How Much Protein Should I Get Per Day

How Much Protein Should I Eat

How Much Protein Should I Take Per Day?

Protein is a nutrient found in many types of foods. It is vital for life. Anytime your body is growing or repairing itself, protein is needed. How much protein you need depends on several factors including age, sex, health status and activity level.

The body needs a regular supply of protein to make and repair cells. In addition to muscles, other body tissues are primarily made from protein, like organs, hair and eyes. This nutrient also helps:

  • Fight infection
  • Carry fats, vitamins, minerals and oxygen around the body
  • Build and contract muscles
  • Keep body fluids in balance
  • Clot blood

Foods that Contain Protein

Protein can be found in both animal and plant-based foods. Some sources of protein are considered better choices than others due to their influence on heart health. Eating plans that include low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry, fish, beans, lentils and soy foods such as tofu and tempeh may help improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Here are some nutritious protein food options:

  • Meat, poultry and eggs: lean cuts of beef, lamb, goat, pork loin, skinless chicken and turkey, quail and duck
  • Fish and seafood: salmon, tuna, cod, shrimp, mackerel, lobster, catfish, crab
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy foods: yogurt, milk, cheese, cottage cheese
  • Legumes: beans, split peas, lentils, soy
  • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, cashews and peanuts

Getting the Right Amount of Protein



Protein Preserves Lean Body Mass

In addition, protein has another benefit on weight loss: it helps preserve lean body mass during periods of caloric restriction.

One study compared the effect of low protein intake to high protein intake on lean body mass over a short term caloric deficit. On average, the low protein group lost about 1.6 kilograms of muscle mass while the high protein group only lost 0.3 kg of muscle mass .

Another similar study compared 0.8 g/kg per day against 1.6 g/kg per day and 2.4 g/kg per day and found that the two higher intakes spared more lean body mass than the 0.8 g/kg per day diet. They also found that there was no real benefit to 2.4 g/kg per day over 1.6 g/kg per day .

Currently, most evidence suggests that ~1.6 grams of protein per kilogram, or .73 grams of protein per pound is a recommended daily target for protein intake to spare lean body mass loss during periods of weight loss.

Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Healthy Sedentary Adults

For adults, the US Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 g/kg. However, a more appropriate statistical analysis of the data used to establish the RDA suggests this number should be higher: 1.0 g/kg.

Note that, contrary to popular belief, the RDA doesnt represent an ideal intake. Instead, it represents the minimum intake needed to prevent malnutrition. Unfortunately, the RDA for protein was determined from nitrogen balance studies, which require that people eat experimental diets for weeks before measurements are taken. This provides ample time for the body to adapt to low protein intakes by down-regulating processes that are not necessary for survival but are necessary for optimal health, such as protein turnover and immune function.

An alternative method for determining protein requirements, called the Indicator Amino Acid Oxidation technique, overcomes many of the shortcomings of nitrogen balance studies. Notably, it allows for the assessment of protein requirements within 24 hours, thereby not leaving the body enough time to adapt. Studies using the IAAO method have suggested that about 1.2 g/kg is a more appropriate RDA for healthy young men, older men, and older women.

Further evidence that the current RDA for protein is not sufficient comes from a randomized controlled trial that confined healthy, sedentary adults to a metabolic ward for eight weeks. The participants were randomized into three groups:

Three types of hypercaloric diets


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What Is The Best Meat For Muscle Growth

Overall, beef is a well-balanced food that is a wonderful natural source of a variety of nutrients that are essential for muscular building. However, because meat can be high in saturated fats, it is suggested that athletes use lean cuts of meat such as turkey, chicken breast, and lean steaks and trim away any extra fat before cooking in order to maximize muscle gain.

How Much Protein Should I Eat At Once

How Much Protein Should I Eat Per Day: The Fitness Guide You Need ...

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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Older People And Children Have Increased Protein Needs

Growing children have a higher RDA for protein than adults , which empirically makes sense given the higher growth rate.16 Then as we become young adults, our protein needs arent as high as childrens relative to our height and body weight. But as we approach old age, our needs increase again.

Health organizations in the US, European, and most other countries recommend a minimum daily intake of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram for all adults aged 19 and older.17

However, several experts in protein research believe that people over 65 need a minimum of 1.2 grams per kg daily to counteract muscle loss and other age-related changes.18

For example, in a study of older women, consuming more than 1.1 gram of protein per kg every day was linked to a decreased risk of frailty, a condition marked by weakness, loss of strength, and other changes that often occur during the aging process.19

How Can I Get 50 Grams Of Protein A Day

Protein Intake: 14 Simple Ways to Boost Your Consumption

  • First and foremost, consume protein.
  • Cheese is a good snack.
  • Eggs should be used in place of cereal.
  • Chopped almonds can be sprinkled on top of your dish.
  • Greek yogurt is a good choice.
  • Breakfast should consist of a protein shake.
  • Every meal should include a high-protein dish.
  • Choose cuts of beef that are leaner and somewhat bigger in size.
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    Is There Protein In Broccoli

    When compared to other vegetables, broccoli has a comparatively high protein content, with protein accounting for 29 percent of its dry weight. However, due to the high water content of broccoli, 1 cup of broccoli only contains 3 grams of protein per serving. Broccoli has a greater protein content than the majority of veggies.

    Why Eating Too Much Protein On Keto Is A Myth

    How much protein should I eat per day?

    Many keto dieters beginners and experts alike believe that eating too much protein can increase the amount of blood sugar present in the blood through a metabolic pathway called gluconeogenesis.

    Gluconeogenesis is the creation of new glucose in the body from non-carbohydrate sources such as lactate, pyruvate, and protein.

    Its name has the following three components:

    Gluco: Meaning glucose.

    • Genesis: Meaning origin or creation.

    GNG is literally the creation of glucose from anything but carbohydrates.

    Take the keto quiz

    Your body uses compounds like lactate, amino acids , and glycerol to create glucose when no carbohydrates are present.

    By this very definition, its safe to assume that gluconeogenesis should be avoided at all costs. After all, when glucose is present, it means your body cant produce ketones and use it as the main fuel source.

    But some glucose is required for us to live.

    In fact, your cells use gluconeogenesis to ensure you dont die when there are no carbohydrates present in your system.

    The three main responsibilities of GNG include:

    • Preventing hypoglycemia
    • Fueling the tissues that cant use ketones
    • Replenishing glycogen stores

    Do not consume lower amounts of protein to avoid gluconeogenesis. Too little protein is worse for your health than too much.

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    Be Cautious With Too Much Protein

    The old saying too much of a good thing is a bad thing holds true with almost every nutrient, including protein. While protein is important, it is a delicate balance. Providing too much protein can cause issues like dehydration and in those with kidney disease, it can further kidney damage.

    Those with kidney disease may actually need less protein and not more. It is important to speak with your doctor and/or ageriatric dietitian to determine your individual needs.

    The Best Sources Of Keto Protein

    Not all protein sources are healthy for you. The belief that your body utilizes macros the same way no matter what source it comes from has been debunked by science.

    A meta-analysis conducted on over 450,000 men and women observed the difference between processed meats and red meat to evaluate which one has higher carcinogenicity. Based on this review, scientists concluded that processed meats can cause colorectal and stomach cancer whereas red meat did not.

    Processed meats you should avoid on keto include:

    • Pepperoni
    • Supports skin health

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    Protein Requirements For Older Adults

    Protein requirements for older adults may be different than for younger adults.

    The Dietary Reference Intake tells us how much protein we should be eating every day. The DRI for protein in adults is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram body weight . For an individual who weighs 150 pounds, they would need approximately 55 grams of protein per day.

    The DRI for protein is the same for older adults as it is for younger adults. However, research suggest that older adults may indeed need more protein .

    In this article we will dig deep into why protein is important, how much protein an older adult requires, and how to get enough protein in their diet.

    Total Calories: 1699 Per Day

    How many grams of protein should a woman eat, IAMMRFOSTER.COM

    Exercise: 15-30 minutes of elevated heart rate activity.Intense exercise: 45-120 minutes of elevated heart rate activity.Very intense exercise: 2+ hours of elevated heart rate activity.

    Editors note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldnt take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns.

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    How Much Protein You Need

    People do have different protein requirements depending on their age, their size, their levels of activity and health. However, those requirements are not as high and don’t vary as much, as some of the popular hype around protein might lead one to believe.

    Current dietary guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend that adult women consume 46 grams of protein per day or 10%30% of your total calories. For adult men, 56 grams of protein is recommended or 10%30% of your total calories.

    The USDA offers the following guidelines as to what serving sizes equal an ounce of protein: In general, 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish, ¼ cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or ½ ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1 ounce equivalent from the Protein Foods Group.

    Finding Your Optimal Level Of Protein For Your Body And Goals

    Suppose you want to lose weight. That means you should probably follow some simple guidelines like eating less sugar. But research also indicates that eating more protein can help you towards this goal.

    Scientists at the University of Illinois designed a weight-loss program in which one group ate the Recommended Daily Allowance for protein, while a matched group ate two times the RDA recommended amount. Both groups also exercised. The RDA group lost 12 pounds of fat in 16 weeks, while the higher-protein group lost nearly 20 pounds during the same time period. The RDA group also lost two pounds of muscle. This suggests that you need more protein during a weight-loss program, both to lose fat and to preserve your muscle.

    “But wait,” protein naysayers will bark. “Won’t eating all of that protein jeopardize your cardiovascular system? It’s bound to clog your arteries.”

    To put that concern to the test, researchers pooled together a group of subjects with high blood pressure and less-than-ideal cholesterol, and tested the impact of adding more protein to their diets. No one was allowed to gain or lose weight during the test, so any changes couldn’t be chalked up to the benefits of dropping a few pounds. Some subjects ate a diet with 18 percent of their total calories coming from protein, which is pretty close to the USDA’s recommended amount. A second group upped their protein intake to 28 percent.

    What happened?

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    Factors That Increase Your Protein Need

    There are primarily three major factors that increase your protein need that you should know about:

    • Exercise increases your protein need both in the short and long term. In the short term, you require some extra protein the day or two after a hard workout to repair your body. In the long term, as you build up more muscle mass over the years you will require more protein to maintain that mass.
    • A caloric deficit will increase your muscle breakdown. One way to counter this is by increasing your protein intake. Adding about 0.5 g protein/kg/d when you are in a caloric deficit will generally put you in the right ballpark. If you are both muscular and already at a low body-fat percentage, a protein intake upwards of 2.73.1 g/kg/d has been recommended in the scientific literature for maintaining muscle mass during a cut.56
    • Aging decreases your anabolic response to protein, meaning that as you get older, the amount of protein needed to maximize your muscle growth increases, both per meal and in terms of your total daily intake. Older in this case means about 60 years or so. How much extra protein? Science has yet to map this out, but if you stick to the higher ranges of the intervals mentioned in this article, you are probably covered. You can read a lot more about this in our article Building Muscle as You Age: Protein Needs for the Older Lifter.

    The Building Blocks Of Muscle

    How much protein should you be eating per day?

    During digestion, your body breaks down protein into individual amino acids. It uses them in many different ways, putting them together like a child combines Legos to build a castle. These castles are your muscle tissue. To build them, you need an adequate supply of building blocks.

    But imagine that the Legos did more than just stack on top of each other â they took part in your castle construction by telling you when to build your towers and walls. That’s what the amino acids in protein do. They aren’t just inert pieces of food waiting to be broken down. They actively signal your body to build muscle.

    The most important amino acid in this process is leucine, which is found in just about every protein-containing food you’d ever eat. But in order for leucine to optimize and maximize your ability to turn protein into muscle there needs to be a certain amount presentâa protein threshold, if you will.

    Scientists estimate that this threshold is about 30 grams of protein. You can build muscle with less than this amount or more, but this dosage is what research has found is ideal for optimal functioning.

    Once built, muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories than fat even while you’re at rest. And the more muscle you have, the more effective and efficient you become at every activity, which helps you burn more calories.

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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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    How Much Protein Should I Eat To Build Muscle

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

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

    How much?

    If youâre of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 0.64â1.09 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 youâre 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 canât 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 donât 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 youâre looking for an exercise routine that can be done ANYWHERE, look no further. Our beginner routine has jumpstarted many Rebels in their strength training. Youâd be surprised how much muscle you can build with your own weight, a milk jug, and a sturdy table.
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