How Much Protein Can Your Body Digest? Testing the 20-Gram Rule
Play • 4 min

When thinking about optimizing your protein consumption, how much is too much? We’ve established that protein is a vital dietary fuel for all kinds of reasons. But, at some point, does eating protein have no additional benefit and is eating more simply “overfilling” your tank?

The idea that your body has limits on how much protein you can digest is based on the concept of muscle protein synthesis or MPS. Muscle protein synthesis is your body’s natural way of breaking down protein and using it to help repair the muscles in your body. 

That’s because during exercise your body uses protein, something known as muscle protein breakdown (or MPB). The combination of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown are important components of how you build muscle, and — more importantly for every exercise goal — how well you recover from exercise. 

And, some research has suggested that 20 grams of protein is the sweet-spot for maximizing muscle protein synthesis.

Which leaves you with a very important question: how much protein can your body digest, and — at some point — is more protein too much and not really adding any benefit?

In this episode of That’s Healthy, Right? host Adam Bornstein weighs the comparison of protein to the gas you put in your car, how to maximize your post-workout intake, and the science behind whether or not you should restrict how much protein you eat per serving.

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