How much protein can your body absorb in one meal based on science?

Nutrition is one of the most important things when building muscle and/or losing weight.

For example, if you want to build muscle and you workout hard every day for a few hours but your nutrition plan is bad then you won’t see any desired results in building muscle.

The same is with weight loss. That’s why it’s important to have a well-balanced nutrition plan if you want to achieve the desired results.

So, in this article we’ll find out how one more part of a well-balanced nutrition plan should look like.

More specifically we’ll find out how much protein can your body absorb in one meal based on science and how much protein should your every meal contain.

What is protein and why is it important?

Protein is a biomolecule comprised of chains of smaller molecules known as amino acids, which are the basic building blocks of the body.

Protein serves as raw material for making muscles, ligaments, tendons, hair, organs, and skin, as well as various hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals essential to life.

Our body needs 21 amino acids to function properly. However, there are 9 amino acids that our body can’t make on its own and we need to get these amino acids from our food. These 9 amino acids are called essential amino acids (EAA).

These 9 EAAs are:

There are complete sources of protein and incomplete sources. Complete sources contain all essential amino acids and incomplete sources do not. Animal proteins are usually complete sources of protein while not all plant protein sources are complete sources of protein.

However, there are complete plant sources of protein such as soy, corn and pea. [1]

How much protein can your body absorb in one meal based on science

Scientific research shows that on average our body can optimally absorb about 0.4 g/kg/meal [2]. It shouldn’t be considered as a universal limit beyond which protein intake will be wasted though.

For example, if your body weight is 80 kg and you need to eat 1.6 g/kg/day (1.6 x 80 = 128 g/day) of protein then you should eat 4 meals with 0.4 g/kg/each meal (0.4 x 80 = 32 g/meal).

Also, how much protein your body absorbs will depend on the quality of your protein sources [3].

Animal protein sources such as meat, fish and dairy have a consistently high protein quality, whereas the quality of plant protein sources is more variable. However, a plant-based diet has repeatedly shown to be associated with improved cardiovascular health outcomes and all-cause mortality [3].

Click here to read more about which diet is the healthiest based on science.


So, how much protein can your body absorb in one meal based on science?

Well, it looks like scientific research shows that on average our body can absorb about 0.4 g/kg/meal. The amount of protein absorption will also depend on the protein source.

P.S. If you want to learn more about other vitamins, what are their recommended dosages based on science, get healthy meal plan examples, my top science-based recipes that can be cooked in less than 30 minutes each and find out how science-based nutrition can prevent the most common diseases, improve your overall health and help you live longer then you can click here to learn more.

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