I've heard that adults should eat at least 30g of protein at each of 3 meals for optimal muscle maintenance. The theory goes, that your body can't store protein, so if you go too long with out it, your body will recycle muscle
For those of you who intermittently fast, how do you follow this recommendation? I know many IFers only eat 2 meals a day. Do you just pay no mind to this "constant need for protein"?
I ask, because i have found myself to be spontaneously skipping meals, or eating very sparingly for breakfast because i just don't feel hungry.
I threw everything I thought I knew about protein instake out the window. Things such as X# of grams per pound of bodyweight, only absorb this much per session, etc. I follow the LeanGains approach daily and often throw in a 24 hour fast once every couple of weeks or so. I am currently 5'10 193 LBS. I lift heavy (fasted), do HIIT several times a week and throw in some light cardio on rest days (it's relaxing and meditative for me). At first I was really scared to lower protein intake because of a muscle loss fear and what I've lived by for so long. If I didn't get over 200g of protein per day I was completely stressed out. Now, I typically consume 100-130g protein per day split between two meals. Fat intake is probably 60-70% of my total caloric intake in the form of grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and grass-fed animal fat(organ meat, pemmican, etc.). My personal results have been increased strength and muscle mass, fat loss, and less stress about food consumption. Here is an article that has some before and after pictures to alleviate fears of not putting on muscle eating this way. If you have more in-depth questions, I'll be more than happy to go into more detail.
Remember everyone is different, the only way to know what works for YOU is experiment! The joy of self-discovery is a cool thing, don't be afraid to try it!
Rule of thumb is 1-1.5g protein per pound lean body mass for maintenance. Your body does not care whether this comes all in one meal or in two or three or seventeen.
That being said, there appears to be an upper limit of what you can absorb at a time which is regulated by the number of transporters you have (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amino_acid_transporter) which is highly individualistic but appears to be in the 5-15g of protein per hour range. Food typically takes 3-4 hours to digest protein you can absorb 15-60g of protein at a time with most people in the 30-45g range.
However, protein, and especially protein consumed with fat will slow down digestion via a cholecystokinin antagonist which may enable someone to absorb more protein.
I am always amazed when I learn how many different ways "paleo" style foods (i.e. fat) actually improve how the body functions with certain nutrients.