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View Full Version : Maximum amount of carbs/protein that can be "handled" at a time



KingJustin
08-20-2007, 12:51 PM
This is something I've wondered about for awhile.

Roughly how many grams of protein can your body handle at one time before it starts turning the protein into fat? Does it depend a lot on body weight? Genetics?
I've been using 25-40g recently as a guideline, but maybe I can add to this? Maybe it's too much..

How about carbs? Is time of day the most important factor? Current carb-storage?

I'm of course guessing that during the anabolic window these numbers are higher (at least for carbs), and AFAIK, after "fasting" (sleeping) the number would be higher. Are there other things that affect this?

Let's not assume any crazy kind of states, i.e. in ketosis.

Also, according to Chris Shugart, people should eat large breakfasts, medium sized meals throughout the day, and a very small meal before bed. He said that "Breakfast fuels you for the rest of the day. Basically, you can "burn up" almost anything you eat for breakfast because you'll be awake for the next 15 or 16 hours."

Is this really true? Assume you have an overall excess of calories. Aren't carbs either used for energy or stored as fat within something like 20 minutes if stores aren't low?

Trevor M.
08-20-2007, 01:34 PM
There is no real reason to type out a long winded report on how and why protein and carbs get stored as body fat. It can simply be answered by saying this.
At the end of the day. What matters is ones "energy balance". If you expended more calories then You took in. You will loose weight. If you took in more than you expended. You will gain weight.

There is no " set figure" as to when a certain macro will be stored as fat. Basically, if there is more than needed it will generally get stored.

RedSpikeyThing
08-20-2007, 02:15 PM
Roughly how many grams of protein can your body handle at one time before it starts turning the protein into fat? Does it depend a lot on body weight? Genetics?
I've been using 25-40g recently as a guideline, but maybe I can add to this? Maybe it's too much..


Your body has no concept of "at one time", just like it has no concept of a meal. Your body turns excess calories into fat. You're overthinking it. Eat what you can when you can and look at the bigger picture - totals for each day.

Let's also use some simple logic: many bodybuilders have a can of tuna and a shake as/with a meal. This adds up to over 60 g of protein. I'm pretty sure they're ok ;)

KingJustin
08-20-2007, 02:21 PM
I don't really buy that.

If I eat all my protein over 2 meals (175g per meal), then I do not believe that it will have the same effect as eating 7 meals of 50g/meal. I think this holds true to a greater extent with carbs. If everybody else completely disagrees, I'll rethink this, but I think it's at the very least debatable.

RedSpikeyThing
08-20-2007, 02:28 PM
I don't really buy that.

If I eat all my protein over 2 meals (175g per meal), then I do not believe that it will have the same effect as eating 7 meals of 50g/meal. I think this holds true to a greater extent with carbs. If everybody else completely disagrees, I'll rethink this, but I think it's at the very least debatable.

you are right in that it isn't the same. You are wrong in thinking it's a big difference.

KingJustin
08-20-2007, 03:04 PM
I actually don't think it's a very big difference. I think that if you mostly follow about 5 simple diet principles and 5 simple lifting principles then you can gain at probably 70-90% the rate of someone who does everything perfectly (assuming everything else is equal). But, (a) what's the point in having forums on lifting if everyone already knows the obvious and anyone posting anything outside of that is told 'just stick to these principles and you'll be fine', and (b) I'm always looking for an edge and for perfection. If it means gaining 1-5lbs less fat per year (which I'd say is about right), then I'll do it. And if I can gain 2-3 lbs more muscle per year by going out of the way for another minor issue, then I'll do it. In the end, I think it adds up.

Stumprrp
08-20-2007, 03:18 PM
im sure the pasta with chicken eggplant and sausage i had was over 50/50 grams each and i feel just dandy :-D

Paul Stagg
08-20-2007, 05:01 PM
This has been discussed to death. The limit is the amount you eat. ALL of it is processed.Storage has to do with thermodynamics.

Holto
08-20-2007, 08:07 PM
I don't really buy that.

If I eat all my protein over 2 meals (175g per meal), then I do not believe that it will have the same effect as eating 7 meals of 50g/meal. I think this holds true to a greater extent with carbs. If everybody else completely disagrees, I'll rethink this, but I think it's at the very least debatable.

There is the issue of amino acid pool maintenance.

Alex.V
08-20-2007, 09:17 PM
There is the issue of amino acid pool maintenance.

But too many variables to assess.

The first mistake is in thinking that variable rates of digestion, absorption, etc. can be even roughly calculated.

The second mistake is in believing that the body operates as a series of on or off switches. At any given moment, you are burning fat and storing fat, carrying out glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, deaminating amino acids and synthesizing amino acids, etc.

This is why it is completely ridiculous to believe there is any quantifiable, "ideal" amount of food you should eat at any one time.

Ignore the maximum amount you can "use". This is wrongheaded. Don't worry about when you're filling the gas tank, just make sure there's enough fuel to get you where you want to go, and no more.