Myth: You can only absorb 30g of protein in a single sitting.
Truth: This idea probably stemmed from supplement companies and the fact that a typical serving of protein powder is around 30g. Bodybuilders have seemingly kept this myth alive over the years, and probably why many think that eating eight meals per day is more than just a waste of time.
Coincidentally, research over the past 6-8 years has instilled a grain of truth to this concept since rates of muscle protein synthesis are ‘maxed out’ with a 20-40g dose of high-quality protein. That said, you will absorb almost all of the protein you ingest, regardless of how much is in a given meal (see table in the image). If you eat a big steak containing 70g of protein, you’ll digest and absorb pretty much all of it.
This doesn’t mean that anything over 30g in a single sitting is wasted because it isn’t used towards muscle protein synthesis. The remaining digested amino acids will continue to trickle into your blood stream, and help with minimising muscle protein breakdown (the other half of the protein balance equation). Some of these amino acids will be converted to glucose for energy.
Finally, this myth doesn’t even pass the reality check. With no fridges to store meat and the fact that our ancestors probably ate when they could, the human race would have become extinct a long time ago if this were true!
This was written by Joesph Agu.