A recently published study tested muscle protein synthesis in healthy males after strength training with a much larger dose of protein at once. They consumed 0g, 25g or 100 grams of protein at one time. What was the outcome? Does this change our recommendations?

Current Protein Recommendations

The consensus on protein consumption and utilization has been: we can absorb high amounts of protein but can only utilize a certain amount of protein at a time for muscle protein synthesis.

Because of this knowledge, recommendations generally are to distribute protein fairly evenly between 3 meals per day, with a few hours in between each sitting. This typically amounts to consuming 25-40 grams of protein per meal, depending on weight, age, body composition, activity level, etc.

New Research

A new study of 36 males (ages 18-40, BMI 18.5-30) were given 0g, 25g or 100g of protein following resistance training. The results were interesting, in that ingesting 100g of protein showed greater post-prandial (following the meal) muscle protein synthesis and for a longer duration.

Does this change recommendations?

Not really, yet. Here’s why:

The groups were randomized to 0g, 25g, and 100g. Current protein recommendations take weight, age, activity, etc. into consideration. Many people may fall in 25-40g per meal recommendation, so it would be interesting to see the results when the amount of protein consumed is specific to that individual’s needs and not cut off at 25g which could very likely not have been enough for those individuals.

This study showed that after resistance training + ingestion of 100g of protein, post-prandial (after the meal) muscle protein synthesis (MPS) was greater and lasted for a longer duration afterward (up to 12 hours). However, the duration of MPS is likely due to the amount of time it takes to digest & absorb that quantity of protein aka the body continues to break down protein & absorb protein for a longer period of time. Would there be this difference when comparing 100g at one meal vs. 35g at 3 meals per day?

We also need to be realistic in that consuming 100g of protein in one sitting is A LOT! Many of us struggle to get 25-40g per meal, so getting 100g would be pretty tough for most people.

Lastly, this study was conducted in healthy, young, male participants after resistance training. We can’t generalize and assume these results will be the same for the general population, endurance athletes, masters athletes or other groups at this time.


This new research is certainly interesting and may change the previous thought that there was a “cap” on how much protein our bodies can utilize at one time. Due to the limitations above, current recommendations stand for individuals to consume generally 25-40g of protein per meal x 3 meals per day (based on weight, sex, age, activity, etc). However, if an individual has not met recommended protein needs at certain meals during the day, it may be beneficial to make up that difference in one sitting.

PMID: 38118410, 9252485,9252488, 27643743

Disclaimer: The content in our blog articles provides generalized nutrition guidance. The information above may not apply to everyone. For personalized recommendations, please reach out to your sports dietitian. Individuals who may chose to implement nutrition changes agree that Featherstone Nutrition is not responsible for any injury, damage or loss related to those changes or participation.