Myth 1 Your body can’t utilize more than 30 grams of protein
People have claimed for years that the human body can only digest 30 grams of protein—or roughly 5 ounces of chicken—per meal. Anything over that will end up being stored as fat or just wasted. Can this really be true?
To understand how this seemingly arbitrary limit became the rule, it helps to go back to where it started. Years ago, it was shown that maximal muscle protein synthesis (MPS) occurred with roughly 20-30 grams of protein.1 Increasing that amount to 40-plus grams of protein per meal was shown to be no more beneficial for protein synthesis. So does this mean your body stores the excess protein as fat? Not so fast!
Yes, excess amino acids can theoretically be converted into glucose—and ultimately be stored as fat in the body—but this is a long and costly process for the body. It’s highly unlikely you’ll get fat from excess protein. In fact, explorers who ate almost nothing but protein found themselves starving to death from a condition known as “rabbit starvation,” not getting bigger! So let’s go ahead and cross that one off the list.