HomeAnswersHow much protein can your body absorb?

How much protein can your body absorb?

This question is about Nutrition
Elle Penner, MPH, RD
Research shows your body can absorb 91-95% of protein when consumed in moderate doses (10-50 g), with animal protein having a slightly higher absorption rate than plant protein [1]. Depending on the protein source, your body can absorb between 5-10 g of protein/hour [1]. 
In athletes and active adults, research shows muscle protein synthesis can be maximized by consuming 0.4 g of protein/kg of body weight with each meal (roughly 20-40 g/meal) every 3-4 hours [2,3].
Green peas and pea protein in a bowl on a black background


  1. How much protein can you eat in one sitting? (2021, January 19). Examine.Com. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://examine.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-can-you-eat-in-one-sitting/
  2. Schoenfeld, B. J., & Aragon, A. A. (2018). How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1
  3. Jäger, R., Kerksick, C. M., Campbell, B. I., Cribb, P. J., Wells, S. D., Skwiat, T. M., Purpura, M., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Ferrando, A. A., Arent, S. M., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Stout, J. R., Arciero, P. J., Ormsbee, M. J., Taylor, L. W., Wilborn, C. D., Kalman, D. S., Kreider, R. B., Willoughby, D. S., Hoffman, J. R., … Antonio, J. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 20. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8