How much protein can our body handle

how much protein can our body handle

How much protein can our body handle

I get this question a lot. How much protein can our body handle? Well this is different to each and every other person. There is however a large guideline which will pretty much work for everyone.

So the past days a saddening message has spread around globally of the death of a female bodybuilder which unfortunately lost her life due to protein and a rare condition called Ureum Cycle Disorder (UCD).

I would like to share my own view on protein, what I’ve learned in the past few years and questions i frequently get/got.

In the first lines I talk about that protein reacts different to each and every other person. TRUE! Why? Protein synthesis is influenced by many factors. As an example if something in your body does not function in the right way… think of stomach related issues (stomach acid) Because the first percentage (about 15%) of protein gets broken down here by enzymes called pepsins. Then we move to the small intestine where the rest of the protein breaks down. So if your have problems with your intestines it could be another issue.

In the small intestine the enzymes from the pancreas (proteases) break down the peptides

into individual amino acids that are then absorbed, some of them will be carried by carrier proteins.

Here come’s the part which not a lot of people don’t know. Excessive protein or a surplus on protein which the body does not consume will be broken down and excreted (ureum).

With the consumption of protein, nitrogen comes with it. Nitrogen comes naturally with the protein, consume it in a normale ratio, not a single problem. However when you’re on a high protein diet you need to be a bit more careful. To much nitrogen puts your kidneys into overdrive and can cause intoxication and harm to your kidneys. Don’t worry too much, im talking about long periods of time!

I’ve read multiple articles and experiences about these topics. Some have had serious issues. Others have had none. Consume lots of water as well. Your kidneys like it and it will benefits you in lots of ways not only in protein consumption.

Then what it the right way? According to Food scientist Doug Paddon-Jones from the University of Texas Medical Branch protein synthesis is maxed out consuming 25 to 35 grams of high quality protein per meal. So quick little check, say you need to consume 2500 Kcal a day. Divide that in a 50 – 30 – 20 split which is pretty average and neutral. 750 kcal in protein which is 187,5 gram of protein per day. 187,5 divided by 25 (grams per meal) = 7,5 meals per day. Do the same with the 35 grams… 5,6 meals a day which basically comes down to 5 or 6 meals a day.

here some examples to put it in an perspective:

chicken filet 150 gram = 34,5 gram of protein

cottage cheese (3,9% fat) 250 gram = 30,8 gram of protein

greek yoghurt (2% fat) 250 gram = 25,0 gram of protein

Almond nuts 150 gram = 31,7 gram of protein

If you have any questions or something to add of value related to this article feel free to send me an e-mail at

once again, this article is based on my own personal experiences and personal research.

Tip/advice: If you have any doubts about your personal health, protein intake, nitrogen levels and such, make sure to visit your doctor or visit a specialist.

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snap: Stefano Boelen