Protein intake is often a confusing issue with PD. Levodopa is absorbed in the same part of your gut as protein, meaning there can be a competition from protein in foods that you eat. It can decrease the absorption of levadopa if eaten too close to medication time; however, protein is also important for our body to work properly.
A good rule is that you can take your medication an hour before eating or wait 30-60 minutes after you have eaten.
This schedule can help to give you an idea of how to spread out your meals and medication:
6:00 am medication with large glass of water
7:00 am breakfast with 20-25 grams of protein with large glass of water
12:00 noon lunch with 20-25 grams of protein with large glass of water
2:30 pm medication with large glass of water
6:00 pm dinner with 20-25 grams of protein with large glass of water
8:30 pm medication with large glass of water
Click here for a list of the protein content of common foods.
If taking your medication without food causes nausea, try having it with a piece of dry toast or crackers.
Another strategy is saving your protein towards the end of the day. You may try this if you noticed that your medication wears off quickly following meals. This can help you use the positive of effects of the medication during the day when you need it the most.