Industrial heat treatment of milk results in protein glycation. A high protein glycation level has been suggested to compromise the post-prandial rise in plasma amino acid availability following protein ingestion. In the present study, we assessed the impact of glycation level of milk protein on post-prandial plasma amino acid responses in humans. Fifteen healthy, young men (age 26 (SEM 1) years, BMI 24 (SEM 1) kg/m2) participated in this randomised cross-over study and ingested milk protein powder with protein glycation levels of 3, 20 and 50 % blocked lysine. On each trial day, arterialised blood samples were collected at regular intervals during a 6-h post-prandial period to assess plasma amino acid concentrations using ultra-performance liquid chromatography. Plasma essential amino acid (EAA) concentrations increased following milk protein ingestion, with the 20 and 50 % glycated milk proteins showing lower overall EAA responses compared with the 3 % glycated milk protein (161 (SEM 7) and 142 (SEM 7) v. 178 (SEM 9) mmol/l × 6 h, respectively; P ≤ 0·011). The lower post-prandial plasma amino acid responses were fully attributed to an attenuated post-prandial rise in circulating plasma lysine concentrations. Plasma lysine responses (incremental AUC) following ingestion of the 20 and 50 % glycated milk proteins were 35 (SEM 4) and 92 (SEM 2) % lower compared with the 3 % glycated milk protein (21·3 (SEM 1·4) and 2·8 (SEM 0·7) v. 33·3 (SEM 1·7) mmol/l × 6 h, respectively; P < 0·001). Milk protein glycation lowers post-prandial plasma lysine availability in humans. The lower post-prandial availability of lysine following ingestion of proteins with a high glycation level may compromise the anabolic properties of a protein source.