Mediterranean Diet 101

30 Grams of Protein per Meal Myth

This myth says that body can't digest more than 30g of protein per meal and that all excess protein is lost or converted to fats ... Well, this 'losing part' is simply not truth, while excess protein is converted to fats ...


How Much Calories Do I Need Per Day

Amounts of calories, macro and micronutrients depends on many things. It is best practice to define baseline and start from there - calculate your BMR and RMR and change that calories according to your goals.

30 grams of protein per meal mythAmount of protein per meal vary from meal to meal and from person to person. It depends on many things, some of them are:

- Weight of person - it is not the same if someone has 50 or 150 kg
- Age of person - this is one of the most questionable areas, because, for example, teenagers are still growing, thus they need more protein. But with age body needs more time and more quality food (protein included) to regenerate itself.
- Dietary habits - if someone eats relatively low protein food entire life, then switching to nutrition rich in protein should not be done over night
- Physical activity - if someone has desk job, drives around in the car, then that person needs less food (and less protein) than someone who walks, run, train etc
- Time of day - although protein should be eaten all day, depending on the time of the day, one should consume different type of food
- Body type - ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs with different interim types require different diets, also depending on their current goals
- Type of protein - different foods digests with different speed. Whey protein is digested much faster than casein, fish faster than meat or whole eggs
- Diet - it depends on someone's goals - build muscles (gain mass), lose fat (lose mass), or maintain weight (and if possible overtime gain some muscle mass and lose some fat)

How Much Protein Per Meal

All these factors dictate daily amount of protein that needs to be consumed in order to achieve desired protein intake. If goal is for example 2g of protein per kg of athlete (~1g of protein per pound of bodyweight), which is almost minimum for active person, 100kg person needs at least 200g protein, daily.

If you are preparing for some athletic or similar event, that requires great deal of strength and stamina, then 3 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight (1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight) is needed in order to stimulate muscle regeneration and gains. Remember that other organs in body also require protein as building blocks - liver, heart, skin, brain etc.

Divided in 5 meals, that is 40g per meal, 33% more than mythical 30g per meal. If one needs to consume 3g of protein per kg (~1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight), than 100kg athlete needs to eat 60g of protein per meal, 5 meals a day.

This 100kg athlete has different protein requirements than anorexic 45kg model and his digestion system is accustomed over time to this kind of food and protein intake.

Also, it is not the same if one should take 60g of protein in the form of fast digesting whey protein or some meat or casein. In the case of whey protein, if taken after workout, when body needs all that protein, this protein will be used for good purpose – regeneration and muscle building. If taken during the day, but not after exercise, there is great chance that some of that whey protein will end up as fat. Protein from meat or casein (or similar slow digesting food) will be digested slowly over time and body probably won't have any excess of it at any time and it will not store it as fat.

Protein in larger doses per meal will not make your kidneys run amok, just drink enough water, so that your pee is clear, not yellow. If you already have kidney related problems, be sure to check with your doctor before increasing protein intake - better safe than sorry.

So eat your protein in every meal, how much and what kind depending on your goals. Supplements are great stuff, but real food is real food ...

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