Protein is one of the four macronutrients that you need in your everyday diet in order to prevent infection and injury. Everyone’s protein intake looks different depending on various factors, including age and physical activity level. However, there’s one aspect that remains consistent, and that’s the amount that should be consumed in one sitting. Gabrielle Mancella, a registered dietitian at Orlando Health, and Cedrina Calder, MD, Preventive Medicine Doctor, and health and wellness expert, explain exactly how much protein you should eat per meal so that you get an idea on how not to overdo it.
So, how much protein is too much for one meal? Here’s what the experts had to say. And for more, be sure to check out The 29 Best Proteins for Weight Loss.
How much protein should the average person consume per meal? In other words, how much protein is too much?
Both Calder and Mancella say that no more than 30 grams of protein per meal is ideal because excess protein will be excreted through urine.
“Excess protein consumption in roughly amounts greater than 30 grams per hour are not stored,” says Mancella. “Protein is never stored, and it is never meant to be used for immediate energy.”
By contrast, carbs and fat can be stored in the body for later use if eaten in excess. Have you ever heard of someone carbo-loading before a big race? The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. So when you’re engaging in intense physical activity, your body utilizes these glycogen stores so that you are able to withstand fatigue and finish the workout.