes provide a therapeutic benefit. Healthy people do not need supplemental enzymes.
    When prescribed by a physician, digestive enzymes have a role for people with chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis or pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic enzymes may also be prescribed for celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, total gastrectomy, and dyspepsia.

    1. Helffrich, L. 2000 Complementing Health with Digestive Enzymes. Nutrition in Complementary Care, A Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 2 No.6.
    2. Sarubin, A. 2000 The Health Professional's Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements. American Dietetic Association.

    Cynthia Boock, MS, RD
    Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Nutrition Specialist
    Froedtert and Medical College Cancer Center

    Digestive enzymes-which include pancreatic enzymes, plant-derived enzymes, and fungal-derived enzymes-include three classes of enzymes: proteolytic enzymes needed to digest protein, lipases needed to digest fat, and amylases needed to digest carbohydrates. In several conditions that cause malabsorption, such as pancreatic insufficiency and cystic fibrosis, doctors sometimes prescribe digestive enzymes to improve absorption of food.

    Doctors often tell people to try using pancreatic enzymes with meals when they have symptoms of indigestion that cannot be attributed to a specific cause. In a double-blind study, microencapsulated pancreatic enzymes were shown to reduce gas, bloating, and fullness after a high-fat meal.1

    According to one theory, allergies are triggered by partially undigested protein. Proteolytic enzymes may reduce allergy symptoms by further breaking down undigested protein to sizes that are too small to cause allergic reactions.2 Limited scientific evidence supports this theory.3 Proteolytic enzymes such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, and bromelain are partially absorbed by the body.4, 5, 6 Once absorbed, they have anti-inflammatory activity and may even demonstrate antitumor effects.7, 8, 9, 10 In one preliminary study of a handful of pancreatic cancer patients, the combination of proteolytic enzymes and other cancer treatments appeared to extend survival, despite the fact that most of the patients died.11

    Proteolytic enzymes may also improve immune system function, for example, in people with shingles (herpes zoster), though this area of research has not been adequately explored.12

    Only small amounts of the animal-based proteolytic enzymes, trypsin and chymotrypsin, are found in the diet; however, the pancreas can synthesize these enzymes. The plant-based proteolytic enzyme bromelain comes from the stems of pineapples and is useful in many conditions. Papain comes from unripe papayas. All of these enzymes are available as supplements.

    Health Concerns
    Enzymes have been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):

    Deficiency Symptoms
    People with pancreatic insufficiency and cystic fibrosis frequently require supplemental pancreatic enzymes (which include proteolytic enzymes, lipases, and amylases). In addition, those with celiac disease13 or Crohn's disease14 and perhaps some people suffering from indigestion15 may be deficient in pancreatic enzymes. As bromelain and papain are not essential, deficiencies do not exist.

    The digestive enzymes-proteolytic enzymes, lipases, and amylases-are generally taken together. Pancreatin, which contains all three digestive enzymes, is rated against a standard established by the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). For example, "4X pancreatin" is four times stronger than the USP standard. Each "X" contains 25 USP units of amylase, 2 USP units of lipase, and 25 USP units of protease (or proteolytic enzymes). Three to four grams of 4X pancreatin (or a lower amount at higher potency) with each meal is likely to help digest food in some people with pancreatic insufficiency.

    Those with chronic pancreatitis need to discuss enzyme intakes with their physician. Under medical supervision, seriously ill people with pancreatic insufficiency caused by pancreatitis are given very high levels of enzymes to improve fat digestion. In one successful trial, enough pancreatin was used with each meal to supply slightly over 1,000,000 USP units of lipase.16 Because pancreatin is rapidly emptied from the stomach during digestion, people taking these enzymes may obtain better results by spreading out supplementation throughout the meal.17

    Supplemental enzymes that state only product weight, but not activity units, may lack potency.

    Side Effects
    The most important digestive enzymes in malabsorption diseases are usually fat-digesting enzymes called lipases. Proteolytic enzymes can digest, as well as destroy, lipases. Therefore, people with enzyme deficiencies may want to avoid proteolytic enzymes in order to spare lipases.18 If this is not possible (as most enzyme products contain both), people with malabsorption syndromes should talk with their doctor to see if their condition warrants finding products that contain the most lipase and the least protease.

    In theory, too much enzyme activity could be irritating because it could start to "digest" parts of the body as the enzymes travel through the digestive system. Fortunately, that does not happen with supplemental amounts. Research has not determined the level at which such problems might arise.

    A serious condition involving damage to the large intestines called fibrosing colonopathy has resulted from the use of pancreatic enzymes in children with cystic fibrosis. In some cases, the problem was linked to the use of high supplemental amounts of enzymes.19, 20, 21 However, the amount of enzymes used has not been linked to the problem in all reports.22 In some cases, lower amounts of enzymes have caused fibrosing colonopathy if the enzymes are enteric-coated.23 Some researchers now believe that some unknown interaction between the enteric coating and the enzymes themselves may cause damage to the intestines of children with cystic fibrosis.24 Until more is known, children with cystic fibrosis needing to take pancreatic enzymes should only do so under the careful supervision of a knowledgeable healthcare professional.

    Are there any drug interactions? Certain medications may interact with digestive enzymes. Refer to the drug interactions safety check for a list of those medications.

    Suarez F, Levitt MD, Adshead J, Barkin JS. Pancreatic supplements reduce symptomatic response of healthy subjects to a high fat meal. Dig Dis Sci 1999;44:1317-21.
    Oelgoetz AW, Oelgoetz PA, Wittenkind J. The treatment of food allergy and indigestion of pancreatic origin with pancreatic enzymes. Am J Dig Dis Nutr 1935;2:422-6.
    McCann M. Pancreatic enzyme supplement for treatment of multiple food allergies. Ann Allergy 1993;71:269 [abstr #17].
    Ambrus JL, Lassman HB, DeMarchi JJ. Absorption of exogenous and endogenous proteolytic enzymes. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1967;8:362-8.
    Avakian S. Further studies on the absorption of chymotrypsin. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1964;5:712-5.
    Izaka K, Yamada M, Kawano T, Suyama T. Gastrointestinal absorption and anti-inflammatory effect of bromelain. Jpn J Pharmacol 1972;22:519-34.
    Deitrick RE. Oral proteolytic enzymes in the treatment of athletic injuries: a double-blind study. Pennsylvania Med J 1965;Oct:35-7.
    Seligman B. Bromelain: an anti-inflammatory agent. Angiology 1962;13:508-10.
    Cichoke AJ. The effect of systemic enzyme therapy on cancer cells and the immune system. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients 1995;Nov:30-2 [review].
    Wolf M, Ransberger K. Enzyme Therapy. New York: Vantage Press 1972, 135-220 [review].
    Gonzalez NJ, Isaacs, LL. Evaluation of pancreatic proteolytic enzyme treatment of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, with nutrition and detoxification support. Nutr Cancer 1999;33:117-24.
    Kleine MW, Stauder GM, Beese EW. The intestinal absorption of orally administered hydrolytic enzymes and their effects in the treatment of acute herpes zoster as compared with those of oral acyclovir therapy. Phytomedicine 1995;2:7-15.
    Patel RS, Johlin FC Jr, Murray JA. Celiac disease and recurrent pancreatitis. Gastrointest Endosc 1999;50:823-7.
    Gullo L. Indication for pancreatic enzyme treatment in non-pancreatic digestive diseases. Digestion 1993;54(suppl 2):43-7.
    Suarez F, Levitt MD, Adshead J, Barkin JS. Pancreatic supplements reduce symptomatic response of healthy subjects to a high fat meal. Dig Dis Sci 1999;44:1317-21.
    Nakamura T, Tandoh Y, Terada A, et al. Effects of high-lipase pancreatin on fecal fat, neutral sterol, bile acid, and short-chain fatty acid excretion in patients with pancreatic insufficiency resulting from chronic pancreatitis. Int J Pancreatol 1998;23:63-70.
    Taylor CJ, Hillel PG, Ghosal S, et al. Gastric emptying and intestinal transit of pancreatic enzyme supplements in cystic fibrosis. Arch Dis Child 1999;80:149-52.
    Layer P, Groger G. Fate of pancreatic enzymes in the human intestinal lumen in health and pancreatic insufficiency. Digestion 1993;54(suppl 2):10-4.
    Stevens JC, Maguiness KM, Hollingsworth J, et al. Pancreatic enzyme supplementation in cystic fibrosis patients before and after fibrosing colonopathy. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1998;26:80-4.
    Oades PJ, Bush A, Ong PS, Brereton RJ. High-strength pancreatic enzyme supplements and large-bowel stricture in cystic fibrosis. Lancet 1994;343:109 [letter].
    Campbell CA, Forrest J, Muscgrove C. High-strength pancreatic enzyme supplements and large-bowel stricture in cystic fibrosis. Lancet 1994;343:109-10 [letter].
    Milla CE, Wielinski CL, Warwick WJ. High-strength pancreatic enzymes. Lancet 1994;343:599 [letter].
    Jones R, Franklin K, Spicer R, Berry J. Colonic strictures in children with cystic fibrosis on low-strength pancreatic enzymes. Lancet 1995;346:499-500 [letter].
    Powell CJ. Pancreatic enzymes and fibrosing colonopathy. Lancet 1999;354:251 [letter].

  18. Thanks weave, I don't need to be spending my money right now on things that "might" work.

  19. Just Eat!!

  20. Wouldn't the type of protein you eat also have an effect on how much is absorbed ?

  21. Quote Originally Posted by Iron Warrior
    Wouldn't the type of protein you eat also have an effect on how much is absorbed ?
    Yes ofcourse. BV rating tells that I believe.

    Oh and to add on to the post, I do believe a good papain supplement aids with protein digestion. Havent tried bromelain but they are both protein specific enzymes. And both dirt cheap.

  22. I've used veggie digestive enzymes and porcine pancreatic extracts and I like the pancreatic extract works better. I find that the pancreatic enzymes do help with my pm shake. When I take it I don't feel as bloated and full (big shake!). For me, bloated and Full=bad night's sleep=poor recovery so I find them worth the money.

  23. The only brand of whey protein I can take in large doses is ON 100% whey, presumably due to the added digestive enzymes.

    I run on the assumption that you can get to a point where you are digesting more than 30 g of protein at a time if you slowly up your protein intake over time. Since we're omnivores we put out an array of digestive enzymes designed to break apart various substances. A huge shift in dietary macronutrient composition in any direction will likely cause indigestion, bloating, gas et cetera because your liver and pancreas(and maybe intestinal flora) are not geared toward digesting say 100 grams of protein all at once out of the blue.

    If you slowly increase your protein intake over a several months or more I think your system will adapt by increasing the amount of proteases it produces to break down protein. Some animal studies reflect this.

    My only anecdotal evidence is that 2 years ago I could barely take down a 40 g whey shake without severe gas and diarhea. By slowly increasing the dose I can now gulp down a huge 100+ gram shake before bed and have absolutely no problems.

  24. Boy am I glad our science has evolved--the old Weider books say you can only digest 25-30 grams of protein at a time.

    I never believed this based on a lot of things: type of protein being digested; size of person; individual genetic predisposition; gastrointestinal "conditioning; personal observations.

    I think, as many of you have said, you can easily work up to digesting larger protein servings, and the deadly gas side effects are an easy way to tell if it's all getting digested.

    BTW, the protein digestion curveworks both ways. If I take a few days off from the protein shakes, my return is unpleasant to all around...especially my girlfriend, who now calls me "Stinks"


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