Most of us know the importance of protein. It’s vital for everything from muscle recovery to hair health. But can there be too much of a good thing in one go? Here’s what research tells us:

How much protein builds muscle?

The primary reason many of us prioritize protein is to keep our muscles strong and to aid recovery, a process called Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS). A study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found MPS to peak with a dose of 20-25 grams of protein. More doesn’t necessarily translate to better muscle growth.

How much protein can we digest in a sitting?

According to research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, proteins like whey digest at a rate of around 8-10 grams an hour. Pushing beyond can strain our digestive system – and perhaps explain why we can feel bloated after a 20 gram protein shake.

How does menopause affect my experience with protein?

Menopause is associated with decreases in skeletal muscle mass and strength1, so it’s extra important for women in all stages (peri, during, and post) get our protein. The hormonal changes we’re going through often affect digestion, generally leading to increased bloating and discomfort. Protein powders or meals heavy in protein can challenge our digestive system (that’s why you feel satisfied longer - the protein is keeping your digestive system busy for more time after a meal). For that reason, XO Jacqui Strong x Vital Protein Powders use brown rice protein; we’ve found it to be the easiest on our digestive systems.