Body Not Absorbing Protein? Try This and Get More Out of Your Protein

By | December 14, 2015

When people think ofproteinabsorption building more muscle they often overlook protein absorption. In order to build muscle your
body needs to synthesize more protein in the muscles than it breaks down; so your body not absorbing protein in the first place is detrimental. The body must have enough protein available to synthesize for optimal gains.

But did you know that your body may be absorbing a substantailly lesser amount than you are consuming? Due to the inhibibion of endogenous digestive enzymes from over-processing of proteins and a short intestine transit time, you could only be absorbing 15g of protein for every 50g consumed (1). Thats only 30% absorption!

The processing that happens during the manufacturing of protein powders, such as pressurized microfiltration

increase chart

  Protein Absorption

and dry spraying, make it more difficult for the body to break down the protein into its individual amino acids. Protein must be broken down into these individual amino acids in order to be absorbed. So the processes used can actually hinder your body’s ability to absorb and make use of the protein consumed.

This is where Aminogen® comes into play. Aminogen® is a mixture of the digestive proteases (enzymes), Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. These two enzymes have the ability to break down proteins into their individual amino acids. This leads to easier and more absorption. Some high quality protein powders actually have Aminogen® added to them for better results.

Study of Aminogen®’s Power to Increase Protein Absorption

In a modern study of Aminogen®, Julius Oben et al. conducted a study which was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The study tested the absorption of whey protein concentrate (commonly used) with and without the supplementation of Aminogen®.

How it Was Conducted

In the study two groups of healthy male test subjects, aging 19 – 35 years old, were used. To begin each test subject consumed 50g of whey protein concentrate first thing in the morning without any Aminogen®. Following the 9 days each group then consumed 50g of whey protein concentrate first thing in the morning with 2.5 to 5 grams of Aminogen®. Each person acted as their own control and test subject. So there could not be any error due to different body’s digestion abilities.

During each part of the study the subjects’ blood was tested for amino acid (AA) and CRP (C-reactive protein) analyses at 0 hr, 0.5 hr, 1 hr, 2 hr, 3 hr, 3.5 hr and 4 hr. Eighteen amino acids were measured including alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine.

Urine samples were tested every 24 hours to measure N2 levels. N2 excretion is used to determine the amount of protein eliminated by the body.

With the measurement of N2 levels and the measurement of serum levels of the listed amino acids, the amount of protein absorption was able to be determined.


The results of the experiment showed that the protein absorption was significantly higher with the supplementation of Aminogen®. This is able to be seen by looking at the amount of N2 excretion, which is the amount of protein being eliminated by the body. This study showed a significant decrease in average N2 excretion in the test subjects who supplemented with Aminogen®  of 7.3 g compared to a much higher 10.18 g in the test subjects who only took whey protein concentrate.  This is equivalent to approximately 44.6 g and 63.6 g of protein waste, respectively (1). So as you see the group who supplemented Aminogen® had nearly 20g less protein eliminated from the body. In theory that means they had about 20g more protein absorbed by the body.

Besides measuring N2 levels there were also several other analysis techniques used to support this finding.

Don’t Buy Cheap Protein Supplements

If you are buying cheap protein supplements, chances are the processing techniques used to manufacture the protein is inhibiting your body’s ability to absorb and make use of the protein. You might be better off buying a quality protein, that has Aminogen® added to it, and using less of it than you would a cheap protein supplement.

Whats the point of buying cheap protein if your body isn’t going to use a large portion of it? Answer: There is no point. Protein supplements are not created equal. You often get what you pay for.


Comments? Questions? Write in the comment section below.



(1)Julius Oben, Shil C Kothari, and Mark L Anderson. An open label study to determine the effects of an oral proteolytic enzyme system on whey protein concentrate metabolism in healthy malesJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5:10

Click Here to See Study

10 thoughts on “Body Not Absorbing Protein? Try This and Get More Out of Your Protein

  1. Yvette

    Hi Kyle,
    I really enjoyed this article as I have a ton of questions about protein. As a girl, I don’t want to build bulk, but I also don’t want to lose muscle.
    I have a almost totally bung digestive system. I have pernicious aneamia which prohibits the natural absorbtion of many nutrients through my stomach lining, and issues with tons of foods such as gluten, dairy, citrus, some nuts, banana’s… It’s a mine field! Ha. I tend to eat a really clean diet of chicken, fish, veg and eggs. But wonder whether I’m making it harder for my body eating protein? I mean..there’s not much left if I don’t! 😛
    When I’m being good I do shakes with hemp or pea protein.
    Appreciate your thoughts!

    1. Kyle Post author

      I wish you the best of luck. That sounds like quite a lot to deal with. I’m curious as to what you mean shakes with hemp??

  2. conner goff

    As a husky dude who used to be skinny in high school, I’ve been trying and trying to lose weight, yet still retain muscle. I’ve often been told to eat protein, but never understood particularly why that is. Your article actually answered quite a few questions I had about protein, and also gave me some great advice should I ever get REALLY serious about working out (lifting heavy weights, building muscle bulk, etc) and decide to purchase protein powder. Now that I’m in the know, I won’t be buying any of those cheap powders, despite the extra expense…after all, health is more important than a slightly lighter wallet!

    Great article, keep up the good work!

    — Conner

  3. Emily

    hi Kyle
    Well this is news to me! I sort of thought that all protein supplements were created equal! I guess not after reading this article. I had never heard of Aminogen but it does seem to make a difference in how protein is absorbed. It is very convenient that they sell protein powder with Aminogen directly in it. The study showed an increase in protein absorption but did it say a percentage or anything measurable amount?

    1. Kyle Post author

      It didn’t give an amount of protein absorption. But it did give information on N2 excretion, which measures the protein eliminated by the body. The group who supplemented Aminogen averaged 7.3g N2 excretion, while the group that supplemented only whey protein excreted 10.18g N2. This N2 excretion is approximately equivalent to 44.6g and 63.6g of protein, respectively. So as you see the group who supplemented Aminogen had nearly 20g less protein eliminated from the body. In theory that means about 20g more protein absorbed by the body.

  4. Frank Lategano

    I’ve always been a little skeptical of protein supplements, and how effective they really are.

    I just recently read a health and fitness blog where the author suggested a protein shake for breakfast, specifically whey protein. I’m going to try it. Your post made me think more about it. Is Aminogen listed as an ingredient, or it it a specific brand?

    Good information here!

    1. Kyle Post author

      Yes Aminogen is listed as an ingredient. It is a patented blend of the 2 digestive proteases, Aspergillus niger and aspergillus oryzae. You can check out Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard whey protein. It has Aminogen in it.

  5. Lee Zhi Wei

    Hi Kyle,

    I always have much problem gaining mass & Im only weighing at 50kg (I’m a 25 year old guy). I am naturally skinnier than most my age.

    My metabolism rate is way too high & any consumption in the morning will just end up in the toilet 5minutes later. I tend to eat lots of fish & vegetable but avoids beef due to religion. Any tips on gaining mass fast without the use of shakes?

    Zhi Wei

    1. Kyle Post author

      I would suggest adding more healthy carbs to your diet. Carbs aren’t all bad and they affect people differently. Personally I put on muscle mass much more easily with a very high amount of carbs. Right now I’m eating about 350+ grams of carbs a day (I weigh 200lbs) and I stay pretty lean due to a fast metabolism. This might work for you too. The only way to find out is to try.


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