Let’s talk about how much protein your body can absorb.
This article will discuss just that, as well as other factoids and data on how your body handles protein and what it does with it once it’s in the body.
What Is Protein?
Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in the human body’s growth, repair, and maintenance.
It comprises amino acids, the building blocks of cells, tissues, and organs. Our bodies need a certain amount of protein each day to function properly, and this requirement can vary based on several factors, such as age, sex, weight, and level of physical activity.
How Much Protein Do We Need Per Day?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
If you weigh 68 kilograms (150 pounds), you need approximately 55 grams of protein daily. However, it’s important to note that this is just a general guideline, and individual needs may vary based on factors such as age, sex, and level of physical activity.
For example, athletes and individuals who engage in regular, intense physical activity may have a higher protein requirement to support muscle growth and repair.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that endurance athletes may need 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. In comparison, strength athletes may need 1.6 to 1.7 grams per kilogram.
Similarly, older adults may need more protein to help maintain muscle mass and strength.
A review published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society recommends that older adults consume 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
How Much Protein Is Needed To Build Muscle?
If you’re looking to build muscle, you may need to increase your protein intake.
Some research suggests that consuming 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day may be optimal for muscle growth. However, it’s important to note that protein alone is insufficient to build muscle.
Proper nutrition and regular strength training are necessary to promote muscle growth.
A review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that a combination of resistance training and a high-protein diet may be effective for increasing muscle mass and strength.
How Long Does Your Body Take To Absorb Protein?
The amount of time it takes for the body to absorb protein depends on several factors, including the type and quality of the protein and the presence of other nutrients. Generally, the body can absorb and utilize protein more efficiently when consumed with other nutrients, such as carbohydrates and fats.
Whey protein, found in milk and a common ingredient in protein supplements, is often considered one of the most easily absorbed forms of protein.
Studies have shown that the body can absorb and utilize whey protein relatively quickly, with peak amino acid levels in the bloodstream occurring within one to three hours after ingestion.
Other protein sources, such as casein (also found in milk) and soy, may be absorbed more slowly, with peak amino acid levels occurring four to six hours after ingestion.
Final Thoughts On Protein Absorption
In conclusion, the human body needs a certain amount of protein daily to function properly. This requirement can vary based on many factors, such as age, sex, weight, and level of physical activity.
If you’re looking to build muscle, you may need to increase your protein intake, but it’s important to remember that proper nutrition and regular strength training are both essential for muscle growth.
The amount of time it takes for the body to absorb protein can vary depending on the type and quality of the protein and the presence of other nutrients.
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape to better himself and those around him, focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.