I’m no stranger to questions and concerns about how much protein you can enjoy. I’ve seen everything from worries about kidney damage (not scientific evidence for those with healthy kidneys) to (very wishful) thinking that high levels of protein will automatically transform into muscle. If only it were that simple.
But, the most common question usually revolves around, “How much protein can I eat in one meal?”
Personally, I like this question because it’s practical. You want to eat and enjoy. That’s always my first rule for meals. But, for many people (including those in here), you’re also eating for some health goal. So the question makes sense because science makes it hard to understand, “How much?”
A lot of what you’ll see online suggests that you only “need” 20 to 30 grams per meal. That gets twisted into you can only “use” 20 to 30 grams of protein. So let’s clear that up: You can digest and eat much more than 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal.
It’s true that somewhere around 30 grams you will maximize muscle protein synthesis (the process of using protein for building muscle), but that’s not the only reason to eat protein. And, if you eat more than 30 grams in a meal, there are many additional benefits to eating more beyond muscle protein synthesis.
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