Terrence from Germantown, Maryland asks: It's there a threshold for protein consumption in a single meal? Doesn't he excess simply get removed through urine?


There's a lot of variable to keep in mind: 

  • How empty was your stomach before your meal?
  • Did you just workout?
  • Was it a protein only meal or was it combined with other macronutrients? 
  • What type of protein were you eating: solid vs liquid, fast acting vs slow acting? 

My point is, taking into account all the different variables that can affect a potential protein threshold, how would you ever know consistently how much was getting excreted in urine?

The RDA guideline for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day. So if you weigh 190 pounds (86 kilograms) you'd need about 69 grams of protein. That's fine for inactive couch potatoes, but is that enough for athletes, bodybuilders, and lifters? No. In fact, it's not even close.

Nitrogen balance studies often involve examining urinary nitrogen levels. About 90 percent of the nitrogen in urine is urea and ammonia salts – the end products of protein metabolism. The remaining nitrogen is accounted for by other nitrogen-containing compounds.

This nitrogen balance method is useful, but it has problems: Urine collections tend to underestimate nitrogen losses, dietary intake tends to be overestimated, miscellaneous skin and hair losses are prone to error, and the response to increased protein intake varies tremendously.

The most current research concludes that the range of 2.3 to 3.1 grams per kilogram of FFM (fat free mass) is the most consistently protective intake against losses of lean tissue." So, for every kilogram on your body that's not fat, you should be consuming 2-3 grams of protein in order to preserve lean tissue. So if you have 190 pounds of lean tissue, up to 258 grams of protein would be optimal for you. Then you want to take those 258 grams of protein and divide it into 4-6 meals. So then you're looking at 43 - 65.5 grams per meal. From there, see how your body responds to eating that amount of protein and adjust from there. 


Keep these guidelines in mind and you can feel rest assured that you will optimize your protein intake. 

If you or any of my readers want to know how to calculate your protein in addition to your other macros and total calories to achieve your body composition goals, we are here to assist you. Contact us today! 


To your health!

DMP Fitness

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Darryl Perrilloux

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