How Much Protein Can Your Body Absorb?

Protein is one of the three macronutrients essential for the body, as it helps with tissue repair and maintenance. Most people who want to increase their protein intake do so for one of two reasons—to build muscle or lose weight.

Regardless of the reason, it’s crucial to ask yourself, “How much protein can your body absorb?” That’s because there’s a limited amount of protein your body can break down at any given time. 

So, by frontloading your daily protein intake in a single sitting, you’ll not only deprive your body of the protein it needs, but you’ll also waste money on food or protein supplements that won’t give you the results you were expecting.

How Much Protein Can Your Body Absorb in One Sitting?

How much protein can your body absorb in one sitting? Most nutritionists and researchers agree that the average person can absorb 20 – 25 grams of protein in one sitting. By “sitting,” we mean one meal.

However, one study suggests that the body can absorb more than 20 – 25 grams of protein at a time; it’s just that the rate of absorption significantly decreases. 

The reason for this decrease is that after the 20 – 25-gram threshold, your body will begin oxidizing protein for energy. It also might use excess protein to assist with the formation of urea and organic acids.

For this reason, the study recommends that people consume a minimum of four meals per day, breaking up the amount of protein they need among these meals.

The good news is that you won’t harm your body by going over this protein recommendation a little. In fact, consuming more than the recommended daily amount of protein may support any muscle-building and weight loss goals you have.

However, if you’re following an exceptionally high protein diet, such as the Atkins diet, over the long run, experts caution that it can lead to health complications.

How Much Protein Can Your Body Absorb in an hour?

The amount of protein that your body can absorb in an hour depends on the type of protein you’re consuming. 

For example, whey (a dairy-based protein) has a fast absorption time. So, one study shows that it takes the body two hours to absorb 20 grams of whey protein.

Following that logic, your body can absorb 10 grams of whey protein per hour. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you’re consuming protein strictly in the form of whey, you can eat 20 grams every other hour, and your body would, in theory, receive the full benefits.

In contrast, consuming protein in the form of casein, which is also a milk-based protein that undergoes different processing, can take up to around four hours to absorb. Therefore, you can expect your body to absorb casein at a rate of about five grams per hour. 

The bottom line is that not all protein is the same, but the body can still only process 20 – 25 grams at a time efficiently. Therefore, if you’re getting your protein from multiple food sources, it’s wise to leave a few hours between protein consumption to improve your body’s chances of absorbing each serving.  

How Much Protein Can Your Body Absorb in One Day?

How much protein can your body absorb in one day? According to the same study, the average healthy young adult body can absorb between 0.4 – 0.55 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per meal. 

If those numbers make your head spin, that comes out to 1.6 – 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram for the entire day. So, multiply your weight in kilograms by 2.2 to determine the maximum ideal protein absorption for your body in one day.

That said, your body might be able to absorb more than these numbers if you spread out your protein intake. However, these are the protein consumption guidelines that the study recommends.

Determining Your Ideal Protein Intake

Despite the numbers above, several factors impact the amount of protein your body can absorb in an hour or one day. 

Protein Absorption Based on Age

Sarcopenia is a condition that causes people to lose muscle loss and strength as they age. Unlike the younger population, as people grow older, their body’s ability to respond to anabolic stimuli from amino acids decreases. 

For this reason, it’s crucial to increase your protein intake as you age. It’s been suggested that the muscle in older people resists leucine absorption, which is one of the three essential branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).

Therefore, experts recommend increasing the amount of protein you eat by as much as 50% as you age. 

Protein Absorption Based on Weight

Studies show that an increased protein intake won’t impact the amount of body fat a person gains in a controlled setting where people eating lower protein diets consume the same calories.

Nevertheless, the more you weigh, the more daily protein you need to consume. All cells in the body contain protein, so your body requires more amino acids to repair damaged cells and create new ones. 

You should periodically recalculate the amount of protein you should consume based on the calculations shared earlier if you know that you’ve gained or lost weight.

Protein Absorption Based on Sex

Researchers mostly agree that there isn’t a difference in how men and women metabolize protein. However, there’s a notable difference in how much they should consume.

In almost all cases, men of the same weight and age should consume more protein than women. Of course, physical activity also comes into play, with people of both sexes who do more strength training requiring more protein, relatively speaking.

When looking at the ideal protein ranges, keep in mind that the lower end of the spectrum is generally for women, and the mid to high end is for men and active women. 

How to Aid Protein Absorption

You can do a few things to help your body absorb protein. They include:

  • Supplementing with vitamin B-6
  • Eating acidic foods
  • Consuming complex carbohydrates

Vitamin B-6 is crucial for the body because it supports enzyme breakdown, allowing your body to divide up amino acids in the protein you eat and carry them to your bloodstream. The good news is that many protein-rich foods contain high levels of vitamin B-6, including:

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Nuts
  • Beans

Similarly, acidic foods help break down amino acids. Therefore, try pairing your protein consumption with foods like citrus fruits, vinegar, and orange juice. 

Finally, protein must have insulin to absorb the amino acids that vitamin B-6 and acidic foods worked so hard to break apart. Therefore, eating complex carbs like whole grains and seeds will increase your body’s insulin level and improve protein absorption.  

FAQs

Now that the question “how much protein can your body absorb?” has been answered, you may still have questions about protein absorption.

Can the body absorb more than 30 grams of protein in one sitting?

No, your body typically can’t absorb more than 30 grams of protein in one sitting. The rate of protein absorption significantly decreases after you eat 20 – 25 grams at a time. That’s because your body will begin oxidizing protein and excrete it or repurpose it for other uses.

Is there a limit to protein absorption?

Yes, there’s a limit to protein absorption based on the type of protein you’re consuming. You can expect faster-absorbing proteins, such as whey, to absorb at a pace of around 10 grams per hour. Furthermore, liquid proteins are typically faster to digest than solid proteins. 

Are 100 grams of protein too much?

No, 100 grams of protein may not be too much for you. If you’re highly active, have a higher weight, or are older, 100 grams of protein may be a good option. In some cases, you might even need more than 100 grams.

Do incomplete proteins build muscle?

Yes, incomplete protein contributes to building muscle. Incomplete protein comes from food sources that lack at least one of the nine essential amino acids that your body can’t produce. Whereas animal protein is complete, many plant foods have incomplete protein. 

Final Thoughts: Are You Ready to Divvy Up Your Protein Consumption?

So, how much protein can your body absorb? The quick answer is 20 – 25 grams at a time. 

All healthy adults require more than 20 – 25 grams of protein daily. For this reason, you mustn’t eat all your protein in one sitting. Otherwise, it’ll have little impact on breaking down into amino acids that your body can use after the 25-gram mark.

To help you determine how to divvy up your protein intake throughout your meals for the day, you first need to know how much protein you need based on your weight, age, and sex. 

Some people can get away with getting their protein requirements in two meals and a snack, whereas other people will need to eat several spaced-out meals to ensure they’re maximizing their protein absorption.

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When To Drink Protein Shakes

Protein is an essential nutrient that supports body structure, function, and regulation. So, whether you’re among the one billion people who need more protein in their diet or are interested in increasing your protein intake for fitness or weight loss goals, protein shakes can be a beneficial solution to increase your intake.

However, the timing of when you drink protein shakes is crucial to maximizing their benefits. Knowing the best time to drink protein shakes will make your shakes work for you. Let’s get shaking!

When To Drink Protein Shakes for Workouts

If building muscle and increasing your fitness level is why you’re interested in protein shakes, you’re undoubtedly wondering, Is it better to drink a protein shake before a workout or post-workout? According to science, it doesn’t appear to matter.

There’s a long-held belief that people working out have an anabolic window that requires them to consume protein shortly after exercising to reap amino acids’ muscle-building powers. However, after studying the body composition changes in men who consumed the same 25-gram supplement, it appeared the protein had near equal impact pre- and post-workout.

Researchers concluded that it’s likely okay to drink a protein shake before or after a workout and receive similar results. Furthermore, they found that the window for how effective your protein shake will be before and after exercising is wider than the 30-minute or so window that fitness gurus used to follow (and often still believe).

Therefore, you’ll likely have excellent results as long as you consume your protein shake within a couple of hours of exercising. Of course, if you’re keen on staying within a narrower timeframe to drink your protein shake before or after exercising, that’s great too. Consuming protein too close to a workout will not negatively impact your fitness and muscle building.

When To Drink Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

Is your goal to drink protein shakes for weight loss? If so, you’re likely better off incorporating protein powder into your breakfast routine. Scientists have found that protein is the most filling of the macronutrients. That’s because protein has satiating properties since it reduces ghrelin, which is a hunger hormone.

A study on ghrelin secretion in men showed that eating a high-protein breakfast decreased ghrelin concentrations “more strongly” than those who had a high-carbohydrate breakfast. As a result, it’s less likely that you’ll feel the need to consume excess calories throughout the day if you drink a protein shake in the morning.

The Caveat of Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

Knowing when to drink protein shakes for weight loss is only half of the equation. The other half is purchasing low-calorie and low-carbohydrate products. Carbohydrates are a slow-burning nutrient, so while eating high-carbohydrate foods will give you plenty of energy, they will also stick around as extra weight if you consume too many of them.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if you reduce your calorie intake by 500-1,000 calories per day, you can expect to lose around one pound per week. Because of this, it’s crucial to choose a protein shake that’ll fit within your calorie reduction goals. 

Some protein powder shakes have the opposite effect. That’s because they specifically cater to people trying to gain weight through muscle and therefore pack in hundreds of calories, fat, and carbs per protein powder scoop.

Morning vs. Nighttime Protein Shake Consumption

We’ve established that it’s best to consume a protein shake in the morning, at a minimum, if you’re trying to lose weight. However, drinking a protein shake at night shouldn’t hurt your weight loss goals as long as you stay within your daily allotted calorie intake. 

Several 6-12-month studies have even shown that eating higher protein concentrations than the standard dietary allowance can help people reduce body weight and improve their body composition. People wanting to lose weight may benefit by consuming a protein shake in the morning and at least one other time throughout the day.

It’s so important to consume protein before or after working out, regardless of the time of day, because you create tears in muscle tissue when exercising, especially during strength training. In an ideal world, satellite cells will then target your muscle area, replicate, and fuse to your muscle fibers, adding and strengthening muscle.

However, satellite cells require amino acids to help with this fusion and replication process. Since amino acids make up protein, consuming protein shakes before or after a workout, day or night, will help with muscle repair and growth.

It could also be beneficial to consume a protein shake at night to improve strength for future resistance training, sustain metabolism-boosting effects, and reduce muscle mass loss, which is beneficial for older people who have a greater chance of muscle deterioration.

There’s one time when drinking protein powder at night always makes sense, and that’s if you want the amino acids working for you as you sleep. In that case, it’s best to consume casein protein at night.

The Differences Between Whey and Casein Protein

As you’re planning when to drink protein shakes, choosing the type of protein you consume is vital to ensure you’re working towards your desired results. Two of the most common types of protein powders are whey and casein.

Both of these protein forms are dairy products and contain all of the essential amino acids that your body requires. However, they have several differences, the most significant being how quickly your body digests them. 

Whey protein is the easiest for your body to break down and absorb, which happens in as little as 20 minutes. For this reason, whey protein shakes are an excellent option to drink either shortly before or after a workout.

In contrast, casein protein takes longer for the body to digest. So, you can expect casein’s amino acid powers to work 3-4 hours after you consume it. For this reason, some people nickname it the “slow-release” protein powder.

As you may imagine, casein protein is better suited for people wanting to use protein to lose weight, given that it’ll keep them full for longer. Doubling up on these proteins can also be a great choice for people working out who want to combine whey’s fast-release effects with the slower release of casein. 

Other Qualities of Whey and Casein Protein

Aside from the time-release differences between whey and casein protein, they differ in some other areas as well. Casein clumps more in liquids and has a grittier texture, while whey usually tastes better and is cheaper per gram than casein protein.

If you’re serious about using protein shakes to level up your fitness goals, using a combination of whey and casein protein shakes and timing them according to our suggestions is an excellent option to get the unique benefits from each type of powder.

Other Protein Shake Options

Here’s the good news: Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or have other dietary constraints, there are many other types of protein powders that you can use. Examples include:

  • Pea protein
  • Hemp protein
  • Egg protein
  • Brown rice protein
  • Mixed plant protein

While each of these protein options has its unique features, it’s okay to follow the guidelines discussed here in terms of when to take them. You can expect them to offer similar muscle-building and weight loss properties as whey and casein protein. 

Can Protein Shakes Serve as a Meal Replacement?

It’s no secret that some people use protein shakes as a meal replacement. But is it healthy to do so?

According to nutritionists, it isn’t. That’s because it’s crucial to have a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates for a well-balanced diet. You should aim to ensure that 40-60% of any given meal comes from unprocessed carbohydrates, 10-35% of your meal is protein-based, and the remaining nutrients are unsaturated fat sources.

Of course, your motivation for wanting to drink protein shakes also comes into play. Meals that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates often help with weight loss. If your goal is to use an increased protein intake to lose weight, consuming a higher amount of protein in the short term will likely support the results you’re seeking while avoiding long-term health issues. 

On the other hand, athletes or people who do high-intensity workouts at the gym often need to go against this balance. Professional athletes will often maintain protein consumption while doing carbohydrate loading anywhere from one to three days before a high-intensity activity. That way, they increase the energy-friendly glycogen content in their muscles. 

Understanding Protein Absorption 

Now that you know when to drink your protein shake, it’s equally important to understand how much protein your body can absorb at one time. After all, protein shakes can significantly add to your grocery bill, so you don’t want to be consuming more than you need.

The general belief is that the average healthy young adult can synthesize 20-25 grams of protein at a time. In theory, your body will then use any excess protein for urea and organic acid formation, or oxidize it for energy. However, a study found that while the 20- 5-gram guideline is generally true, the body uses some protein over this threshold for building muscle tissue.

The study recommended eating protein over the course of four meals throughout the day to maximize how much protein your body uses for muscle growth. As of now, the international recommended dietary allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, but it’s unnecessary to consume all of that protein at once; instead, spread it out throughout the day.

FAQs

If you still need some more information about the timing of your protein shakes and other factors involving protein consumption, here are frequently asked questions about protein shakes:

How many protein shakes should I have a day?

You should consume around seven grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight. However, it’s best to use protein shakes as a supplement for consuming protein in addition to getting protein through food. Determine what percentage of your protein you want to consume from shakes and eat protein-rich foods to get the rest.

Is it okay to drink a protein shake on an empty stomach?

For most people, it’s okay to drink a protein shake on an empty stomach. Since your body can easily absorb protein, especially whey, it usually doesn’t lead to issues. 

Nevertheless, we recommend ensuring your protein shake has a balance of carbs and fats if you plan to drink it on an empty stomach and use it as a meal. Otherwise, it’s best to supplement your shake with real food.

Is it okay to drink a protein shake every day?

Yes, it’s okay to drink a protein shake every day. However, it might not be necessary depending on your goals, exercise routine, and the other food you consume.

For example, if you want to drink protein shakes to build muscle mass, consuming them within a couple of hours before or after your workout is beneficial. However, they may not be as necessary—although certainly not harmful—to drink on rest days as long as you’re getting enough daily protein from food.

The Bottom Line

There’s no clear-cut answer for knowing when to drink protein shakes, as the timing of your protein shake consumption depends on your body and your personal goals.

However, as a general rule, people wanting to lose weight should frontload most of their protein consumption throughout the morning. In contrast, people wanting to build muscle mass should consume protein within a couple of hours before or after their workout, which means drinking a protein shake at any time of day.

Regardless, it’s crucial to remember that your body won’t be able to use excessive amounts of protein within a single sitting after about 25 grams. So, it’s best to spread your protein intake throughout the day. Maximize this macronutrient and you’ll be well on your way to a super-strong lifestyle! 

Sources

Should You Drink Protein Shakes on Rest Days?

If you have a dedication to getting fit and building muscle, it will require more than just working out because it also requires a close eye on maintaining nutrition goals. When trying to hit these goals, it’s common to have questions like if you should drink a protein shake on rest days.

The short answer is yes, usually. But for a deeper understanding of why and to learn more about the benefits of protein shakes, keep reading this comprehensive article.

Benefits of Protein

Protein is one of the three macronutrients, which means that the body needs plenty of protein, and protein provides calories. Protein is known for helping build muscle and being a tool for weight loss.

The reason protein is so essential is because it’s in every part of the human body, and it works to build and repair things from muscle to hair. However, before diving into the benefits of protein, it can help to understand a bit more about the structure of a protein.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the components that combine to create proteins. They’re in three different categories:

  • Essential amino acids
  • Nonessential amino acids
  • Conditional amino acids

The human body can only make some of the amino acids that it needs. These are the nonessential amino acids because your body already creates all that is necessary.

Essential amino acids are the ones the human body cannot make, so it’s crucial to get these from outside sources of food or supplements. The essential amino acids are isoleucine, histidine, lysine, tryptophan, valine, phenylalanine, leucine, threonine, and methionine.

Finally, conditional amino acids are necessary only when the body needs to repair itself from illness or injury.

Building Muscle 

Protein might be best known for its ability to help build muscle. When exercising, you’re tearing muscles and forcing them to regrow stronger. They need that protein to regrow.

Multiple studies have tried to figure out if increasing protein helps build muscle. The general conclusion is that increasing protein can help form muscle mass faster, up to a certain point.

Depending on your activity and goals, you’ll want to adjust how much protein you consume. Athletes generally need around 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 100 lbs, you’ll want 50 to 80 grams of protein daily.

Losing Weight

Protein can also be a helpful tool for losing weight. High-protein diets make the metabolism work harder, reduce appetite, and help you feel fuller longer. All of these are important for weight loss and management.

Protein is more complex than carbohydrates or fats, so when the body breaks them down, it can make the body use more calories than other foods. This gets the metabolism working hard and fast throughout the day.

A diet high in protein also tends to make you feel fuller than diets composed of other macronutrients. This is because protein seems to interact with hormones in the body to reduce appetite.

All of these factors are ideal when the goal is weight loss. Protein gets the body going while also stopping the need for snacking.

Sources of Protein

It’s clear that protein is crucial, but building a high-protein diet can still be a difficult task. Take the time to familiarize yourself with protein sources; it can help you plan your diet and figure out how to hit your goals throughout the day.

Protein Shakes and Supplements

Protein shakes and supplements are quick ways to ingest large amounts of protein. While these options have plenty of benefits, there are also a few drawbacks.

First, let’s look at the positives. Protein supplements are any pre-packaged food that boosts protein, and protein shakes are protein powder that mixes with other liquid ingredients. Both options are very convenient, as they’re each quick to purchase and consume.

Protein shakes can be more beneficial than protein supplements. Partially, this is because you can control the amount of protein powder added. They can also be better because they often have fresh ingredients that have their benefits in the meal.

Protein supplements can sometimes be a bit counterintuitive. These pre-packaged options can occasionally have ingredients that aren’t the best for your fitness goals, and while they may work in a pinch, it’s a good idea not to rely on protein supplements.

Now, you may be wondering what the source of protein is for these shakes. There are a few different options, which mostly rely on personal preferences and diet restrictions. Protein that comes from milk includes whey and casein. Plant-based proteins are options like hemp, pea, brown rice, or pumpkin seed.

Whey protein is generally the preferred protein source, as the body quickly absorbs it. It is also a complete protein source, meaning it naturally has all of the amino acids you need.

Plant protein options are great if you’re trying to avoid animal products. However, plant protein options can vary between brands. Only some protein powders will be a mix of plants to provide a complete protein source, and they may have a more intense flavor in the shake than whey or casein options.

Either way, you can find plenty of protein powder options for your shakes and experiment to find the best option for you.

High-protein Foods

Another crucial source of protein is the actual food that you eat. Whole foods provide their nutrients along with protein and generally offer a better source of protein than supplements. Unfortunately, it can be hard to meet protein goals with food alone.

Still, it’s good to hit protein goals with a mix of food and supplements. It’s usually not recommended to get all your protein in a day from supplements, but if you can get it all from food, that’s alright. Find the balance that works best for you.

There are so many food sources of protein it can be hard to list them all, so here are a few of the more common categories:

  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Dairy and meat
  • Eggs

It’s generally better to get your protein from non-animal sources, as eating large amounts of dairy, meat, and eggs can harm cholesterol. Still, as long as you find a good balance, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Should You Drink Protein Shakes on Rest Days?

Whether you should drink protein shakes on non-workout days relies on your personal goals and eating habits. It’s possible to eat enough protein in a day that you’ll never need a protein shake.

But if your goal includes plenty of protein, it can be hard to hit the numbers without the help of protein shakes or supplements. Not only are they convenient, they usually come with the benefits of protein with few calories.

The most important thing to consider is your own protein goals. Whether you should drink a protein shake on rest days will rely on this, it may change depending on the day.

Overall, it’s a good idea to maintain your protein goals on your rest days. It can be crucial for your body that the amount of protein it receives daily is relatively the same, especially if you’re building muscle.

Not only that, but some studies have said that protein on rest days after workouts can help recovery by building muscle and reducing damage.

Of course, it can also help to hit your protein goals if you tend to have a large appetite on rest days. The protein will help stop cravings and keep you better on track for your fitness goals.

Ultimately, it’s your decision. There are many benefits to having protein shakes on rest days, but if you’re getting enough protein in other food, they may be unnecessary.

FAQs

Now that you understand the benefits of protein and the uses of protein shakes, even on rest days, here are a few other frequently asked questions to help you with your fitness journey.

Is it better to drink a protein shake before or after a workout?

Your body must have protein while you work out, but when you get that protein in doesn’t seem to matter much. For the most part, studies have shown that drinking a protein shake before or after won’t make much difference.

Ultimately, all that matters is that you hit your protein goals. When you enjoy your protein depends on your preference.

Do protein shakes make you gain weight?

Yes and no. Protein shakes can help lose weight but occasionally causes weight gain when used carelessly. Additionally, muscle gains will lead to weight gain as muscle weighs more than fat. In that way, protein shakes can increase weight by increasing muscle mass.

Protein shakes help lose weight for a few reasons. However, shakes often include extra sugar and other additives that aren’t healthy in large amounts. So if you rely on protein shakes or consume too many, weight gain can occur.

Additionally, if you add protein shakes to your diet, you should try to balance them with exercise. On rest days, your body will be fine, but if you’re regularly drinking protein shakes without changing your activity level, it may cause weight gain.

For the most part, protein shakes won’t cause unwanted weight gain. Just make sure you’re carefully using these supplements for the best results.

Conclusion

It’s clear that there’s a lot to consider with protein shakes, but ultimately they can be a fantastic tool for reaching your fitness goals. As long as you find a way to balance them, they’ll be a great addition.

Feel free to enjoy your protein shakes on your rest days, and keep working towards your target.

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Fat Protein Efficient

Your body converts food into usable energy through cellular oxidation, or breaking down food. How fast the body does that depends on your metabolism type. There are three types of metabolism: fat-protein efficient, carbohydrate-efficient, and mixed.

Everyone oxidizes food differently, depending on their metabolism, and knowing your type is crucial while creating a diet plan. Factors that determine how fast you metabolize food include:

  • genetic profile
  • body somatotype (inherited body type)
  • lifestyle habits
  • sympathetic nervous system (SNS)

Fast oxidizers are fat-protein efficient and need a percentage of calories from each macronutrient to function appropriately. This article will explain what macronutrients are, how they benefit the body and a diet appropriate for a fat-protein metabolism.

Types of Metabolism

Three types of metabolism determine how a person processes food. Each one has a different macronutrient ratio. Macronutrients consist of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, which contain calories. Protein and carbs contain four calories per gram each, and fats contain nine calories per gram.

1. Fat-Protein Efficient Metabolism

Individuals with fat-protein efficient metabolism oxidize fats and proteins faster than most people.

A fat-protein efficient oxidizer consumes more proteins and fats and less sugary snacks. One problem with that is the potential for nutrient depletion. Vitamin B and magnesium take a hit during the oxidation process.

Signs That You Are Fat-Protein Efficient

You may be fat-protein efficient if you remain hungry and graze all day. You favor salty foods over sweets and stay clear of high-carb choices.

Fast oxidizers are naturally hot, easy to anger, and fail to lose weight.

The difference between fat-protein and carbohydrate-efficient types is the feeling you may have after a meal. If you experience higher energy levels after eating meat but struggle to stay awake after a plate full of spaghetti, you are fat-protein efficient.

2. Carbohydrate-Efficient Metabolism

Carbohydrate-efficient people break down their food slower, meaning they take longer to convert food into energy. Instead of proteins and fats, they seek a diet high in carbohydrates to compensate. Because the body burns carbs faster, people become hungry again, tired, and drink caffeine to stay awake.

Here is a breakdown of calories that slow oxidizers need:

  • 5% to 10% fat
  • 15% to 20% protein
  • 70% to 80% carbs

If you prefer sweets and carbs with a high-glycemic index, such as donuts, bagels, or anything consisting of white flour, and struggle to lose weight, you have a carbohydrate-efficient metabolism.

3. Mixed Metabolism

People with this metabolism type  oxidize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates moderately. They do not crave sweets and carbs as much as someone who is carb-efficient, but they enjoy them along with the proteins.

If you consume too much of any type, you may feel tired. The caloric requirements for a mixed-metabolism are 50% to 55% from carbohydrates, 40% to 45% from protein, and 10% to 15% from fat. Individuals in this group typically do not have problems with their weight.

What Is a Fat-Protein Efficient Diet?

This diet includes high-protein, high-fat, and low-carb choices. Adhering to a fat-protein-efficient diet can be challenging because of the caloric restrictions. The macronutrient ratio for fat-protein metabolism should be 40% fat, 30% protein and 30% carbs.

What Foods Are Part of a Fat-Protein Efficient Diet?

If you struggle with low-carb diets, a fat-protein efficient diet may not be a good option. The fat-protein diet consists of high-fat, high-purine proteins, such as organ meats (chicken and beef livers), chicken, beef, and pork, including bacon, caviar, anchovies, and high-fat dairy products.

Other foods that are ideal for fast oxidizers include: 

  • fatty fish, such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon
  • seeds, nuts, and legumes
  • selective vegetable oils, including olive, avocado, and coconut
  • fruits with low-sugar contents, such as berries, oranges, melons, kiwi, grapefruit, and avocado
  • Low-carb green vegetables, including spinach, broccoli, kale, bell pepper, cauliflower, and mushrooms
  • Whole fat dairy products, such as cheese, butter, cream, and yogurt

Individuals on the fat-protein diet can consume low-starch carbs, such as beans, asparagus, celery, and whole grains.

A fat-protein efficient meal plan should fit anyone who thrives on a keto, paleo, or the Atkins diet because of the protein and fat contents. There are differences in the protein content of those diets, so do your research before starting a fat-protein efficient diet.

Calculating Calories

To calculate how many calories you need to lose from the fat-protein efficient diet, you need to know your Total Daily Energy Expenditure, or TDEE. Three components of TDEE are Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the thermic effect of food, and physical activity.

After you have determined your TDEE, you should be able to calculate the number of calories from each macro to consume. If you are on an 1800 calorie per day plan, multiply 1800 by the percent of calories for each macronutrient.

  • Fats (1800 x 40%) = 720 calories
  • Protein (1800 x 30) =  540 calories
  • Carbs (1800 x 30) = 540 calories

Next, divide those numbers by the calories per gram of each macronutrient. As this article mentioned, proteins and carbs contain four calories/gram while fats have nine.

  • 540/4 = 135 grams of protein and carbs per day
  • 720/9 = 80 grams of fats per day

Now you are ready to plan your fat-protein efficient diet, but be careful about the types of proteins, fats, or carbs you add to meet your daily needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell what type of metabolism I am?

Think about the types of food you like, your appetite, and how you feel after eating a big meal. If you favor protein, you are most likely a fat-protein metabolizer.

Choosing sweets and having difficulty losing weight are characteristics of carbohydrate- efficient individuals. The desire to consume fats, proteins and carbs belongs to the mixed metabolism type.

Can diabetics follow a fat-protein efficient diet?

Individuals with diabetes should not follow this diet because they need leaner meats and a healthy balance of carbs. Those who crave meat can spread the protein throughout the day instead of consuming it all in one meal, allowing them to enjoy their carbs.

What is the difference between fat-protein and keto diets?

Fat-protein diet pertains to how your body uses macronutrients for energy. Most people use this diet to help them lose weight. A Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that uses protein and fats to maintain ketosis, or breaking down fats when there is a lack of carbohydrates.

How many body types are there and what are they?

There are three body types (somatotypes) that vary per skeletal frame and body composition, and everyone fits into one of those categories.

  • Ectomorphs: Most models and basketball players fit into this category. The body is slender, with little to no body fat or muscle. Individuals in this group typically have trouble gaining weight.
  • Endomorphs: The opposite of ectomorphs, individuals in this category have a great deal of body fat but are not necessarily overweight. A lineman football player is a perfect example of this group due to his build and shape. Endomorphs gain weight with ease.
  • Mesomorphs: These individuals are solid, strong athletes who can eat anything and maintain their weight. Gaining and losing weight is simple for them.

A fourth category includes those with a combination of endotherms and ectotherms. Ecto-endomorphs have an upper body that is thin and delicate while dense in the lower half, like a pear. Endo-ectomorphs are apple-shaped individuals with a thick midsection and slender buttocks, thighs, and legs.

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Full-body Workout With Dumbbells

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 23.2% of American adults meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for performing sufficient muscle-strengthening and aerobic activities. 

Whether you fall within the minority of this statistic and want to increase your muscle mass even more, or you’re among the majority of people not getting enough strength training. A dumbbell-only workout can help with your fitness goals.

We’ll share an excellent full-body workout with dumbbells to get you started and explain must-knows about giving your muscles the best chance to repair and grow.

Understanding How Muscle Building Works

Before you build muscle, you must tear muscle fibers so your body can repair them, adding the bulk you want. From a scientific standpoint, this occurs when muscle protein synthesis happens at a faster pace than muscle protein breakdown. 

It just so happens that protein synthesis increases in your body for 2 – 4 hours after a workout. That’s your body’s way of tending to the torn muscle when you exercise, and it’s why working out with dumbbells can be an effective way to build muscle.

Before we recommend a full-body dumbbell workout for mass, keep in mind that you must adhere to the following to maximize the results of your dumbbell workout:

  • Lift heavier weights as you gain strength
  • Allow 1 – 2 rest days between dumbbell training
  • Ensure you’re getting the proper ratio of macro and micronutrients

7-Day Full-body Dumbbell Workout

Dumbbell strength training is attractive to many people because they’re accessible to buy. They take up a relatively small space, and you don’t have to pour money into gym memberships.

Remember that you must have enough dumbbells to perform warmups, which should be about half the weight you can handle during your regular reps. You’ll also need to be on standby to purchase heavier weights than you can currently lift if you don’t already have them in your home.

So, with that established, below is a one-week full-body dumbbell workout for men and women.

Day 1: Bench Presses, Deadlifts, and More

When choosing your starting weights for the exercises below, it’s essential to select the heaviest dumbbells you can manage while still completing the full set of reps. Reps are the number of times you’ll repeat an exercise before resting. Every group of reps counts as a set. 

So, follow the six exercises below, which we’ve broken down according to sets.

4 Sets Each Of:

  • Standing dumbbell press (6 – 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell bench press (6 – 8 reps)
  • One-arm dumbbell row (6 – 8 reps)
  • Stiff-legged dumbbell row (15 – 20 reps)

3 Sets Each Of:

  • Dumbbell bicep curl (8 – 12 reps)
  • Dumbbell one-arm triceps extension (8 – 23 reps)

Note that the stiff-legged dumbbell deadlift involves significantly more reps than the other exercises. That’s because, for most people, dumbbells aren’t heavy enough to be effective for this exercise, meaning that you’ll need more reps to tire your muscles.

Day 2: Growth Day

You should always include a minimum of one day of rest between full-body dumbbell workouts (or any strength training exercises, for that matter). According to the University of Colorado Boulder, it’s better to call these “growth” days rather than “rest” days.

Muscles rebuild and grow during periods of rest. Completing a full-body dumbbell workout every day will cause muscle tissue to break down constantly. Avoiding rest will prevent muscle growth.

Day 3: Hamstring Curls, Flyes, and More

With your muscles having time to recover, grab your dumbbells and perform the following exercises. 

4 Sets Each Of:

  • Straight-arm dumbbell pull-over (6 – 8 reps)
  • Side laterals to front raise (6 – 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell flyes (6 – 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell hamstring curl (15 – 20 reps)

3 Sets Each Of:

  • Alternate hammer curl (8 – 12 reps)
  • Tricep dumbbell kickback (8 – 12 reps)

As with stiff-legged dumbbell rows, you’ll need to perform more hamstring curls since dumbbells often don’t weigh enough to make shorter reps effective.

Day 4: Growth Day

Give your muscles another opportunity to rest. Meanwhile, reflect on this: Did you know that allowing 3 – 5 minutes between sets on your lifting days can improve strength?

The study that discovered these stats concluded that long rests allow you to perform each set with more intensity and volume.

Day 5: Squats, Arnold Press, and More

You’re about to complete your last round of dumbbell exercises for the week. If you think three days per week isn’t enough to build muscle, consider this: research shows that training at least twice a week has better hypertrophic results (muscle growth), and they infer that training three times a week could maximize it.

4 Sets Each Of:

  • Incline dumbbell press (6 – 8 reps)
  • Bent over two-dumbbell row (6 – 8 reps)
  • Arnold Press (6 – 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell goblet squat (15 – 20 reps)

3 Sets Each Of:

  • Concentration curls (8 – 12 reps)
  • Seated triceps press (8 – 12 reps)

Day 6: Growth Day

Yet another crucial time to let your muscles repair. However, you’re welcome to do some aerobic activity on your growth days. 

That said, we recommend allowing at least six hours between your dumbbell workouts and aerobic exercises. Researchers found that the quality of training decreases if you try doing heart rate rising exercise shortly after lifting weights.

Day 7: Growth Day

It doesn’t matter when you pair this second back-to-back growth day with any of the other growth days we listed here. The important part is that you include two consecutive days of dumbbell training rest.

Giving yourself two days off before you embark on a new week of dumbbell strength training is an excellent choice. You can reset and prepare to lift heavier weights.

How Often To Increase Dumbbell Weights

The frequency you increase the weight of your dumbbells will depend on your progress. Programs like the 5×5 by StrongLifts encourage people to increase their weights by five pounds (2.5 pounds per side) for every new day they exercise until they can’t add any more weight. 

However, this can feel too aggressive for some. Increasing the weight of your dumbbells by 2.5 pounds isn’t as easy as doing so with a barbell. So, we encourage you to try to increase the weight you lift every week. Remember, lifting heavier dumbbells is crucial for adding new muscle mass.

FAQs

If you still have questions about doing a full-body workout with dumbbells, we’re here to help.

Can you build muscle with dumbbells only?

Yes, you can build muscle using only dumbbells. The trick is to always add weight to how much you lift.

What size dumbbells should I start with?

The dumbbell size you start with depends on your current strength and gender. But for people with no prior training, we recommend 5 – 10-pound dumbbells for women and 10 – 20-pound dumbbells for men.  

Is it okay to use dumbbells every day?

You shouldn’t use dumbbells every day if you’re doing a full-body workout because your muscles need time to rest. However, if you alternate using specific muscle groups on different days of the week, it’s okay to use dumbbells daily.

Maximizing Your Full-body Workout With Dumbbells

By following the strategies above, you can expect to notice an improvement in your muscle strength within weeks. However, you must give your body time to rest between workouts and provide enough nutrients for muscle repair.

Research shows that consuming protein powder within one hour post-workout can improve physical performance and facilitate the recovery process. Scientists have also found that creatine powder can improve muscle mass by boosting endurance. So, these can be excellent supplements to pair with your full-body dumbbell workout routine.

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Creatine Monohydrate vs HCL- The Best One to Use

Are you working hard at the gym and eating healthy but not seeing the muscle growth you want? If you’re comparing your performance to fellow gym-goers, it could be because they’re supplementing with creatine.

Creatine has been proven in countless studies to increase athletic endurance and make your muscles seemly grow faster due to water retention. We won’t go so far as to call it a miracle supplement, but it can feel that way for some.

If you’re ready to hop aboard the creatine train, it’s essential to do your due diligence, as several forms of creatine exist on the market. So, we’ll explore the differences between creatine monohydrate vs HCL, which are the two most popular creatine varieties. 

What Is Creatine Monohydrate?

Creatine monohydrate is a compound that contains a single molecule of water. Although the word “creatine” is new to many people, it’s a naturally occurring amino acid produced by the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. 

You can also get creatine by eating red meat and seafood. Nevertheless, you can experience improved athletic performance and cognitive health benefits by supplementing with synthetic creatine.   

Creatine monohydrate is the most popular and most widely studied type of creatine. It has no side effects, and studies show it can help athletes and casual exercisers alike manage heavier training loads. 

What Is Creatine HCL?

In scientific terms, creatine hydrochloride (HCL) is a human-made compound that combines a creatine molecule with a hydrochloric acid group. 

Whereas Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered naturally occurring creatine in 1832, it wasn’t until 2003 that scientists accidentally stumbled upon creatine HCL.

As a result, scientists have performed fewer studies on creatine HCL than on monohydrate. Nevertheless, it’s generally believed that HCL is the best type of creatine for people who want to avoid the bloating effects that creatine monohydrate can sometimes cause.

Differences Between Creatine Monohydrate and HCL

Aside from the chemical composition difference between creatine HCL vs. monohydrate, below are some areas where these creatine types differ the most.

Creatine monohydrate has the following qualities:

  • Cheaper price
  • Doing a loading cycle is ideal
  • Doesn’t dissolve as well in water
  • Higher water retention, which can lead to bloat
  • Scientifically proven to be safe for long-term use

Creatine HCL has the following qualities:

  • Faster absorption
  • You can take a lower dose
  • May result in quicker strength gains
  • Doesn’t always pair well with caffeine
  • It isn’t necessary to perform a loading cycle

A loading cycle refers to increasing the amount of creatine monohydrate you take by four times or more for one week or less. That helps the creatine get into your muscles faster. 

However, this loading cycle doesn’t appear necessary for creatine HCL, given that it’s more water-absorbent and therefore arrives in your muscles more efficiently.

Similarities Between Creatine Monohydrate and HCL

Despite their differences, creatine monohydrate and HCL appear to offer similar bottom lines for people looking to improve their fitness and muscle tone. 

Both types of creatine share the following qualities:

  • Increased recovery rates
  • Ability to achieve results faster
  • Improves body mass and muscle definition
  • Reduces how quickly you feel fatigued when exercising

Furthermore, although creatine HCL is more water-absorbent, that’s not to say that creatine monohydrate will leave you with a gritty drink. Creatine monohydrate dissolves in water, but it falls out of the solution fast. So, check the bottom of your glass to ensure you don’t leave any behind.

Which Creatine Is Safer?

If one of your primary purposes for comparing creatine monohydrate vs HCL is health reasons, you’ll be happy to know that both appear safe to use. However, since scientists have run more studies on creatine monohydrate, many feel more comfortable calling this the safest creatine.

For example, a study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition indicated that there’s “no compelling scientific evidence” suggesting that consuming creatine monohydrate in the short or long term will have negative health consequences for healthy individuals. 

The study wasn’t conservative on the amount of creatine monohydrate that participants used, either. They said people could consume as much as 30 grams of creatine per day. Given that the higher dosage recommendation for creatine during non-loading periods is around five grams per day, you should be able to feel at ease consuming creatine monohydrate.

Other studies show that even with adolescent athletes, a population that researchers formerly avoided, creatine supplementation is “well-tolerated” and has “no reported adverse events.”

So, when it comes down to it, although scientists have done more research on the safety of creatine monohydrate, there’s no evidence to date that suggests creatine of any type, including HCL, is dangerous to the average individual. 

The Best Way To Supplement Creatine

As a new creatine user, the best supplement method depends on whether you choose creatine monohydrate or HCL. We recommend following the instructions on your creatine supplement or consulting with your doctor or trainer for exact dosage advice.

However, generally speaking, it’s common to consume ¼ teaspoon of creatine HCL and five grams of creatine monohydrate per day. You can get away with taking less HCL because it’s more soluble, allowing the body to absorb it more easily.

That said, you can do a creatine monohydrate loading phase to help increase the creatine build-up in your muscles. That said, this strategy simply boosts your muscles’ creatine levels faster. You’ll eventually arrive at this state by skipping the loading phase and taking a smaller daily dose of creatine.

Because creatine HCL is so soluble, there’s no need to perform a loading phase with it.

Should You Take Creatine With Food?

Creatine monohydrate and HCL come in a powder form that you’ll mix with liquid. Some people insist that you should take creatine with carbohydrates, as a 1996 study suggested that it improved skeletal muscle creatine accumulation. 

Nevertheless, other studies, such as a 2016 study on consuming carbohydrates or cinnamon extract with creatine, indicate no additional benefits. 

The bottom line is that whether you choose to take creatine monohydrate or HCL with or without food, you’ll still receive this supplement’s endurance, muscle-building, and recovery benefits.

Other Creatine Options

Although creatine monohydrate and HCL are the most popular creatine varieties, there are others you can take instead. 

Some of the other forms of creatine include:

  • Liquid creatine
  • Creatine malate
  • Creatine citrate
  • Buffered creatine
  • Creatine ethyl ester
  • Creatine magnesium chelate

Each of these creatine varieties has its supposed benefits. For example, liquid creatine can come in any creatine variety and the idea is that it’s supposed to be more convenient, already being in a drink you can pull out of your fridge. However, a study on cyclists showed that powder creatine has more performance-enhancing effects.

In contrast, the malic acid in creatine malate may help you improve your stamina, whereas creatine citrate offers even better water absorption than HCL, though it may not allow the body to absorb it any better.

However buffered creatine may help with absorption since it helps prevent how much creatine breaks down in the stomach. On the other hand, creatine ethyl ester may absorb better in fat, but it could ultimately damage your kidneys. 

Finally, since it reduces water retention, creatine magnesium chelate could be a good fit for people concerned about the bloating that creatine monohydrate can sometimes cause. However, creatine HCL and all the other creatines on this list, researchers haven’t studied them as well as creatine monohydrate. 

FAQs

We’ve answered some common questions below to help grasp the differences between creatine monohydrate and HCL.  

Which creatine is best for muscle growth?

All creatine should support muscle growth, given that it helps increase endurance, meaning you can train for longer and with heavier weights. Creatine also has water retention properties, particularly the monohydrate variety, which will make your muscles appear larger.

That said, researchers have performed more studies on creatine monohydrate than any other form of creatine, so this is a near-guarantee type of creatine for muscle growth. For example, participants taking creatine monohydrate increased their bench press workload by 18 pounds in just four weeks. 

How much creatine HCL is equal to monohydrate?

Creatine HCL absorbs better in the body, so you typically only need ¼ teaspoon of it to achieve the same results as 3 – 5 grams of creatine monohydrate.

Why shouldn’t you take creatine HCL or monohydrate?

You should speak with your doctor before taking creatine HCL or monohydrate if you have kidney or liver issues. A small percentage of the population has reported kidney stones and liver damage issues when taking creatine. 

Are You Ready To Increase Your Weightlifting Performance?

Although there are notable differences when comparing creatine monohydrate vs HCL, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a scientist discouraging either of these supplements as a way to improve athletic performance and increase muscle mass.

So, regardless of the type of creatine you end up choosing, you can expect to see results as long as you stick with a workout plan and healthy eating regimen. 

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