How Much Protein Do You Need Daily

You’re Trying To Lose Weight

How Much Protein Do You need | Basic Daily Protein requirement

Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, helping you feel full, and also pushes your body to secrete the gut hormone peptide YY, which reduces hunger. “When you bring protein to about 30% of your daily calories, you’ll naturally eat less,” says Lauren Slayton, RD, founder of Foodtrainers, a nutrition practice in New York City, and author of The Little Book of Thin. “Protein decreases appetite and also, in my experience, helps you manage cravings.”

While studies are mixed about whether consuming more protein leads to weight loss, research is pretty clear that protein can help you retain more of your lean muscle as you lose fat. One 2011 study suggests amping up protein to as much as 1.8 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day to stave off muscle loss when restricting calories. Cut back on refined carbs to balance out the extra calories from adding protein.

What Are The Best Sources To Get Protein

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 Much Protein Should You Eat For Muscle Gain

If youre looking to beef up your biceps, protein is one major contributor.

According to a 2018 article, to see muscle gains you want to get in more protein than your body breaks down .

Participating in resistance exercises followed by eating quality protein keeps the net protein balance positive. And continuing that pattern regularly can lead to muscle growth over time. This is why a post-workout protein shake is a staple for many weight lifters to pack on the muscle.

But the actual amount of protein needed to build muscle seems to vary. Some research states that eating about 20 to 40 g of protein after resistance exercise and every 3 hours throughout the day can help you see some gains. Other research states that targeting a protein intake of 1.6 to 2.2 g/kg per day is ideal.

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This Is How Much Protein You Need To Build Muscle

Everyone knows we need protein to build muscle, but how much is enough?

Let’s face it, protein and muscle-building go hand-in-hand. The macronutrient is vital for muscle tissue repair and is full of amino acids: the building blocks of strength. But, with sources, calculations and advice varying wildly, few men actually know how much protein they need to maintain muscle and to keep building bulk.

And without that knowledge the caricature of the gym bro guzzling a protein shake that’s surgically attached to him is allowed to live on. Well, no more. We’re here to tell you exactly how much protein you need in your diet to build muscle, as well as explain how you can calculate a protein intake that’s personalised to you and the foods you can add to your diet to up your protein numbers, if that’s necessary.

According to the NHS, the daily reference intake of protein is 50g, but that doesn’t take into account the differences between people, so it doesn’t change whether you’re 6 ft 9 or 4 ft 4, nor does it allow for the difference in need between someone who weighs 80 kilos compared with someone who weighs 200 kilos. But there are ways to work out how much protein you need. And all you have to do is keep reading to find out how.

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How Much Protein Do You Need If Youre Physically Active

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If youre physically active you run, lift weights, have a labor-intensive job, etc. research from Professor of Kinesiology Stuart Phillips suggests that you need .59 grams to 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight.

So if youre a 200-pound man, that means you should be getting somewhere between 118 grams to 200 grams of protein a day.

Whether you go towards the low or high end depends on how hard youre training and your age . If youre lifting heavy and/or are older, youll want to skew to the higher recommended amount of protein.

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Guidelines For Special Populations

Many sources that suggest protein guidelines provide numbers for adult men and women. But there are certain populations that may need more or less protein to manage a medical condition or facilitate growth.

  • Pregnant and lactating people need more protein than people who are not pregnant .
  • Older adults may need more protein than middle-aged adults .
  • People with liver or kidney disease need to decrease protein intake .

Consult a doctor or dietitian to determine your ideal daily protein goal.

Your Daily Protein Intake Will Change

As you grow older and your body composition, lifestyle and training change, then you may need to adjust your intake. This will also be the case if youre cutting or bulking. While it can be confusing to know where to start, use the calculator as a guide to give you a starting number and go from there. If you find that your training Is going well but youre not building muscle, then it may be a sign that you need to increase your protein levels.

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Which Factors Could Affect Your Calculations

You might have higher or lower protein needs for different reasons. Women typically have less lean mass than men and require less protein in general.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding have higher protein needs. Also, if youre recovering from any kind of injury, your needs may be higher as your body is in a state of repair.

If youre trying to lose weight and are currently consuming too many calories, you might have to cut back on protein intake as part of an overall lower-calorie diet.

However, keeping your percentage of calories from protein the same will help preserve your lean muscle mass and potentially promote muscle growth based on exercise.

Is It Possible To Consume Too Much Protein

How much protein do you need? Your guide to daily requirements

Its possible to consume too much of any nutrient and what our body doesnt need to burn for energy, it will store.

Our kidneys are involved in the processing of the protein in our diet, and extremely high levels of protein can be harmful over time. However, studies show that up to 3.5g/kg bodyweight per day does not cause negative side effects.4

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If youre concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

1. Table, M. . Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids . National Academy Press: Washington, DC, USA.

2. Nutritiondata.self.com. 2020.SELF Nutrition Data | Food Facts, Information & Calorie Calculator. Available at: < https://nutritiondata.self.com/> .

3. Rieu, I.,Balage, M.,Sornet, C., Giraudet, C., Pujos, E., Grizard, J., & Dardevet, D. . Leucine supplementation improves muscle protein synthesis in elderly men independently of hyperaminoacidaemia. The Journal of physiology, 575, 305-315.

4. Astrup, A. . The satiating power of proteina key to obesity prevention?.

Claire Muszalski

Talking and writing about food and fitness is at the heart of Claires ethos as she loves to use her experience to help others meet their health and wellness goals.

Find out more about Claires experience here.

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Tips To Help You Eat Enough Protein Every Day

Not getting enough protein is one of the biggest problems I see in my clinical practice when someone is on a healing journey. They mean well, but the recommendations shared with healthy people wont work for them.

They are often surprised to discover that a higher protein intake improves their symptoms as long as we can ensure that its being digested and well-absorbed.

The biggest challenge to increasing protein intake is knowing practically how much protein you need to eat. Frankly, no one knows what a gram looks like and can find it a bit challenging to figure out how to get enough in.

The first step is to figure out how much protein you eat on average now before making changes.

I recommend using MyFitnessPal for 3 days to track everything you eat. Do not censor yourself here or alter your meals in any way.

Youll get a baseline of the grams of protein you currently take in now. This will tell you how much extra youll need to consume and where you have gaps in your day to fill. For example, if you dont eat any protein at lunch, then that would be a prime spot to add more in.

Then figure out how many protein grams you need daily by multiplying your weight by 1.25 or even 1.5 depending on how sick you are .

The more healing thats required, the more protein that will likely be needed.

Advanced: The Grams Per Pound Method

The final method for estimating protein needs is simple to calculate, but more challenging to execute.

Assuming youre a healthy, active adult who wants to lose some fat and build some muscle, youll just multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.7-1 gram. That is your daily protein target .

Youll want to aim for the higher end of that range if you lift heavy weights, and if youre trying to lose weight.

Sounds pretty easy, right? So why do I say this one is more difficult than the other two methods?

Like the percentage method, the grams per pound method works best if you carefully measure and track your food intake. This typically means weighing your food on a scale, then entering everything you eat in an app.

Then theres the matter of actually eating the protein. Depending on your food preferences, it can be really hard to eat close to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day! Having used this approach personally in the past, I can share that I almost never hit my goal without careful planning .

If your experience is similar, you can try to work up to it over time. This might mean eating 0.7 grams per pound per day for a week or two if your goal is 1 gram per pound, then increasing to 0.75 grams per pound per day once 0.7 grams feels easy, and continuing to increase until you reach your goal.

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How Much Protein Is Too Much

In terms of muscle growth, theres not much point in eating more than one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. That is, going from one to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight wont lead to muscle being built any faster.

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While protein plays an important role in helping your muscles recover and grow, theres an upper limit on the amount that your body can use to synthesize new muscle tissue. And most research points to that upper limit being around 0.7 grams per pound, or 1.6 grams per kilogram, of bodyweight per day.

Key Reasons Why We Need Protein According To An Rd

How Much Protein A Day To Build Muscle Transparent Labs

Gaby Vaca-Flores, RD, CLE, explains why we need protein and how its so important for overall health. Plus: How much protein do you need daily?

Everyone needs protein in their diets, primarily because its an essential nutrient. This means that the body relies on a regular supply of it from dietary sources to meet its needs.

Additionally, protein exists in a synthesis cycle. In other words, the body is always breaking down, using, and discarding it, making it that much more important to ensure youre getting enough.

Keep reading to find out why we need protein and how much you should really have daily.

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Easy Ways To Increase Your Protein Intake

Getting enough protein is important for your health.

For this reason, the Daily Value for protein is 50 grams per day.

However, some researchers believe that many people should be eating significantly more than this amount .

A high protein intake offers several potential health benefits and could help increase weight loss, enhance muscle growth, and improve your overall health.

Here are 14 easy ways to eat more protein.

What Protein Is And Why Its Important

Before we work out how much protein you need, lets 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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How Much Protein Do You Need If Youre Obese And Trying To Lose Weight

Determining protein consumption for individuals who are obese is tricky. You need to lower calorie consumption in order to lose weight, but high protein diets are useful when youre dieting because 1) theyre satiating, and 2) they help preserve muscle mass while youre in a caloric deficit.

So youve got to find a protein target thats high, but not so high that you eat an excess number of calories, and struggle to get into a caloric deficit.

When my nutrition coach Gillian Ward works with obese individuals, instead of pinning an amount of protein to body weight, she just makes sure that protein comprises 25% to 30% of total calories. This allows the client to focus on calorie reduction and ensure they have a balanced diet. Ive found that a balanced diet will get more long-term compliance than a diet thats mostly protein and hardly any carbs and fat, she told me. And long-term compliance is key in any weight loss plan.

Why Protein Is Important For Weight Loss

How Much Protein You REALLY Need Daily Protein Intake

As well as being good for building strength, protein also plays an important role in losing weight. Evidence suggests that eating protein can both increase the number of calories you burn, by stimulating your metabolic rate, as well as reduce your appetite, meaning you’re less likely to put on pounds in the first place. What’s more, a study by researchers at Maastricht University reported that even a modest increase in protein, from 15% to 18% of calories, reduced the amount of fat people regained after weight loss by 50%.

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Top Your Food With Chopped Almonds

Almonds are incredibly healthy.

Theyre high in magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, yet low in digestible carbs.

Almonds also contain 6 grams of protein in a 1-ounce serving, which makes them a better source of protein than most nuts .

And although a serving of almonds contains around 170 calories, studies have shown that your body absorbs only about 133 of those calories because some of the fat isnt digested .

So sprinkle a few tablespoons of chopped almonds over yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, or oatmeal to increase your protein intake and add a bit of flavor and crunch.

Summary

Almonds are high in several nutrients and can boost the protein content of a meal or snack.

Are You Getting Enough Protein

So the current daily reference intake of protein is 50g, while the recommended dietary allowance suggests that you should eat a modest 0.8g of protein daily per kg of bodyweight. If you’re not already aware, let us be the first to tell you: that’s not enough to really pack on muscle.

Elite athletes eat around 2g per kg every day, says Dr Karen Reid, a sports science nutritionist who’s worked with the Wales rugby team, and the founder of Performance Food. She recommends getting near that level for the first 12 weeks of a new workout programme. Thats when youre sore, when youre breaking down muscle fibres and creating new structures. And damage plus fuel equals growth. After 12 weeks, she recommends scaling back to between 1.2g and 1.6g per kilo.

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