Proteins are the primary building blocks of your body, and they are responsible for the healing and maintenance of your body tissues. They are formed from smaller molecules known as amino acids. There are a total of 20 amino acids, but your body can only synthesize eleven of them. The remaining nine amino acids are referred to as essential amino acids because they can only be obtained through diet.
This is why it's critical to ensure that you not only get a suitable amount of protein throughout your diet but that it is also absorbed as effectively as possible. Just because you ingest protein does not imply that you are absorbing 100 percent of that protein in the proper manner. Fast-absorbing proteins like whey can be absorbed at a rate of 8-10 grams per hour at their maximal rate of use. As a result, you'll need to eat and absorb your recommended protein intake throughout the course of the day rather than all at once.
How much protein can the body take in?
There's a general rule for figuring out how much protein you need: You need 0.36 grams of protein for every pound that you weigh (or 0.8 grams per kilogram that you weigh). 0.8-1 gram per kg of body weight for healthy adults and 1-1.2 gram per kg for elderly people.
When it comes to the maximum amount of protein that can be consumed in a single sitting, according to a 2018 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, one should consume protein at a maximum intake of 0.55 grams per kilogram per meal spread across four meals in order to maximize anabolism, which is the way that proteins are made from amino acids
This corresponds to a daily intake of 2.2 grams per kilogram, which is on the higher end of the recommended range. In order to obtain a minimum of 1.6 grams per kilogram per day, most people should strive for a target consumption of 0.4 grams per kilogram every meal over a minimum of four meals.
The researchers also discovered that protein concentrations of approximately20 to 25 grams per day, spread throughout the course of a day's eating, resulted in the greatest amount of muscle protein synthesis.
How does Protein Absorption work?
We are all aware that protein-rich foods such as eggs, beef, legumes, tofu, almonds, quinoa, and seeds are available, but how many of us are aware of how protein functions within our bodies? Understanding how proteins go from our meals into our circulatory system is essential at this point in time. To begin, our stomach and pancreas play a crucial part in the absorption of nutrients from our food.
The absorption process begins as soon as you begin chewing your food. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme that breaks down protein sources into smaller chains of amino acids once they reach the stomach. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme that helps break down protein chains into smaller and smaller fragments. It is produced by the cells that line the stomach. The pancreas then connects these amino acids together with the help of peptides, which are then broken down even more by proteases.
After that, amino acids are transported to the liver and bloodstream. Send them to cells in other places of the body, where they can begin repairing tissue and building muscle.
It is not necessary to memorize this technical jargon, but it is critical to understand how the absorption process works in order to avoid health complications. For example, in order to avoid protein malabsorption and ensure that protein is correctly absorbed, we must prioritize improving our gut health and pancreatic sufficiency. An active lifestyle, consisting of eating alkaline-rich food, reducing stress, and indulging in regular physical activity, is required of us.
Now that we have a better understanding of how protein absorption occurs, we may consider ways to enhance it
Tips To Improve Protein Absorption
Keep in mind that complete proteins, which contain all nine essential amino acids, should always be your first choice. In order to improve your protein absorption, you must start here.
1. Protease Rich Food
In order for protein to be properly absorbed, it must be broken down into minute peptides and amino acids. Protease is a digestive enzyme that is needed for protein digestion. Figs, kiwis, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, and yogurt are some of the foods high in protease.
2. Take digestive drinks
In addition to selecting the most appropriate protein sources, you can adopt some habits that will aid in the efficient absorption of protein. In order to activate your digestive system, drinking ginger water, apple cider vinegar water, lemon water, or orange juice in the middle of the morning (on occasion) is the most effective technique. Probiotics can also be obtained by consuming isabgol or curd before your meals. Although the amount of isabgol consumed varies from person to person, it is important to note that an excessive amount of anything can be harmful to your health.
3. Good Diet Plan
When protein is consumed alone, it cannot be digested entirely. So it is best to consume it in combination with other nutrients. Whole grains can be combined with legumes and nuts can be combined with fruits. For example, it’s good to have dal as your protein, so you should have it with rice (for complex carbs). This is because the protein in dal can only be absorbed when the methionine from rice is mixed with the lysine from dal.
4. Improve Gut Health
Maintaining a healthy diet is the most effective strategy to promote gut health. Don't forget to incorporate raw fruits and veggies in your daily diet to get the benefits. My recommendation is to consume raw vegetables in the shape of salads 30 minutes before your meal in order to boost protein absorption as well as the health of your digestive tract.
5. Chew Slowly
Chewing the food slowly and thoroughly will allow the food to break down in the pancreas to its maximum potential. You will experience a surge of protein and amino acids in your stomach if you eat your food too rapidly. This rush will cause your stomach to go into shock and affect your immune system, resulting in gut health difficulties.
Overeating high-protein foods should be avoided because an excess of protein can contribute to a variety of health concerns. Proteinuria, stomach indigestion, fat storage, and even obesity are all possible consequences of excessive protein consumption. Instead, concentrate on keeping a well-balanced diet while making certain that each meal has an adequate quantity of protein.
Protein Supplements for Maximum Absorption
A fast-absorbing protein is a protein that may be absorbed within a few hours, allowing the body to utilize it more quickly to aid in processes such as muscle protein synthesis, which is beneficial for athletes.
Fast-absorbing proteins like whey protein are extremely popular. It's believed to be absorbed at a rate of about 10 grams each hour. Just 2 hours later, you'll be able to fully absorb a 20-gram serving of whey powder. It's normal to take 1–2 scoops of protein powder, which is about 25–50 grams, before working out, which indicates that 20 grams of whey protein would be digested by your body within two hours of exercising. Compared to other proteins, this is a very quick rate of absorption.
However, while whey protein powder is widely considered to be the best protein powder for maximal absorption, there is a potential drawback: Whey protein contains lactose and is a by-product of cheese production, which poses an issue for vegans and others who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy. The good news is that for people with dietary limitations or vegans, there are a few fast-absorbing protein choices available, including pea protein. Pea protein has the highest absorption rate of all of the most common vegan or plant proteins (including pea protein, soy protein, brown rice protein, hemp protein, and other seed, nut, and legume proteins), and it is also the most readily available.
Pea protein has demonstrated that it can offer equivalent benefits to whey protein, despite its slower absorption. Male participants between the ages of 18 and 35 followed the identical 12-week upper-body lifting program in a 2015 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. One group received 25 grams of pea protein twice a day, whereas the other received the same quantity of whey protein. Pea protein delivered roughly two grams of leucine, one of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that increases protein synthesis.
Whey provided 2.65 grams of leucine, however, both pea and whey protein were within the optimum leucine range. After 12 weeks, both groups showed identical improvements in biceps muscle thickness, with pea protein and whey protein outperforming placebo. This study demonstrates that pea protein absorbs and builds muscle tissue similarly to whey as long as it contains enough leucine.
Briefly stated, no matter how many protein-rich foods and supplements you take, you will not receive the benefits of these foods. Take care of your gut health first, which can be readily achieved with a balanced diet and active lifestyle, in order to promote optimal absorption of dietary protein!