The '30g protein' myth

Warning – This is not a really small, easy to read blog for one simple reason. That is exactly what I’m fighting against. Im not just going to write blogs where I make a sweeping statement … ‘ ketogenic diets are best for fat loss’, then not have anything to back up my statement and just end up arguing with the other ‘tribals’ out there who have their own favourite diet. My aim is to present you with useful, non bias information and then present a reasoned argument, backed up with studies where necessary. If you don’t want to learn, or just want to look at pictures of people in great shape whilst you sit there feeling shit about how you look (but cant be arsed to do anything about it) – then don’t read anything I put out there. You can just go and take some fat burners or magic weight loss tablets that will lose the weight for you. LOL.
I really hate that much of my job now is about constantly battling information put out by companies to facilitate their success. The main reason research is carried out these days is just to support the selling of a product and much of the research is manipulated in a way to give certain results. Just look through an issue of mens health, it is full of two things… Products being sold, and research. If you read mens health regularly (god forbid) then what you will start to realise is they even start conflicting themselves a lot of the time because they are having to put out so much information every week.
So, with that in mind, its time to debunk one of the most stupid myths that has somehow been allowed to make it into mainstream fitness.
‘The human body can only process 30g of protein at a time’
This is utterly stupid, even the sentence. I have now done a lot of research into this. However, I certainly did not need to read any studies to realise that I (6 foot 2 and 18 stone) will process every type or quantity of food differently to a 10 year old girl.
In the early stages of man, in our primitive state when we were ‘hunter gatherers,’ our method of eating would be predominantly based around not eating meat for a long time because it was not readily available. We would find, fruit, berries, carbohydrates most of the time and then occasionally would either find or kill an animal. Now, the notion that our bodies would have evolved to have 30g worth of protein from that animal that would all be used, but if you ate any more of that meat it would then just turn to urea (waste)? Don’t be ridiculous. They would obviously eat as much as possible for as long as possible before the meat went “bad’. The body would then process as much of this protein as possible. However the limiting factor would not be our ability to process the protein. The limiting factor would be how much we could eat at a time from a comfort perspective.
This remains true today. Evolution is not something that occurs within generations, it is something that occurs across thousands, or hundreds of thousands of years. Our appendix is largely useless now as we don’t need to break down cellulose like we used to. We will still have our appendix for thousands of years however (providing we don’t blow ourselves up by then – but that is for another time). Your body can deal with large scale consumption of protein. However it is other factors that limit how much we do consume. If you are someone that bloats, or feels uncomfortable after eating 30g protein then that’s a completely different story and you should do whatever you feel comfortable doing. Personally, I would much rather have 2-3 big meals a day as I feel it suits my lifestyle better. I don’t want to constantly stress about having my next meal 7 times a day.
Here is a large scale study, supporting this (obvious) truth. There are a couple of really important parts of what I’m showing you here so I will put them in bold. I don’t mean this to be at all patronising, some people just aren’t educated in research and don’t look for or notice certain parts of studies. My blogs are going to be predominantly aimed at clients, or the general public who follow me because they like what I put out there. My Main objective is to educate all of you on the (very corrupt and backwards) industry. And in my opinion, being able to distinguish between hard, no- bias science, and statement based pseudo science is really important because so much of the information around the industry that is false and we need to develop a filter in our brain to process the useful parts of information.
So I found a study that had a credible source which was the Nutrition and Obesity Research Center. The research was carried out by Dr. Ohkawara and the research was funded by Research Fellowships of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists and also the University of Colorado Clinical and Translational Science Award.
At the top of the document there was this disclosure: ‘The authors had no financial or personal conflicts of interests.’
All of this information is really important. First we have found a study with a reliable source. We have then identified that it has been funded by neutral sources who’s objective is purely to support research. Finally the disclosure tells us that there is no bias.
Here is a brief breakdown of the study:
Consuming smaller, more frequent meals is often advocated as a means of controlling body weight, but studies demonstrating a mechanistic effect of this practice on factors associated with body weight regulation are lacking. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of consuming three (3M) vs. six meals (6M) per day on 24-h fat oxidation and subjective ratings of hunger.
We conclude that increasing meal frequency from three to six per day has no significant effect on 24-h fat oxidation, but may increase hunger and the desire to eat. Both groups consumed the same calories and macronutrients daily.
So for my own conclusion, I would say to you to plan your daily food, get the right amount of protein for you (or too much, it wont really affect you in a negative way), and consume your calories however you feel comfortable doing so. Its important for me to say as well that I have nothing against protein products, I have 2 protein shakes a day and do snack on bars to fill a gap in the day. I am just telling you to not fall for their ridiculous marketing campaigns to rinse you for money. Or at least to think about things a bit more. Below is 2 links for the blog, the one a cited and another one for good measure:
Please feel free to inbox me on any of my platforms if you have any questions or want to add to anything I have talked about. Thanks for reading.