How Much Protein Should I Consume Daily

How Much Protein Do You Need Every Day

How Much Protein Should I Consume Daily?

Protein is essential to good health. The very origin of the word from the Greek protos, meaning “first” reflects proteins top-shelf status in human nutrition. You need it to put meat on your bones and to make hair, blood, connective tissue, antibodies, enzymes, and more. Its common for athletes and bodybuilders to wolf down extra protein to bulk up. But the message the rest of us often get is that our daily protein intake is too high.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The RDA is the amount of a nutrient you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements. In a sense, its the minimum amount you need to keep from getting sick not the specific amount you are supposed to eat every day.

To determine your daily protein intake, you can multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36, or use this online protein calculator. For a 50-year-old woman who weighs 140 pounds woman and who is sedentary , that translates into 53 grams of protein a day.

But use of the RDA to determine how much protein you need daily has actually caused a lot of confusion. “Theres a misunderstanding not only among the public, but also somewhat in our profession about the RDA,” says Nancy Rodriguez, a registered dietitian and professor of nutritional science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. “People in general think we all eat too much protein.”

How Much Protein Do You Need

Protein is essential for life it’s a building block of every human cell and is involved in the vital biochemical functions of the human body. It’s particularly important in growth, development, and tissue repair. Protein is one of the three major “macronutrients” .

So, consuming enough protein is required to stave off malnutrition it may also be important to preserve muscle mass and strength as we age. And, in recent years, some have advocated a higher protein diet to rev up metabolism to make it easier to lose excess weight, though success in this regard is highly variable.

  • The ideal amount of protein you should consume each day is a bit uncertain. Commonly quoted recommendations are 56 grams/day for men, 46 grams/day for women. You could get 46 grams/day of protein in 1 serving of low-fat greek yogurt, a 4 oz. serving of lean chicken breast and a bowl of cereal with skim milk.
  • A weight-based recommended daily allowance of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For a 140-pound person, that comes to 51 grams of protein each day. . Active people especially those who are trying to build muscle mass may need more.
  • Based on percent of calories for an active adult, about 10% of calories should come from protein
  • To pay more attention to the type of protein in your diet rather than the amount for example, moderating consumption of red meat and increasing healthier protein sources, such as salmon, yogurt or beans.

How Much Protein Should I Eat At Once

That said, the amino acids most closely linked to muscle protein synthesis , a process that switches on genes responsible for muscle gain are the branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine has far and away the most research linking it to MPS.

Now, MPS is just one piece of the muscle gain puzzle: total daily calories is hugely important, as is total protein intake, ones exercise regimen, sleep, and many other factors. While these are far more important than worrying about leucine some research has found people to gain and lose the same amount of muscle and fat whether theyre eating every day or every other day, so long as their calories are in check it seems that about three grams of leucine per serving is ideal for keeping MPS maintained.

Youll get that in about 20 to 30 grams of protein from most protein dense sources, including many vegan ones like legumes and grains.

So if youre eating 150 grams of protein a day, this might sound like you should eat 5 meals with 30 grams of protein each, so a meal every three hours. Theres nothing wrong with this approach, but its worth remembering that some research has found MPS to be about the same after six hours whether you ate two small meals with 30 grams apiece or if you ate a big meal with 60 grams of protein and then nothing else for six hours.

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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.”

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Fats

How Much Protein Do I Need Infographic

Fats a crucial part of the diet, not just for the heart health reasons of unsaturated fats, but also for energy and healthy cell function.

When we have a high-fat meal, our digestive system takes longer to digest the food, and makes us feel fuller and more satisfied. Fat makes foods taste good, but its high calorie count has to be kept in mind when deciding how much you eat.

Read Also: What Proteins To Eat On Keto Diet

How Much Protein Do You Need A Day To Build Muscle

If you want to build muscle, you’ll want to adjust your protein intake based on how much protein you were eating before and how much strength training you’re doing now, says Cesar Sauza, a registered dietitian with AltaMed Health Services.

To gain muscle, you will also need to be in a caloric surplus, meaning you consume more calories than you burn. However, this should not all come from protein.

“Increased protein is associated with increased muscle strength and mass however this is not the full story because our bodies also require carbohydrates and fats to help contribute to muscle mass,” Sauza says.

To make sure you meet your goals, consult a registered dietitian to help you draw up a meal plan with the proper balance of protein, fat, and carbs.

Find Out How Much Protein You Need

Most adults over 19 years of age need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. You can use the following equations to calculate your protein needs.

Note: 1 kg = 2.2 lbs

An adult who weighs 80 kg needs about 64 g of protein each day, while an adult who weighs 65 kg needs about 52 g of protein each day.

The following groups have different protein needs than what is recommended above:

  • children and youth
  • some athletes
  • people with certain health conditions

Talk to a registered dietitian to help determine the amount of protein thats right for you.

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Very High Protein Diets Are Dangerous

Some fad diets promote very high protein intakes of between 200 and 400g per day. This is more than five times the amount recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The protein recommendations in the Guidelines provide enough protein to build and repair muscles, even for body builders and athletes. A very high-protein diet can strain the kidneys and liver. It can also prompt excessive loss of the mineral calcium, which can increase your risk of osteoporosis.

How Much Protein Should I Eat To Build Muscle

How Much Protein Should I Eat?

If youre trying to build muscle, youre going to want to eat enough protein to induce muscle repair and growth.

Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, so youll need plenty if youre looking to build a muscular physique!

How much?

If youre of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 0.641.09 g/lb .

There is some evidence that a higher range might be beneficial. Not so much in gaining more muscle, but to minimize fat gain during a bulking phase.

As we mention in our guide, 12 Tips to Gain Weight Quickly, you might put on a little fat when eating in a caloric surplus to grow muscle.

More protein may counteract this a little.

If youre an experienced lifter on a bulk, intakes up to 1.50 g/lb may help you minimize fat gain.

Now of course, if you want to grow muscle, you cant just eat proteinyou also need to strength train!

Luckily, were experts on that.

Here are some resources to begin your training:

  • 5 Best Strength Training Workout Routines For Beginners. If you dont know where to start your strength training journey, start here. This guide will walk you through bodyweight exercises onto becoming a full gym warrior .
  • The Beginner Bodyweight Workout. If youre looking for an exercise routine that can be done ANYWHERE, look no further. Our beginner routine has jumpstarted many Rebels in their strength training. Youd be surprised how much muscle you can build with your own weight, a milk jug, and a sturdy table.
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    Dont Stress About Protein Just Focus On Carbs At First

    I know one of the main problems with a ketogenic diet is trying to figure out if youre doing it correctly.

    Are you getting enough fat? Are you eating too many carbs or too much protein?

    Thats why were trying to make things simple.

    To get started on Keto, dont stress out about your protein or fat intake initially. Just focus on getting your net carb intake under 25 g daily.

    If you need to eat more protein at first because youre unsure how to add healthy fats into your diet , then thats ok.

    Theres time to tweak your Keto diet after you start.

    And if you dont want to think about all the macro calculations, then check out our Keto Meal Plans for effortless keto.

    What Protein Is And Why It’s Important

    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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    Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Older Adults

    Sarcopenia is a muscle disorder. It is defined as an impairment of physical function combined with a loss of muscle mass. It is the primary age-related cause of frailty.

    Frailty is associated with a higher risk of disabilities that affect your ability to perform daily activities, a higher risk of having to go to a nursing home, and a higher risk of experiencing falls, fractures, and hospitalizations.

    The link between sarcopenia, frailty, and associated morbidities may explain why sarcopenia is associated with a greater risk of premature death and reduced quality of life. This isnt a rare issue, either: in the US, over 40% of men and nearly 60% of women over the age of 50 have sarcopenia, and more than 10% of people in their 20s.

    Reference: Janssen et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002.

    Fortunately, sarcopenia is neither inevitable nor irreversible some seniors have built more muscle in their old age than they ever had in their youth. The older you get, though, the greater your muscles anabolic resistance , and so the greater the protein intake and exercise volume youll need to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

    Notably, doubling protein intake from 0.8 to 1.6 g/kg has been shown to significantly increase lean body mass in elderly men. Similar observations have been made in elderly women who increase their protein intake from 0.9 to 1.4 g/kg. Even a small increase in protein intake from 1.0 to 1.3 g/kg has minor benefits towards lean mass and overall body composition.

    Why Do You Want To Protect Lean Mass

    How much protein should I eat on a ketogenic diet?

    When cutting calories to shed pounds, you will lose a combination of fat and muscle weight. But your goal should be to lose more fat than muscle.

    More lean mass means a better body composition – helping you look more toned and lean overall. Muscle is also your storage place for carbs , meaning you can process carbs and store them more efficiently, the more muscle you have – leading to less body fat storage. So when it comes to losing weight, maintaining your muscle is going to be a huge benefit.

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    If Youre Making Healthy Changes To Your Eating Habits

    The general recommendation for eating enough protein for someone who isnt trying to lose weight is 0.36-0.68g of protein per pound of your body weight . This means that if youre 150 pounds, youre trying to eat 55-102 grams of protein per day.

    While this is a wide range, your goal is to figure out how to best balance protein intake with the fats and carbohydrates youre eating to find a combination that makes your way of eating feel enjoyable and sustainable.

    Fats Can Be An Excellent Source Of Energy

    When the body doesnt have access to carbohydrates for energy, it shifts to burning fat for energy instead which happens during cardio workouts.

    Research shows that individuals who exercise regularly can consume a higher fat diet without gaining weight than someone who is sedentary.

    The keto diet is popular because it restricts the amount of carbs being eaten, which forces the body to burn fat as fuel instead and often leads to weight loss.

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    Which Foods Contain A Lot Of Protein

    You want to eat more protein to build more muscle or lose weight and wonder which foods are particularly high in protein?

    We have for you the foods richest in protein listed. However, these not only contain lots of proteins, but are also packed with important vitamins and minerals.

    The quantity specification of the protein refers to 100 grams of the respective food.

    • Hemp seeds – 37 grams protein grams
    • Parmesan cheese – 35 gram
    • Wheat germ – 32 grams of protein
    • Tuna – 29 grams of protein
    • Beef – 28 grams of protein
    • Pumpkin seeds – 25 grams of protein
    • Peanuts – 25 grams of protein
    • Beans – 24 grams of protein
    • Trout – 24 grams of protein
    • Chicken breast – 23 grams of protein
    • Almonds – 21 grams of protein
    • Chickpeas – 21 grams of protein
    • Red lentils – 21 grams protein
    • Salmon – 20 grams of protein
    • Cottage cheese – 13 grams of protein
    • Tofu – 11 grams of protein

    Proteins Are Made Of Amino Acids

    How Much Protein Should I Eat?

    Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are about 20 different amino acids that link together in different combinations. Your body uses them to make new proteins, such as muscle and bone, and other compounds such as enzymes and hormones. It can also use them as an energy source.

    Some amino acids can be made by your body there are 11 of these and theyre known as non-essential amino acids. There are nine amino acids that your body cannot make, and they are known as essential amino acids. You need to include enough of these in your diet so that your body can function.

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    Can Protein Be Converted To Fat

    The short answer: Yes. The amino acids in protein can be converted to fatty acids.

    Lipogenesis is an energy-consuming process, meaning you need to be in a positive calorie/energy balance for it to take place. The central molecule that feeds into lipogenesis is acetyl-CoA.

    Image courtesy of the Royal Society of Chemistry

    During an energetic surplus, the carbon skeletons of amino acids can be converted to acetyl-CoA, ultimately leading to fat synthesis . However, amino acids are the bodys last resort for acetyl-CoA and energy since glucose and dietary fats are much more potent in ATP potential per molecule.

    Assuming youre eating a fairly balanced diet , the contribution of amino acids to ATP synthesis and fatty acid synthesis is marginal compared to glucose and dietary fat. Glucose and fatty acids are the bodys preferred substrates for both ATP and lipogenesis.

    A theoretical, but likely inconsequential, backdoor route for fatty acid synthesis could occur through specific glucogenic amino acids . Glucogenic amino acids are substrates for gluconeogenesis – the process by which the body creates glucose from non-sugar molecules.

    While superficially plausible, gluconeogenesis is not a significant source of glucose in a positive energy balance unless your diet is wildly imbalanced. Several studies report excess protein does not significantly increase blood glucose.

    One Scoop One Serving

    The typical serving size for whey powder is one scoop, but scoop size and weight can vary widely among brands and they may not always contain the same amount of protein, either. One brand of whey powder has scoops that weigh approximately 29 grams and provide 17 grams of protein per scoop. Another has scoops that weigh about 19 grams and provide only 13 grams of protein per scoop. Before you pick a whey supplement, carefully read through all of its nutrition and label information to make sure that youre getting a product that fits your needs.

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