Here’s Exactly How Much Protein You Should Eat For Muscle Gain And Weight Loss
Regardless of your goal the answer is simple: 30 grams of protein at every meal.
A 180-pound guy who wants to maintain his current weight would need 100 to 130 grams, or six palm-sized portions of protein-rich foods, every day. Thats about 30 grams at each meal and an additional 10 to 20 grams in two snacks. Chicken breast is great, but so are chicken thighs, tofu, salmon, pork, shellfish, whitefish, lamb, tempeh, and much more.
And don’t forget that a heaping scoop of most protein powders will net you around 30 grams of the nutrient.
Within the larger picture of your daily diet, that means youll want to consume 30 percent of your daily 2,600 calories from protein.
And, yes, that includes plant proteins.
If you’re trying to reduce the amount of meat youre eating, you need to swap in a high-protein plant food.
Some plant foods that are high in protein: soybeans , quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, any kind of nut, peas, any kind of bean, and seitan. You can use an app to track your nutrient intake, or you can simply aim for a palm-sized portion of whatever protein youre including in your meal.
Also, be careful with snacking. Youll find some protein products on the market that contain a measly four grams per serving, along with an abundance of added sugars.
Why We Need Protein
Before we get into the details of what protein is, let’s get motivated by appreciating what protein does. Our bodies use protein to build just about everything. Skin, hair, muscles, organs, even the hemoglobin in your blood is made of protein.
And the list goes on: The enzymes that break down food and spark chemical reactions in the body are proteins. Our immune systems depend on protein to make antibodies. Protein molecules aid the transfer of messages between the neurotransmitters in our brains. And many hormones, including insulin and other metabolism-regulating hormones, are proteins as well.
If you’re thinking, where’s the protein? Let me at it. But before we go there, we should sneak in a little bit of science about what protein actually is. Protein molecules are made of smaller molecules called amino acids. There are twenty naturally occurring amino acids. Some names you might be familiar with are lysine, glutamine, and tryptophan. When you eat foods that contain protein, your body breaks those proteins down and reassembles the amino acids to create the protein structures it wants to make.
The human body can synthesize eleven of the amino acids it needs. However, nine amino acids are called essential amino acids because they must be taken in from food.
When a single food provides all nine essential amino acids, it is called a complete protein.
Protein Calculator: How Much Protein Do I Need
Determining how much protein to eat per day is important for any lifter, athlete, or person, period! Here’s the number to aim for to build muscle, lose weight, and support your exercise goals.
The amount of protein you need depends on a number of factors, including your weight, age, goals, and activity level. The daily minimum recommended by the National Institutes of Health is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight for a sedentary person. However, if you do intense workouts, have a physically demanding job, or both, experts say you may need moreâperhaps as much as double.
This calculator will tell you how much protein to eat each day based on your specific body and lifestyle. Dial in this nutritional priority to take control of your nutrition and nail your goals!
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Where Does Protein Come From
Protein comes from animal and plant sources.
Animal sources, including chicken, beef, fish, or dairy products, contain all the essential amino acids and are high quality or complete protein sources.
Plant proteins, including beans, lentils, and whole grains, are incomplete proteins. Although they may not contain all the amino acids, they are still valuable protein sources.
Soy products derive from soya beans. They include edamame, meat alternatives, and tofu and contain essential amino acids, making them high quality, complete protein sources.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 , adults over 19 years should get 10-35% of their total daily calorie intake from high quality protein sources. Children ages 418 should consume 10-30% of their total calorie intake as protein.
One gram of protein contains around 4 calories. A person who eats 2,000 calories daily and gets 20% of their calories from protein would consume 100 g of protein, totaling 400 calories.
What Makes The Promix Protein Calculator Unique
The Promix Protein Calculator was designed by Albert Matheny, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S. Albert is a Registered Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist, and Founder + Owner of SoHo Strength Lab in New York City . For the past ten years, Albert has worked with athletes and clients of all ability levels to improve their nutrition and training.
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How Much Protein Does Our Body Needs
If you are not in any physical training or workout, your protein intake should be lower than those in the regular workout zone. According to experts, men are required to consume about 56 grams of protein while women require 46grams of protein daily to meet their daily protein needs.
Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Lactating Women
As with pregnancy, there is little research investigating how lactation and breastfeeding affect protein requirements. Women produce a wide range of breast milk volumes, regardless of their energy status . The infants demands appear to be the primary regulator of milk production.
Based simply on adult protein requirements plus the protein output in breast milk, the RDA for lactating women was set at 1.3 g/kg. However, one study reported that half of the lactating women consuming 1.5 g/kg were in negative nitrogen balance, while another study suggested that 1.01.5 g/kg leads to a rapid downregulation of protein turnover suggestive of an adaptive response to insufficient intake.
Considering the lack of data on the effects of a protein intake greater than 1.5 g/kg in lactating women and that consuming 1.5 g/kg or less leads to adaptations suggestive of insufficient intake, lactating women should aim to consume at least 1.5 g/kg of protein daily.
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Can Protein Help You Lose Weight
Including protein as part of a balanced diet has been proven to assist with weight loss.
Of the three macronutrients, protein is the most satiating. Studies have shown that it provides a feeling of fullness for
meta-analyses of studies showed increased weight loss, fat mass loss, and preservation of lean mass following high protein, calorie-restriction diets versus low protein, calorie restriction diets. Participants in these studies also had lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and reduced waist circumference overall when on the high protein diet.
Why Is The Recommended Daily Value For Protein Not The Best For Health And Performance
The Daily Value is a term created by the FDA that replaced the term “US RDA”.
“US” stands for United States. RDA stands for “Recommended Daily Allowances”.
The RDA for protein is calculated by multiplying the EAR by 1.2.
So what is the EAR for protein based upon?
The EAR is based on what scientific research has said will be enough to “satisfy the needs of 50% of the people in that age group.” In other words, this means that half of that group will be deficient and half will have enough protein to avoid any negative effects on health. This is also not considering an athletic population that already needs more protein. This is simply an average population sample. Furthermore, I am not looking to only recommend the bare minimum to prevent disease. I am also looking for the amount to recommend that will fully maximize health, longevity, and physical performance.
So, to put this all together, the Daily Value you see on food labels for protein is equal to 20% more than what half of the average, non-athletic population needs to prevent deficiency and negative health effects. This is crazy!
The takeaway here is that the Daily Value for protein is INCREDIBLY LOW for what is actually needed for an athlete, not to mention for someone whose goal is to add lean muscle. The Daily Value is not even enough for someone who works out a few times per week.
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When You Eat Is As Important As How Much
Another consideration is how often you eat protein during the day. Younger adults have the ability to store small amounts of amino acids from one meal to the next, but that changes around the age of 70, according to Greenwood.
“For people 70 and older, the window of time between protein meals must be shorter than in younger people. You shouldn’t count on having a steak for dinner, and then no protein until tomorrow night’s dinner. Every meal should have some healthy source of protein in it.”
Aim to eat about a third of your daily protein allotment at each meal .
How Much Protein To Build Muscle Ask An Rd
The main building blocks of your body,protein is used to repair and maintain your body tissues including muscle.
If your goal is to build muscle, then its important that youre getting the right amount of protein, as well as the right amounts of the other macronutrients, carbohydrates and fats.
The general strategy for calculating the minimum amount of protein that you need is 0.36 grams of protein per pound that you weigh. In a 165-pound adult, thats about 60 grams of protein per day.
But thats just the minimum recommended daily allowance .
You might be wondering if the minimum amount of protein recommended is enough to actually build more muscle. Below, well explore just how much protein you should consume per day to build muscle .
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How Much Protein Do You Need Each Day
Current guidelines, established by the Institute of Medicine in 2002, recommend adults 19 years of age and older consume 10 to 35 percent of their daily calories from protein. That’s about 200 to 700 calories from protein for a 2,000-calorie diet. Another way to calculate how much protein you need each day is to multiply 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. With a little math, this translates to 54 grams of protein for a 150-pound woman, or 65 grams for a 180-pound man.
Here are some examples of what 10 grams of protein looks like:
- 2 small eggs
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Why You Shouldn’t Calculate How Much Protein You Need Based On Total Calories Or Weight
On a simple level, protein guidelines generally fall into one of two camps: a proportion either of how much you eat or how much you weigh. However, both are flawed if youre looking to build muscle fast.
Take only eating a specific percentage of protein. The problem is that the numbers are going to be affected in a big way by your total calorie intake. For example, 30 per cent protein on a 2000-calorie diet is very different from 30 per cent protein on a 4000-calorie diet despite the fact that the percentages are exactly the same: 150g a day compared to 300g a day.
So, calculating your protein intake relative to your weight could be better, as it stays consistent regardless of how many calories you’re packing in.
For example, if you were to eat two grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight, you’ll be fuelling yourself with the same amount of protein regardless of your total daily calorie count whether that’s 1500 or 4000. However, this system is also not without its flaws.
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What Are The Benefits To Eating Protein
As a macronutrient, protein is vital to your bodys natural processes. When you supplement your diet with the right amount of protein, you are making it easier for your body to build lean muscle, strengthen bones and tissue, deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, aid in digestion, and regulate hormones. Furthermore, eating protein can help curb hunger, maintain a healthy weight, reduce fatigue, and reduce recovery time after exercise or injury.
Food Labeling Reference Tables
Daily Values used by the FDA for the following macronutrients are Daily Reference Values.
The FDA issued a final rule on changes to the facts panel on May 27, 2016. The new values were published in the Federal Register. The original deadline to be in compliance was July 28, 2018, but on May 4, 2018, the FDA released a final rule that extended the deadline to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, and by January 1, 2021, for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales. During the first six months following the January 1, 2020 compliance date, the FDA worked cooperatively with manufacturers to meet the new Nutrition Facts label requirements and did not focus on enforcement actions regarding these requirements during that time. Due to lengthy shelf-life on certain food items, products containing old or new facts panel content may be on market shelves at the same time.
The following table lists the old and new DVs based on a caloric intake of 2000 kcal , for adults and children four or more years of age.
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How Does The Promix Protein Calculator Calculate Your Specific Protein Intake
The Promix Protein Calculator calculates your specific protein intake by taking data into account into three key areas that determine your protein needs. These areas are physical attributes , past training history and current training level , and future physical goals .
The data from these three areas allows the Promix Protein Calculator to consider all aspects impacting your protein needs and make a specific recommendation aimed to help you feel, perform, and recover optimally.
So How Much Protein Do You Need
For any guy who’s cut his teeth on the gym floor and with several years of training behind them could theoretically get away with less daily protein. That’s because, the closer you are to your genetic limit in terms of muscle growth, the slower the gains will come. And the slower your rate of growth, the less protein you need to support that growth. Understood?
In short, if youre trying to gain muscle, or even if you just want to hold on to the muscle you have while you drop fat, 2.2g of protein per kg of lean body mass is plenty.
You can eat more if you like. However, bear in mind that its not going to make much difference to the speed at which you gain muscle and will make a difference not only to your bank balance, but potentially your waistline too.
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How To Calculate Protein Intake
Using an online calculator, such as the one provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, may help people establish protein requirements.
Alternatively, the following calculation can provide the proper target for protein consumption in either grams or calories.
- First, its important to know how many calories a person is likely to consume per day. An example is 2,300 calories.
- A person should choose the percentage of the diet that will be protein. In this example, it will be 20%.
- Multiply the total calories by the percentage of protein to get the number of calories from protein. 2300 x .20 = 460.
- Divide the calories from protein by 4 to get the total grams of protein. 460 / 4 = 115.
Using this example, a person consuming 2,300 calories per day, aiming for 20% of their calories to come from protein, will need to consume 115 g of protein per day.
What If You’re Not Hungry
A challenge for many older adults is that as they age, their sense of taste begins to change. In addition, a diminished sense of smell can make even favorite foods taste different or less appealing. You may not feel like eating as much as you used to, putting you at risk of not getting enough nutrients.
“Most older adults just don’t have the appetite they used to have,” Greenwood says. “This is true even for healthy, community-dwelling older people they just can’t eat the quantities they did when they were 50. As their appetite declines, there’s less room for empty calories, so they have to be careful to eat more protein than they used to even if they don’t feel like it.”