What Happens To The Protein You Eat?

When you consume a balanced meal, of the dietary protein that is broken down to the amino acid sub-units, around 90% is absorbed by the gut. It is thought that 30–50% will be used by the intestine to maintain its own structure and integrity, and the remainder (40-60%) is released into the portal system (general circulation) to be used by the organs and muscles.

It is suggested that an excess of protein could potentially lead to a reduction in total gut absorption, consequently reducing the percentage of protein absorbed into the body…basically you’d excrete more when nature calls!


Gabriella, A, M., Have, T., Marielle, P, K, J., Engelen., Yvette, C. L., Nicolaas, E, P, D. (2007). Absorption Kinetics of Amino Acids, Peptides, and Intact Proteins. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.S23-S36.

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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