How Much Protein Do I Really Need Calculator

How To Actually Calculate Your Protein Needs

Easy Protein Calculator – How Much Protein Do I Really Need To Build Muscle

Perhaps, then, the best way to measure how much protein you need to consume daily is based on lean body mass, or everything in your body that isnt fat. This could provide a more accurate figure than focusing on just your total weight.

Of course, if youre a fitness model sitting comfortably at four per cent body fat, then theres obviously not going to be much difference whether protein intake is expressed relative to your weight or lean body mass. For the average guy, however, it’s a considerably different story. They’re likely to be carrying more weight around their midriff and have a higher body-fat percentage.

On the flipside, let’s look at an obese man who weighs 135kg. In this case, it would be unwise to base his protein intake on his total bodyweight. Using the 2g of protein per kg, he’ll be eating a whopping 270g protein on a daily basis.

Needless to say, our hypothetical overweight man definitely doesnt need to be eating the equivalent of 10 chicken breasts a day, even if he’s looking to build muscle. In fact, most research shows little benefit to consuming more than 2.2g of protein per kg of lean body mass.

Whats A High Quality Protein

One often hears of proteins being separated into categories of high or low quality. This refers to the sources content of amino acids, the building blocks of protein: animal sources contain all nine essential amino acids, meaning the ones the body cant make on its own. Vegan sources of protein typically dont, with the exceptions of soy, quinoa, buckwheat, and a few others.

Generally, people worry about this more than they should. Research suggests that if youre eating a varied diet, youll effortlessly get all your amino acids throughout the day, which is more important than getting them all at every meal. Its also easy to combine plant-based proteins like legumes and rice, an extremely popular combination throughout the world and this forms a complete protein on its own.

Can You Build Muscle Without Protein Supplements

As long as youre getting enough high-quality protein each day, you can build muscle without protein supplements. Supplements are a quick and easy way to boost your protein intake if youre not getting enough. But there is an upper limit, over and above which additional protein isnt going to help much.

This study, for example, shows that increasing protein intake from 0.6 to 0.9 grams per pound of bodyweight had no effect on muscle growth in a group of untrained men.

The men trained three days a week on alternate days, using the squat, bench press, deadlift, and bent-over-row. They varied their sets and reps, doing 4 sets of 10 reps on day one , 6 sets of 4 reps on day two , and 5 sets of 6 reps on day three .

After 12 weeks, subjects using whey or soy to bump up their protein intake to around 160 grams per day had gained no more muscle than subjects eating an average of 106 grams of protein per day.

Its worth mentioning that the placebo group did eat more carbs than subjects taking protein supplements, which could have affected the results via changes in glycogen/water levels.

Whats more, the combination of whey protein and resistance training did lead to an increase in satellite cell number, an effect that wasnt seen in the other groups.

Why does that matter?

Satellite cells surround your muscle fibers, and play a key role in the synthesis of new muscle tissue. Over a longer period, those additional satellite cells may well have led to bigger, stronger muscles.

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Water Content In Foods

Below is a reference table for the water content in selected foods, based on Altman P. “Blood and Other Body Fluids” , Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology as cited in Popkin B. M., DAnci K. E., Rosenberg I. H. “Water, Hydration and Health” .

Water content in selected foods

Water percentage
Walnuts, peanuts , chocolate chip cookies, crackers, cereals, pretzels, taco shells, peanut butter
0%Oils, sugars

Using this table can help you determine which foods to include in your diet so you stay better hydrated and closer to the recommended daily water intake as estimated using our daily water intake calculator.

References

Popkin B. M., DAnci K. E., Rosenberg I. H. “Water, Hydration and Health” Nutrition Reviews 68:439458

Riebl S. K., Davy B. M. “The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance” ACSMs Health & Fitness Journal 17:2128

Gandy J. “Water intake: validity of population assessment and recommendations” European Journal of Nutrition, 54:1116

Rehrer N.J., Burke L.M. “Sweat losses during various sports” Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics 53:1316

Malisova O., Athanasatou A., Pepa A., Husemann M., Domnik K., Braun H., Mora-Rodriguez R., Ortega J.F., Fernandez-Elias V.E., Kapsokefalou M. “Water Intake and Hydration Indices in Healthy European Adults: The European Hydration Research Study ” Nutrients 8:204

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What Are The Best Sources To Get Protein

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The importance of protein to humans comes from amino acids, especially the nine essential amino acids humans obtain in their food. The best sources of these are whole foods, meats, dairy, fish, eggs, grains, legumes, and nuts. High protein foods contain different amino-acid profiles, so introducing variety into your diet is important. Eating boiled chicken breasts 4 times a day is healthy , but youd be depriving yourself of more balanced nutrition in the long run.

If youre finding it difficult to get enough protein in your diet, these gaps can be filled by nutritional supplements like whey protein. If youre looking for delicious ways to sneak protein into your daily routine, weve highlighted a few of our favorite recipes like these muffins, or cottage cheese fruit bowls.

Just a few last reminders on the effects protein has on your health and diet. First, high-protein foods are typically lower in fiber content, so remember that youll need to increase your intake of foods high in fiber like kale, asparagus, or broccoli. These will help keep your insides running smoothly. Additionally, if youre lactose intolerant or vegan, there are additional plant-based sources of protein and supplements for you to use as an alternative to dairy or animal products.

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How To Get Enough Protein

Now that you have an estimate of the amount of protein you need, the last question to answer is: how do I eat all this protein?

Our #1 recommendation is to get protein from whole foods whenever possible. This will ensure you get plenty of vitamins and minerals.

A serving of protein is about the size and thickness of your palm:

Protein can come from any number of sources, including:

  • Meat .
  • Fish and shellfish .
  • Legumes .

Not a meat-eater? Read our massive plant-based guide!

However, if youre aiming for the higher ranges of protein intake you might need to supplement.

Personally, I drink a protein shake daily to help me reach my goals.

Some protein supplements to consider:

  • Whey protein powder, a milk byproduct widely used as a protein supplement.
  • Egg-based protein powders
  • Pea protein powder, a popular supplement in the plant-based community.
  • Check out The Ultimate Protein Shake Guide for more protein powder recommendations and recipes on how to make delicious smoothies.

    Whether through whole foods or supplements, protein should be a main part of every meal you eat. Its one of our top recommendations for being a healthy nerd.

    Calculate your protein needs, determine the proper portion sizes to reach your target, and see how you feel!

    You can always adjust up or down based on your results.

    If you need any help along the way, we got you.

    Here are three ways to continue your journey with Nerd Fitness.

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    How Much Protein Per Day To Lose Weight

    If you want to lose weight, aim for a daily protein intake between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight . Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram if aiming for weight loss.

    My practical recommendation to people is that if you carry a BMI of over 30 or a body fat percentage above 25-30% it makes more sense to base your protein recommendations off of your goal weight.

    For the correct amount of protein to gain muscle, check this resource out.

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    Protein Grams Per Day

    As an alternative to the percentage approach, you can target a specific number of protein grams per day. One simple way to get a range of protein grams per day is to translate the percent range into a specific protein gram range. The math is easy.

    Each gram of protein contains four calories. Simply divide the two calorie range numbers by four. Someone who eats 2,000 calories per day should consume 200 to 700 calories from protein, or 50 to 175 grams of protein.

    Gain Muscle With Gainful

    How do I calculate the amount of protein I need to build muscle?

    Looking to boost muscle building, prevent muscle loss or simply achieve a higher protein intake?Gainful can help you get enough protein with a personalized protein powder thats tailored specifically for you and your needs. Start by taking Gainfulsquiz, select your preferences and overall wellness goals, whether thats building muscle, weight loss or both. Then Gainful takes care of the rest. Gainful will help you create the customized protein powder that not only helps deliver the results youre looking for, but also comes in the flavors you crave, thanks to ourFlavor Boosts.

    But if youre still worried about meeting the protein requirements necessary for building muscle, dont worry. With Gainful, youll never have to do this alone: Each subscriber has unlimited access to a personal Registered Dietitian, whos available to answer any questions you may have about your protein balance, protein supplements or workout regimen.

    We want to help make gaining and maintaining muscle as easy as possible.

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    How Much Protein To Gain Muscle

    So, with all that in mind, how much protein should you eat if you want to maximize muscle growth?

    If you want a simple number to aim for, one that doesnt involve trying to estimate your body fat percentage or decide on a target bodyweight, go for 0.7 grams per pound, or 1.6 grams per kilogram, of bodyweight.

    Thats the number pulled from a study of studies called a meta-analysis that looked at the effect of protein intake and weight training on muscle growth.

    The researchers pooled the results of 49 trials, covering a total of 1,863 people.

    After crunching the numbers, they came to the conclusion that eating more than 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight isnt going to help you build muscle any faster.

    Foods High In Protein

    There are many different combinations of food that a person can eat to meet their protein intake requirements. For many people, a large portion of protein intake comes from meat and dairy, though it is possible to get enough protein while meeting certain dietary restrictions you might have. Generally, it is easier to meet your RDA of protein by consuming meat and dairy, but an excess of either can have a negative health impact. There are plenty of plant-based protein options, but they generally contain less protein in a given serving. Ideally, a person should consume a mixture of meat, dairy, and plant-based foods in order to meet their RDA and have a balanced diet replete with nutrients.

    If possible, consuming a variety of complete proteins is recommended. A complete protein is a protein that contains a good amount of each of the nine essential amino acids required in the human diet. Examples of complete protein foods or meals include:

    Meat/Dairy examples

    • Hemp and chia seeds
    • Spirulina
    • Almonds

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    How Much Protein Do I Need

    The amount of protein that the human body requires daily is dependent on many conditions, including overall energy intake, growth of the individual, and physical activity level. It is often estimated based on body weight, as a percentage of total caloric intake , or based on age alone. 0.8g/kg of body weight is a commonly cited recommended dietary allowance . This value is the minimum recommended value to maintain basic nutritional requirements, but consuming more protein, up to a certain point, maybe beneficial, depending on the sources of the protein.

    The recommended range of protein intake is between 0.8 g/kg and 1.8 g/kg of body weight, dependent on the many factors listed above. People who are highly active, or who wish to build more muscle should generally consume more protein. Some sources2 suggest consuming between 1.8 to 2 g/kg for those who are highly active. The amount of protein a person should consume, to date, is not an exact science, and each individual should consult a specialist, be it a dietitian, doctor, or personal trainer, to help determine their individual needs.

    Recommended dietary allowance of protein, based on age

    0.11

    Promote Muscle Gain By Increased Protein Intake

    How Much Protein Do I REALLY Need?

    If you are an athlete, looking to increase your muscle mass, simply eating high-protein foods won’t help. Dietary protein, after deamination, provides energy or recycles components of non-muscle molecules, or is converted to stored fat in fat depos. First of all, one needs adequate caloric intake corresponding to their exercise level. If the intake is insufficient during intense training even augmented protein intake may not be enough to maintain the proper balance of nitrogen since a disproportionate percentage of dietary protein will be catabolized to account for the energy deficit. So, you will burn your proteins before they can participate in muscle development.

    However, there is some support that the now common practice of eating and drinking predigested protein in the form of shakes, powders, pills or bars might assist in muscle growth, especially whey protein. A 2019 meta analysis supports the “efficacy and safety of whey protein supplements as an ergogenic aid on athletes’ sports performance and recovery.”

    References

    Katch V.L., McArdle W.D., Katch F.I “Essentials of Exercise Physiology”, fourth edition

    Jager, R. et. al. “International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and exercise”, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 14, DOI: 10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8

    WHO “Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition”, WHO Technical Report Series 935

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    Muscle Protein Synthesis Vs Muscle Protein Breakdown

    Amino acids are also used for muscle protein synthesis – the process of repairing and maintaining muscles after intense use.

    When muscles are used during exercise or strenuous activity, it creates micro-tears and leads to muscle protein breakdown . Amino acids are then shuttled to your muscles to start repairing this damage and synthesizing new tissue to replace the damaged ones.

    This process doesn’t automatically lead to bigger muscles , but it can make your muscles stronger or adapt to the type of training that caused the tears in the first place .

    MPS is why protein, and strength training, in particular, are so essential for maintaining and building lean body mass.

    Why Protein Is Important For Building Muscle

    To build muscle, your body needs to synthesise more muscle protein than it breaks down, which is why anyone looking to build muscle needs to make sure they’re getting enough protein, as well as making sure the work they’re doing in the weights room is right too.

    It’s not just us saying that, there’s a body of research that confirms the part protein plays in building muscle. A study published in the journal Nutrients, for example, found that “protein intake was shown to promote additional gains in lean body mass beyond those observed with resistance exercise alone.”

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    How Much Protein Do You Need

    The Promix Protein Calculator helps you optimize your nutrient consumption within your daily routine. Whatever your goals, our protein intake calculator will guide you toward the ideal amount of protein and provide valuable information about how to train. Our protein needs calculator not only does the math for you, it guides you toward the right natural protein powder and natural nutritional supplements to fit your preferences and lifestyle.

    What Protein Is And Why It’s Important

    As A Runner, How Much Protein Do I Really Need?

    Before we work out how much protein you need, let’s first break down exactly what it is. Put simply, protein is a macronutrient that is built from amino acids, which are stitched together into long chains. Some of these chains your body can make naturally known as non-essential and some of which it cant. These are called essential amino acids and you need to source them from food. When you chow down on a chicken breast your body breaks proteins down into their constituent amino acids, which it then uses to build everything from new muscle to organs and hair.

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    Learn How Much Protein You Really Need Each Day

    Proteins are the major building blocks of the human body. They are made up of amino acids and are needed to build muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails, and internal organs. Next, to water, protein is the most plentiful substance in the body, and most of it is actually in the skeletal muscles.

    Foods that contain all of the essential amino acids are called complete proteins. These foods include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, and just about anything else derived from animal sources.

    If youre an exerciser, your protein needs may increase since strength training can rapidly break down muscle protein. The general guidelines for endurance and strength-trained athletes from the American Dietetic Association and American College of Sports Medicine suggest consuming between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for the best performance and health.

    I regularly help clients with their diet needs and challenges. The calculator below is a good way to calculate your protein needs individually. See me if you are looking to up your exercise program with specific goals in mind.

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