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Is there a maximum protein intake per meal?

  • Health nutrition
  • protein

Is there a maximum protein intake per meal? It is quite legitimate to ask the question and we answer your questions in detail.

Is there a maximum protein intake per meal?

It is common to hear people say that you should not take more than 30 g of protein per meal, because, beyond that, the anabolic response of the muscles levels off.

What about in reality?

New research sheds new light on the question thanks to new measurement techniques that are finer than the old ones (1).

Muscle growth: a two-sided mechanism

Muscle size is determined by a dual phenomenon: anabolism, which represents the rate at which new muscle tissue is made, and catabolism, which represents the rate at which existing muscle tissue is destroyed.

It is absolutely true that the potency of anabolism peaks when one reaches around 30g of protein per meal. On the other hand, what the new scientific discoveries illustrate is that the braking power of catabolism does not level off with increasing doses of protein (2).

This means that the more protein we eat, the more we will reduce muscle catabolism.

Growth driven by protein intake

In order to determine the optimal level of protein to ingest per meal, it is therefore not only the speed of protein synthesis (anabolism) to be considered.

What matters is the anabolism / catabolism ratio. Even at constant anabolism, the more we reduce catabolism, the faster our muscles will grow.

Maximum protein intake per meal: conclusion

Thus, an intake of 30 g of protein per meal is not enough for optimal growth (2). It is therefore advisable to increase your protein intake especially at key anabolic times such as in the morning and immediately after training (2).

Scientific references

(1) Tuvdendorj D. A novel stable isotope tracer method to measure muscle protein fractional breakdown rate during a physiological non-steady-state condition. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar 15;304(6):E623-30.

(2) Deutz NE. Is there a maximal anabolic response to protein intake with a meal? Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;32(2):309-13.

Written on 12/29/2021 by Nutrimuscle Conseil
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