Protein absorption limit in one meal/sitting? and schedule/macro advise request

(Please note i posted this in the UK forum but it doesn’t seem as busy as this one so i thought i’d repost here.)
Hi, i’m a newbie. After a week loving Huel so far - the U/U 3.0 is a great base and i find it nice even with just a spoon of cinnamon, so look forward to playing more with the flavours. (I really don’t like the smell of it so was surprised i actually like the taste).

I’m used to having 2 meals a day, doing 16:8 IF. I’ve always struggled with getting enough protein via food but never really looked into shakes as i can’t have whey and have some insulin resistance so i just got overwhelmed and avoided the whole thing but i want to get healthier and stronger now.

So my question is if it’s true that 35g(ish) protein is the maximum one can absorb in one sitting (what is the time window considered for one sitting?) then how do people who do 2MAD or even OMAD manage to get more than say 70grams of protein absorbed a day? Are they just wasting their time and energy?

What option would be better in terms of protein absorption and for my insulin resistance?

  • having 2MAD where i have Huel UU 3.0+ some fruit /nuts/ veggies for breakfast and then a normal dinner (including 30-40grams protein) + a Huel protein drink with it as desert? or
  • forgetting 2MAD and having the same breakfast, then Huel protein for a snack (with maybe some nuts to mellow the insulin spike from straight liquid protein? Is this needed?) and then a normal dinner?

I’m also considering trying the Black UU - will this have more of an insuligenic effect on my body or less then the UU 3.0 if drank without any other food alongside it for say breakfast? What’s people’s experience in terms of satiation between the two? Do you feel fuller after the Black?

I don’t know if it’s relevant but my profile is;
Female, 5’3 and a half inches tall, 8 stone/112 Ib/50.8kg.
And i’m thinking of macros being 30% Protein/33% good fats/37%carbs.
This via a food app for my moderate exercise level says 1749 calories for maintenance weight, and a whopping 131grams protein!/64grams fat/161 grams carbs.
I was eating a High fat, low carb diet to manage the insulin resistance but i’ve recently discovered my blood pressure is too high (i slipped from healthy fats into eating more unhealthy) so I’m trying to reverse this with a more high protein, moderate fat and moderate carb spread. This is why i’ve become interested in Huel.

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

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That’s a lot of analysis!! And good for you - to be so mindful and focused on improving your health is great. I am not qualified to be giving advice, but I’ll give it a shot anyways just because no one else has answered yet. :wink:

If I were you, firstly I wouldn’t worry too much about protein absorption, because most adults in the US/UK get more than enough protein that they actually need. The diet-buzz around protein isn’t based in medical/health science. “Eat more protein” is popular advice mostly from the fact that protein helps people feel full, and high protein foods happen to be healthier nutrient profiles overall.
So unless you have specific muscle-building goals - just go with the flow. And if you do have muscle building goals, I recommend keeping track of your macro intakes and your results - see what helps over time. Basically a “try and see” approach instead of trying to predict which path will be best.
Trust yourself! :sparkling_heart:

For insulin resistance… I’m sorry I genuinely have no idea. The only thing I know in that regard is that Huel has a low glycemic index, so if your resistance is only small, I bet you’re doing ok with your current choices.

For your question about which option is better - maybe try each option out for a week, and make a log of how you feel at the end of each day? Nutrition is so individualized. Studies can give you statistics and guidelines for general populations, but your gut and body and needs are all specific to you! Your protein absorption will be different than mine, etc.

But don’t take anything I (or the internet) says too seriously. Ask your doctor!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer! :star_struck:I think i am driving myself a bit :crazy_face:. I just want to get it “right”, but as you say there is no such thing and it always takes trial and error, so i will chill and see how it goes.:+1:


Can’t wait to hear how it goes! You’re smart so it’ll be awesome :clap:

“Digging Deeper: Protein intake ceiling You may have heard that you can’t digest more than 30 grams of protein in one sitting. This notion of a “protein intake ceiling” derives partly from early studies that observed increased nitrogen losses in the urine with increased protein intakes. This was thought to mean that the extra protein was wasted.[124] We now know that things aren’t so simple. When you eat protein, your body doesn’t use it directly; instead, it breaks it down into its constituent amino acids and uses those to make its own proteins. When you eat more protein, your body can afford to replace more of its damaged or oxidized proteins, so that your protein synthesis and breakdown are both increased.
In other words, eating more protein increases your body’s protein turnover.[125]The raised levels of urinary nitrogen then reflect, not a waste of eaten protein, but an increase in the breakdown of your body’s damaged or oxidized proteins.[126] (Note that elevated levels of urinary nitrogen can also indicate health issues, such as problems with kidney function.) The notion of a “protein intake ceiling” derives also from studies on the body’s muscle protein synthesis (MPS) response to different intakes of protein.
• One study in healthy young men found that eating more than 20 grams of whole-egg protein didn’t further increase MPS.[127] • Another study in younger and older people found that 90 grams of protein from 90% lean beef didn’t increase MPS more than did 30 grams.[128] 38 However, your body doesn’t use dietary protein only to make muscle, or even only to make other proteins. It also uses the nitrogen from the dietary protein’s amino acids to synthesize important non-protein molecules, such as purines and pyrimidines, the building blocks for nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA.
Moreover, your small intestines are able to absorb and store a large amount of amino acids, ready to be used when your body needs them.
In short, the idea that eating more than 30 grams of protein results in wasted protein is incorrect. Your body will break down and use all the protein you eat, sooner or later, one way or another.
(Note, also, that higher protein intakes increase satiety, which is particularly helpful if you’re trying to cut calories as part of a weight-loss diet.)”