Exposing the Bodybuilding Myth: 30g Limit on Protein Per Meal

Updated April 3, 2019

This article was written by Bruteforce, from the Muscle and Brawn forum.

We all know the dogma. “Bro, your body can only handle 30 grams of protein in one sitting. Anything else is just a waste. You gotta eat like 8 times a day to get it all in.”


If the body can only assimilate 30g of protein in one sitting, then how on earth did our ancestors survive before the advent of agriculture? While I could write at length on this topic alone, I’ll stick to some of the more common arguments for the sake of brevity.

The human body is an amazingly resilient structure. Push it and it grows. Break it and it heals. Feed it 31 grams of protein, and it apparently explodes. You’re saying to yourself, “Well no one is saying that 31g is a waste, that’s just silly.” Where do you draw the line? 35g? 40? 50? Well how about 100g? I gave it a try today and here’s what happened.

Nothing. Not a single adverse thing. Consuming 100g of protein in one 15 minute or less feeding is not a rare thing for me. Protein was in the 100-110g range, come from tuna and pork rinds. Fat was in the 30g range, from Paleo Mayo and the pork rinds. 700ish calories, fairly normal for my post workout meal.

I measured two different areas to take on the challenge from a couple different angles. First, blood glucose was measured every 30 minutes for two hours, as well as measuring protein in the urine. I found no significant rise in blood glucose and normal kidney function.

This is even more significant because I am a diet controlled Type II diabetic who has scarring damage in the kidneys from a rather unpleasant auto-immune disease in my childhood. Here are the numbers.

Blood Glucose (mg/dl)

  • Pre Meal – 121
  • 30 min Post Meal –  87
  • 1 hr – 91
  • 90 min – 88
  • 2 hr – 86

Urinary Protein

  • Pre Meal – Negative
  • 30 min Post Meal –  Negative
  • 1 hr – Negative
  • 90 min – Negative
  • 2 hr – Negative

What Do These Numbers Mean?

What do these numbers mean? Well, first it means that my body was assimilating the protein. Protein that goes unused will be converted to glucose in the liver via gluconeogenesis. If my body were unable to handle the protein, my blood sugar would have shot up noticeably.

Second, there was no stress on the kidneys; 100g did not cause any protein to spill over into the urine.

I’ve been eating this way for the past four years. It’s led to me beating diabetes, eliminate all blood sugar-related medicattions I was taking, reduce my LDL cholesterol levels, got me off blood pressure meds, improved my kidney and liver health…and the list carries on.

So stop worrying about overdoing it on protein. Go squat, eat a big steak, and grow.

TRUTH BOMB: Supplement companies want you to be anxious and afraid that you’ll turn “catabolic” and lose muscle if you don’t have 30 grams of protein every couple of hours. Getting people to adopt this mindset simply fills their pockets. The truth is, ever since bodybuilding began, men were getting jacked based on eating real food and working their butt off in the gym. Not from taking artificial powders that supposedly “shift your body into an anabolic state”.

Generally only naive, newbie lifters will accept this myth as fact. Go out there and test things in the gym (and in your diet), to see what’s science and what’s BROSCIENCE.

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