Protein Absorption Rate Chart

Protein absorption is the process of your body’s ability to break down the animal or plant protein sources you take. In adults, the protein is usually absorbed as amino acids, which occur in the small intestine. These amino acids then help your body make the proteins essential for everyday living. 

As you know protein is an integral component of the body, it takes more time for absorption than other compounds such as fats. The absorption rate of the proteins in the adult body is around 20-25 grams per hour. This number is average for healthy adults. 

The absorption rate of foods also depends upon the individual’s health, diet, and other factors. Since protein comes from different sources including plant and animal protein, it’s vital for the absorption process in the small intestine.

To understand the absorption rates, you can look at the protein absorption rate chart given below;

Protein absorption rate chart
FoodsProtein absorption rateTime
Whey protein 10 grams1-hour
isolate8-10 grams1-hour
pea3.5 grams1-hour
Brown rice4 grams1-hour
egg 1.4 grams1-hour
Casein protein powder6.1 grams1-hour
soybean 3.9 grams1-hour
Chicken 2.04 grams1-hour
Collagen powder1.6 grams1-hour
milk 3.5 grams1-hour
beef 2 grams1-hour

What Is The Science Behind Protein Absorption Rate

Protein absorption is the process that happens in your small intestine, which contains microvilli. These tiny finger-shaped microvilli increase the small intestine’s porous surface area, allowing for most absorption of amino acids and other nutrients. 

The absorption process begins in your mouth as soon as you start eating. The enzymes in your saliva start breaking down the food. These enzymes are responsible for breaking down carbohydrates and fats. Once a protein reaches your stomach, the enzymes break it down into amino acids. 

Then these smaller chains of amino acids move to the small intestine, where they get absorbed. After the absorption, the amino acids get released into your bloodstream which takes them to cells in your body so they can start repairing tissue and build muscles. 

Moreover, the most frequently asked question is how much protein your body can absorb daily. Well, the answer to such a question is there is no limit for your body to absorb protein. If the protein level in your body increases, it doesn’t affect your health. 

It converts to glucose and many other components that help your body get energy. This process is such a complex one. Thus, it takes more time to absorb proteins as well.

FoodProtein absorption rateTime
whey protein 10 grams1-hour
Egg raw1.3 grams1-hour
egg cooked2.8 grams1-hour

Protein Absorption Rates Myth

Most people have some misconceptions about body protein absorption rates. People think they know many things and create falsities about something without knowing about reality.

The same is valid with protein absorption rates; some myths are popular. Let’s discuss those myths and try to learn about the facts.

Some of the popular myths about protein absorption are as follows:

  • The 30-gram Protein Myth: According to this myth, the protein absorption limit of the body is thirty grams of protein in a single sitting. Single sitting means Protein absorption rate per hour. Let’s get to the reality that this myth is a misconception people have made. 

These myths get stuck in people’s minds from supplement companies. These gym advertisements have kept these myths alive for a long time now. The reality is that the body can absorb more than 30 grams in a sitting. 

Studies over 8-10 years show that a human body can absorb 20- 40 grams of high-quality protein in a single sitting.

This means if you eat a steak consisting of 70 grams of protein, your body will absorb pretty much of it. But this doesn’t mean that your body will waste the rest of the protein. 

The remaining amino acids that are not digested will get released into your bloodstream and might help break down the muscle protein.

Your body will convert the remaining amino acids to glucose for energy. All in all, if the protein intake is over 30 grams, it will get absorbed anyways. 

Hence, these facts prove the 30-gram myth wrong.

FoodProtein absorption rateTime
whey protein 10 grams1-hour
isolate8-10 grams1-hour
pea3.5 grams1-hour

Plant Protein Absorption Rate

Plant protein is an essential protein source for people who are health-conscious and try to avoid meat. For such people, plant protein is the only way to get protein as it is an essential component of the body.

Now the absorption rate of these kinds of proteins is slightly longer than those of animal proteins. 

This difference in the absorption rate is a slight one, but still, Plant proteins take longer to get absorbed than meat ones. This difference might be due to the diverse nature of plant proteins. 

FoodProtein absorption rateTime
Soy protein3.9 grams1-hour
Pea flour2.4 grams1-hour
pea3.5 grams1-hour

Also read: Dal Protein Comparison Guide

Animal Protein Absorption Rate

Recent studies show that animal protein has a digestion rate of 95%.  Plant protein has this digestibility percentage down to 45-80 %.

This equation indicates that animal proteins are easy to absorb, meaning that your body can absorb more of what it needs from animal proteins than those plant proteins. 

Animal proteins can also provide the daily need for essential amino acids more than plant proteins. You can get a better understanding of the equations by having a glance at the protein absorption rate chart.

FoodProtein absorption rateTime
beef2.04 grams1-hour
chicken2 grams1-hour

Also read: Protein content in Animal meat

Does Your Body Have A Limit On Protein Absorption Rate

People do ask many questions, such as how long it takes between meals to absorb protein. To know the limit of the protein absorption rate of our body. The answer can be or is that there is no limit for the body to absorb protein.

The more you eat protein it will get soaked, but the thing that is of concern is that it will take longer to digest. 

Thus you can say that the protein absorption rate of our body is limitless.

FoodProtein absorption rateTime
whey protein 10 grams1-hour
isolate8-10 grams1-hour
pea3.5 grams1-hour

Also read: Protein in Seafood


Protein is a vital nutrient for almost every part of our body. It digests in your mouth; The bloodstream absorbs the small intestine from the amino acids created by the proteins. These amino acids begin to build muscles and repair tissues. 

Furthermore, protein digestion and absorption rate depend upon your diet, how you swallow food, and many other habits of your daily life. To sum up, these rates can be quicker in some people and slower in others, depending on the individual’s lifestyle.