How Much Protein Should I Intake

How Much Protein After Exercise

The Optimal Amount of Protein to Eat Per Meal

After exercising, when your muscles are more sensitive to the anabolic effect of protein, take a dose in the range of your desirable minimal protein intake per meal. If youve been exercising on an empty stomach, youll be in negative protein balance, so take this dose as soon as possible. Otherwise, try to take it within a couple of hours the exact size of your window of opportunity depends on how much protein youre still digesting.

Digging Deeper: After better than before?

Is it better to eat before or after exercising?

In a 2020 crossover trial we first summarized for Examine Members, 8 healthy young men were divided into three groups.

All three groups performed a full-body strength workout in the morning. One group ate a meal 1.5 hours before, another just after, and the last waited for lunchtime.

This happened three times, with three days in between. Each time, the men switched to a different group. Thus, at the end of the trial, they had all tried all three meal times.

Blood insulin and certain modified amino acids were measured as indicators of muscle breakdown. The results? Eating a mixed-nutrient meal immediately after resistance training, rather than 1.5 hours before or not until lunchtime, resulted in the greatest suppression of muscle protein breakdown.

Whether or not this correlates with improvements in muscle growth and recovery, however, is unclear.

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day

As with most things in nutrition, theres no simple answer. Your ideal intake of calories and protein depends on your health, body composition, main goal, and the type, intensity, duration, and frequency of your physical activity. And even taking all this into account, youll end up with a starting number, which youll need to adjust through self-experimentation.

Tip: Calculating your caloric needs

Your height, weight, age, and level of physical activity all contribute to your caloric needs. There are many calorie calculators out there, but the NIH Body Weight Planner stands out. It has been tested and validated against real-world data and can estimate the number of calories you need to reach then maintain a specific weight.

Calorie-wise, there are only three types of diets:

Daily protein requirements are expressed in grams, either per kilogram of body weight or per pound of body weight . Ranges in the table below reflect known individual variances.

Maintenance: eucaloric diet | Muscle gain: eucaloric diet or hypercaloric diet | Fat loss: hypocaloric diet | * Grams per kilogram of body weight

Also, note that

Tip: Calculating your protein needs

Exercise Stimulates Protein Synthesis

To build muscle, your body needs to replace and grow new cells. And growing new cells requires the production of new proteins. Taking a relatively simplified view, this process has two essential requirements:

  • Energy for synthesizing new proteins

  • A high enough concentration of the amino acid building blocks for synthesizing new proteins

  • The body is constantly experiencing protein turnover. This simply means that new proteins are being produced while old proteins are being broken down.

    The act of exercising, and in particular weight training, stimulates protein synthesis regardless of your protein intake.

    So why eat protein?

    In the period just after resistance training , muscle tissue becomes more sensitive to nutrition.

    Dietary protein adds ingredients the body needs for protein synthesis and extends the duration the body spends building new protein.

    Also Check: Are Special K Protein Bars Good For You

    Protein And Strength Training

    Several studies have been published that investigate the role of protein intake on strength training. Some with conflicting results.

    Therefore, some of the best approaches to take are looking at critical reviews and meta-analyses.

    These studies attempt to summarize the state of the science and for meta-analyses, group several studies datasets together in order to increase the sample size and render more statistically relevant results.

    One critical review published in the Journal of Nutrition reviewed the role that protein and/or amino acid intake plays in muscle growth during strength training. Here are some highlights.

    Bulletproof Ways To Get More Protein

    How much protein do you need per day?

    Looking for ideas to bump up your protein intake? You dont have to go whole-hog and eat your weight in chicken breasts at every meal. You can add protein throughout the day, from breakfast to snacks to dessert. Here are some ideas featuring our go-to Bulletproof products:

    You May Like: Premier Protein Artificial Sweetener

    How Much Protein Should I Eat Per Day To Lose Weight

    weight loss goals

    • Protein provides satiety and keeps you full for longer. By increasing protein intake, you are less likely to feel hunger pangs, and as such, less likely to eat more food or binge on junk foods. So how much protein should you eat to lose weight? About 1.8 2.9 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight can provide satiety.
    • A protein-rich diet can preserve lean body mass during caloric restriction. Lean body mass has benefits like combating obesity, protecting against diabetes, keeping bones healthy, etc.

    Image: 123RF

    • Protein increases the thermic effect of food, which means your body spends more energy on breaking down the food, digesting it, and converting it into energy.
    • If youre asking yourself, How much protein should I eat per day?, remember that protein is hard to store as body fat as compared to the other macronutrients, carbohydrates and fat. During weight loss, its important to note how much of the energy you consume, through food, is stored as fat. When you eat more protein than carbs or fat, youre less likely to store fat and gain weight.

    Tip:Eating a protein-rich diet offers several benefits if youre looking to lose weight.Image: 123RF

    We Looked At All The Studies And Spoke To Multiple Experts To Land On The Ideal Number

    When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, few questions can be as confusing as that of how much protein you should consume. The FDAs suggestions for avoiding a protein deficiency are a lot lower than what the average lean, muscular person will tell you they eat. Whats the minimum and is there a maximum? We talked to multiple experts and look at a ton of research to land on the formulas used in this calculator.

    Recommended Reading: Garden Of Life Vs Shakeology

    Too Much Vs Too Little

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the recommended daily intake of protein for adults at an average weight and activity level is 56 grams daily for men and 46 grams daily for women. This is the minimum required protein intake, and the amount can increase depending on your goals.

    Its ideal to eat smaller amounts of protein throughout the day instead of getting your protein requirement in one or two meals. This allows your body utilize what it needs throughout the day instead of storing what isnt used as fat.

    Its true that eating very high levels of protein is correlated with some health risks. If youre not cutting calories from carbohydrates while increasing calorie intake from protein, you may experience weight gain instead of weight loss.

    Very high protein intake may also cause digestive issues, including constipation, gut-related issues and changes in blood sugar levels.

    Finally, its important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet that doesnt completely neglect any nutrients. This will ensure that youre getting the micro- and macronutrients you need for optimal health.

    Eating More May Help Older People Prevent Muscle Loss

    How much Protein intake is needed for our body? Side effects of consuming over protein

    Beans and legumes, including all types of dried beans, split peas and lentils, are considered good sources of protein.

    Protein helps to keep our muscles strong, which is important for maintaining the balance and mobility needed to continue to live independently as we age. Yet, unlike with fruits and veggies, we may not focus on getting enough of this important nutrient. And recommendations on exactly how much protein older adults need vary.

    The current recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight a day for adults over 18, or about 2.3 ounces for a 180-pound adult. But research is showing that higher levels may be needed for adults age 65-plus.

    In our older years, we are at risk of sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass, strength and function. The essential amino acids in protein are key nutrients for muscle health, but older adults are less responsive to low doses of amino acid intake compared to younger people. A 2016 study from researchers at the departments of Food Science and Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas found that this lack of responsiveness can be overcome with higher levels of protein consumption. The study says that protein levels in the range of 30 to 35 percent of total caloric intake may prove beneficial, although the researchers acknowledge that level could be difficult to reach for many people.

    The Cleveland Clinic polled six dietitians on their top four sources of protein, and the winners were:

    Also Check: Special K Protein Bars Healthy

    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.

    How Much Protein Do You Need To Lose Fat

    The only way to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit, meaning you eat fewer calories than you consume, Sauza says. Eating protein as part of a well-rounded diet can help satiate you so you eat fewer calories overall, but simply increasing your protein intake without creating a caloric deficit will not make you lose weight.

    Another benefit to eating protein is that it helps your body build muscle, which can slightly increase your resting metabolism and help you burn more calories overall.

    If you are trying to lose weight and are concerned about maintaining muscle mass, make sure protein comprises 10% to 20% of total daily calories, Sauza says. But, this varies depending on age, weight, and current strength training regimen.

    Recommended Reading: Equivalent To Shakeology

    How Much Protein Do I Need

    Protein is an essential nutrient. You have protein in every single cell in your body. Proteins do more than help you build toned muscles. They play an important role in the health of your hair, skin, nails, and your connective tissues. Antibodies are proteins that are critical to your immune system function. Proteins play a role in hundreds of bodily functions that are necessary to keep you healthy. Its safe to say that proteins are a critical component of a healthy diet.

    Our bodies do not store protein, so we need to eat protein every day to maintain our health. The minimum amount of protein that you should eat each day is known as the Recommended Daily Allowance, or RDA. The RDA is the amount of nutrient that you need to eat to make sure you dont get sick. The RDA for protein for most adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of your body weight. If the metric calculations arent your thing, you can figure out your RDA by multiplying your weight in pounds by 0.36. Using either method of calculation, youll find that a person who weighs 150 pounds would need about 54 grams of protein per day.

    Keep in mind: the RDA is the minimum amount of protein that is recommended each day. Depending on your lifestyle and health goals, you may need or want to eat more protein.

    How Much Protein Should You Eat For Muscle Gain

    How much protein do you need per day?

    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.

    You May Like: Can Collagen Supplements Cause Headaches

    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.

    Where Can I Get The Protein I Need

    If you are at the beginning of your bulking phase, increasing your protein intake from real food is the best way to give your body the materials it needs to build lean muscle.

    Here is a handy list of all the foods you can get all your protein requirements from:

    • Chicken Breast: 33g of protein per 100g
    • Cod: 18g of protein per 100g
    • Whey Protein: 80 to 90g of protein per 100g
    • Vegan Protein: 70 to 80g of protein per 100g
    • Clams and Other Molluscs: 48g of protein per 100g
    • Low-sodium Parmesan Cheese: 42g of protein per 100g
    • Tofu: 17g of protein per 100g
    • Lean Beef: 36g of protein per 100g
    • Lamb: 25g of protein per 100g
    • Pork Tenderloin: 23g of protein per 100g
    • Soya Protein Isolate: 88g of protein per 100g
    • Eggs: 12.5g of protein per 100g
    • Grilled Salmon: 24.2g of protein per 100g
    • Tuna: 23g of protein per 100g
    • Grilled pork chop: 31g per 100g

    Don’t Miss: Fat And Protein Efficient Metabolism Diet

    Helps Squeeze In Extra Nutrients

    Protein shakes can be a simple way to squeeze some extra vitamins and minerals into your daily diet.

    Vegetables like spinach, kale, zucchini, and beets are all rich in nutrients and can be easily blended into a protein shake.

    Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and kiwis are also high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and can help boost the flavor of your smoothie or shake.

    Other nutritious ingredients that you can add to your protein shake include nuts, seeds, yogurt, milk, herbs, and spices.


    Protein shakes are a quick and convenient breakfast option that can help squeeze some extra nutrients into your diet and keep you feeling full.

    Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Healthy Sedentary Adults

    How much protein per day [Sowon] protein intake

    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


    Recommended Reading: Shakeology Lawsuit

    Popular Articles

    Related Articles