How Much Protein Can You Digest Per Meal? (ABSORPTION MYTH)

  • Published: 05 October 2014
  • Step by step meal plan to maximize protein absorption and growth!

    One of the longest standing protein myths you'll hear in gyms across the world every day is, your body can only digest 30 grams of protein in a single meal. People that say this will tell you that eating anything more than 30 grams will cause your body to either waste it, or worse, the excess protein will damage your kidneys. Not true.

    In this video, I cover the biggest myth about protein and tell you how much more protein you can absorb at a single sitting. Too many bodybuilders limit their intake of protein for fear of something bad happening to them by going over the dreaded 30 gram limit. Hopefully, this will help to put nutrition science back in control and get you thinking differently if you were one of them.

    Protein is needed to build muscle. It's role in protein synthesis and the creation of new muscle is not argued. That said, the correct amount of protein needed to build muscle is debated. What is the daily grams of protein needed? How much protein is needed to be anabolic? Does protein absorption change the type of proteins that you should be ingesting?

    These are all common questions, most often sparked by the confusion surrounding the way that our bodies handle the amount of protein that they are delivered through our diets.

    The biggest differentiation that must be made is the difference between absorption and utilization. Almost every single gram of protein you take in will be absorbed by the body. Whether you utilize that to build new muscle is a much different story. I discuss the differences between the two and what you should be focusing on most.

    The origin of the protein absorption myth is also covered. Based on flawed studies on protein absorbtion rates, science only served to confuse the issues...until recently. See how eating protein in one sitting can be just as effective as spreading it out over the entire day in multiple meals for building muscle. That said, don't underestimate the negative impact that this could have on other aspects of your biochemistry. Watch to understand more.

    If you want to look and feel your best you have to take your nutrition seriously. Today's top pro athletes get paid to do this. If you want the same level of detail applied to your nutrition plan and diet, head to and get the complete workout and meal plans used by today's top pro athletes - ATHLEANX.

    For more nutrition tips and videos on the best kinds of protein for building muscle as well as other protein myths be sure to subscribe to our channel at
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Comments • 1 971

  • Adrian Reeves
    Adrian Reeves  2 days back

    I used to worry about mini steaks coming out my ass until Jeff explained this whole digestion thing to me here.

    • jaih12
      jaih12  2 days back

      Transit time is killing your gains!

      • Your Loneliness
        Your Loneliness  3 days back

        I re-winded 5:08 back a few times lol, was not expecting that.

        • Benjamin Perrings
          Benjamin Perrings  3 days back

          He legit drew a penis and balls that had a penis... wow. That's impressive man

          • Edward Ingram
            Edward Ingram  5 days back

            Actually the brain prefers ketones to glucose. Also, blood sugar is better controlled on low carb. Here's One of many talks.:

            • Paul Stringini
              Paul Stringini  6 days back

              5:02 "You got 50 gram mini steaks coming out your ass."

              • Unknown YouTube User
                Unknown YouTube User  7 days back

                This man just dissed the bullshit

                • Morgan Farrell
                  Morgan Farrell  1 weeks back

                  Intermittent fasting boosts testosterone and triggers sirtuins to increase energy in all the cells in your body. Scientists at Harvard have already proven that intermittent fasting also helps the health of your cells and increases your lifespan. I think your theory is flawed.

                  • Estevez Halivud
                    Estevez Halivud  1 weeks back

                    just more chaos after this

                    • Ger -
                      Ger -  1 weeks back

                      5:09 🎼 woke up this morning 🎵

                      • Sylvia King
                        Sylvia King  2 weeks back

                        Professor Don Layman states that the minimum protein at a meal should be 30 grams of protein.

                        • Amy L
                          Amy L  2 weeks back

                          The Institute of Medicine says that carbohydrates aren’t even an essential nutrient. The liver can produce the glucose required by the body. So it seems to me that carbohydrates being “important” despite being nonessential is an outdated myth that was based on eating primarily a low fat diet.

                          • 2 WheelsForever
                            2 WheelsForever  2 weeks back

                            Jeff Cavaliere is THE ONLY legitimate authority on YT.

                            • misterpk92
                              misterpk92  3 weeks back

                              I watch this once a year to reaffirm my disbelief in all these articles that say otherwise.

                              • david tenpas
                                david tenpas  3 weeks back

                                I'm hungry for some 50 g mini steaks.

                                • Shelby V
                                  Shelby V  4 weeks back

                                  I'm on intermitent fasting 24h, and i go 1 meal = 160g protein, i know the rate of absorbtion is extremely high when i break the fast .

                                  • Dulk9
                                    Dulk9  1 months back

                                    So this is how Easter island statues look underground.

                                    • Dulk9
                                      Dulk9  1 months back

                                      I wish I could go to your gym.

                                      • Niamh O'Connor
                                        Niamh O'Connor  1 months back

                                        The alarm at 5:08 is all left in the stereo field. I'm using headphones. My phone was lying at my left side.

                                        • Glen Risk
                                          Glen Risk  1 months back

                                          IF is actually better for your brain. Sure if you are used to getting a constant stream of glucose you would struggle as your body adapted. But as you said Jeff we evolved, adapted to be able to do that. Also whether you eat all your meals in a 8 hour window or even in 4 hours, it can still take 12-16 hours before it is all digested. So for your body to even get a complete break from digestive processing you need to go without eating for substantial periods. I know myself from having blood tests that I can still have moderate blood sugar levels even 14 hours after eating.

                                          • DooGee Rugged
                                            DooGee Rugged  1 months back

                                            Im pissy in the mornings and I believe I conditioned myself to be hungry about 10-11am. That's when I eat my Chick-fil-A orrr something else.. nothing heavy.. and the rest of my day, up until 5 6 ish, is pretty damn good. I feel like the gym is a burden at times...

                                            • Rick
                                              Rick  1 months back

                                              I fast everyday (20:4) however, today for my second meal I consumed 125g of protein (baby back ribs), so can my body absorb every bit of the protein ?

                                              • Pedro Correia
                                                Pedro Correia  1 months back

                                                The brain can turn to ketones and use as energy.
                                                And you have a looot of glycogen reserves in Ur body.
                                                People are eating way too much Times a day. Intermittent Fasting is the way to go for fat loss.
                                                Not the best for a bulk tho

                                                • Pedro Correia
                                                  Pedro Correia  1 months back

                                                  @Finn The Goldfish yeah, its way better

                                                • Finn The Goldfish
                                                  Finn The Goldfish  1 months back

                                                  Pedro Correia actually I do a sorta IF for both. I say sorta because in the morning I drink a protein shake with hemp seeds in them and same with before sleep and have a mega meal packed with protein and micronutrients and it’s been working well

                                              • Courtney Derouen
                                                Courtney Derouen  1 months back

                                                Wouldn’t you want 3-5 meals vs 1 meal a day for protein synthesis happening multiple times a day vs once a day? That would be my concern and reason for multiple meals.

                                                • Zack Bone
                                                  Zack Bone  1 months back

                                                  How much per meal??

                                                  • Grant Collyer
                                                    Grant Collyer  1 months back

                                                    Your body only requires 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. The only time your body needs more or can even effectively use more is when your overtrained and taking gear 👍💪

                                                    • JennOscura
                                                      JennOscura  3 weeks back

                                                      The RDA is 0.8 grams per kg of healthy body weight. Since fiber inhibits protein absorption the vegan Registered Dietician Jack Norris recommends that vegans do 1 to 1.1 grams per kg. Now if you are lifting you are going to want more. For me, my thought is 80 to 100g of protein per day. On lifting days I would want to get more. But I am not going to bother tracking my macros. I am just going to try to eat more protein on lifting days.

                                                  • Cosmo Man
                                                    Cosmo Man  1 months back

                                                    Dick head 😂

                                                    • Cesar Gomez
                                                      Cesar Gomez  1 months back

                                                      Exchange your athlean program for drawing lessons?

                                                      • Anna Nicholson
                                                        Anna Nicholson  1 months back

                                                        I had gastric bypass and dont pass food through the duodenum. I eat a number of small meals because my blood sugar has delayed hypoglycemia from to much sugar. Mayo clinic told me to eat smaller meals to keep it regulated better. I avoid carbs mostly except fruit. I do eat some but dont like them in my home. Temptation... a cruel master... so far all my labs are great.

                                                        • Brian Tino
                                                          Brian Tino  1 months back

                                                          I normally put thumbs up on your videos. Can not do it this time. Inaccurate information this round.

                                                          • Wolf Fox
                                                            Wolf Fox  2 months back

                                                            _"Even researchers doesn't know what they're doing"_ I cracked up because I thought of this earlier while reading about macros

                                                            • Nishant Sood
                                                              Nishant Sood  2 months back

                                                              That stomach jeff drew looks like my sack! just fyi! ....:p

                                                              • LossVegas
                                                                LossVegas  2 months back

                                                                I crap sirloin- grill stripes and all. LOL

                                                                • Lil Boer
                                                                  Lil Boer  2 months back

                                                                  No lies before i found out i was intolerant to eggs, i was eating 60-68 grams of protein every morning, i’d be filled with energy even till after my gym session.

                                                                  • BadMadPlay
                                                                    BadMadPlay  2 months back

                                                                    Excellent video jeff. Def not camera tricks

                                                                    • vervegrande
                                                                      vervegrande  2 months back

                                                                      This is definitely not a drawing tutorial!

                                                                      • Denis P
                                                                        Denis P  2 months back

                                                                        the leonardo devinci of the fitness

                                                                        • Mgoldenboyz
                                                                          Mgoldenboyz  2 months back

                                                                          Honestly that pic of someone's digestive process disturbs me.

                                                                          • Timothy Takehara
                                                                            Timothy Takehara  2 months back

                                                                            The methodology of many small protein packed meals a day for gains helps sell protein powders, because nobody wants to go through all that extra prep. It's also the polar opposite of the way a hunter would eat, and presumably the hunters were some of the most muscular and athletic of a tribe of preindustrial humans.

                                                                            • SlendyDie Gaming
                                                                              SlendyDie Gaming  2 months back

                                                                              i cant have a normal nutrition i wake up 6 am and barely go to school on time. In school there is nothing i can eat that i either like or is fitting so i take a sandwich from home and i get home 18:00(6PM) if im training and 15:30(3.30PM) if im not and where do i go from there i have one meal left after no breakfast and a small sandwich

                                                                              • Jackie Burns
                                                                                Jackie Burns  2 months back

                                                                                I agree with the long term implications of IF. People are rushing home after work trying to eat by a certain time. Blood sugar stability is important . I need energy 24 hours, and not be so tired I can do anything after my workout.

                                                                                • Joe Mendoza
                                                                                  Joe Mendoza  2 months back

                                                                                  Your drawing was a penis bro. Wtf. Thanks for the info, however. I have been making gains from studying your videos. I appreciate your passion.

                                                                                  • Emilio Flores
                                                                                    Emilio Flores  2 months back

                                                                                    Great video! I have a question for you, do you think fasting maybe every other week might have benefits? Do you see fasting beneficial in anyway?? I'm just curious on your take, I've heard different perspectives on this topic.

                                                                                    • JM Dub
                                                                                      JM Dub  2 months back

                                                                                      that ringtone came in at the PERFECT time!!

                                                                                      • smoked myself silly
                                                                                        smoked myself silly  2 months back

                                                                                        Jeff's voice is considerably higher in his older videos. But then again he probably gets testosterone shots now.

                                                                                        • progressive gen x'er channel

                                                                                          Great video, actually been using Greek yogurt FAGE' instead of spending money on whey protein powder. When u add it up anyway it's roughly the same, unless u buy a nuclear holocaust size package of ISO pure or what have you. :)

                                                                                          • Omniversal Void
                                                                                            Omniversal Void  2 months back

                                                                                            jeff, you forgot insulin

                                                                                            • Jack Bowers
                                                                                              Jack Bowers  2 months back

                                                                                              50 gram steaks coming out your ass 😂😂