You’re A Vegetarian Or Vegan
Eat These Recipes:High-Protein Vegan Recipes
Good news for those forgoing animal products: If you’re eating enough calories, opting for a plant-based diet doesn’t automatically mean you’re not consuming enough protein. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the terms “complete” and “incomplete” protein are misleading. “Protein from a variety of plant foods, eaten during the course of a day, supplies enough of all indispensable amino acids when caloric requirements are met,” the Academy said in a 2016 position statement.
Vegetarians and vegans may need to pay a bit more attention to what foods give them the best protein-for-calorie value than the average meat-eater, but eating a varied diet that includes protein-rich legumes and soy will keep your body and muscles humming along just fine.
Other great vegetarian sources of protein: eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, quinoa and peanut butter. See our Top Vegetarian Protein Sources if you need help eating more protein. Vegans, read up on our Top 10 Vegan Protein Sources.
How Much Protein Should I Eat A Day
Based on all of the research Ive seen, 15+ years of firsthand experience, 10+ years of helping others, and the various recommendations out there from the people whose opinions I value most, here is what I recommend
Now lets answer a bunch of additional questions you probably have
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Who Should Use The Promix Protein Calculator
The Promix Protein Calculator is for anyone looking for a better way to determine their own specific daily protein needs quickly and easily. Our protein calculator combines well-researched scientific components with the years of real world experience Albert has gained through helping thousands of clients. Whether you are an Olympic gold medalist or someone just starting to train, having the right amount of protein in your diet will help you feel better and achieve your goals.
Does Your Body Absorb Only 30 Grams Of Protein Per Meal
The reason its thought that you can only absorb 30 grams of protein in one sitting is that you only need about 20-30 grams of protein to trigger muscle protein synthesis and actually build muscle.
Triggering muscle protein synthesis is mostly regulated through leucine, which is the main anabolic amino acid. It requires about 2-3 grams of leucine to activate muscle protein synthesis and generally, you can get that amount of leucine from 20-30 grams of a complete protein.
However, this doesnt really tell you much about how much protein you can end up absorbing in one meal. It just tells you that if you want to keep the muscle building signal activated more frequently then youd have to spike muscle protein synthesis more frequently as well. Theres no indication of how it affects muscle protein synthesis over the 24-hour period.
Additionally, more frequent spikes of protein synthesis wont necessarily mean more muscle growth either because if you just eat 30 grams of protein then there arent many amino acids in that small meal to build new tissue either. If you were to eat that large steak again with 60 grams of protein, youll activate protein synthesis and youll have more than enough building blocks as well.
So, in theory, it could be that less frequent spikes in muscle protein synthesis but with a higher amount of protein could potentially build more muscle just because of the higher availability of amino acids that could be absorbed much more efficiently.
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We Need To Maintain Our Muscle Mass As We Age Because We Become Less Active And Frail
Most experts agree with Tipton that protein is best consumed in food instead of supplements. But there are some exceptions, such as athletes who find it difficult to hit their daily protein targets, points out Graeme Close, professor of human physiology at Liverpool John Moores University. I believe most need more than the recommended daily allowance, and theres good evidence to support this, he says. In this case, he says, a shake can be useful.
Another demographic who can benefit from extra protein? The elderly. Thats because as we age, we need more protein to retain muscle mass. But we also tend to eat less protein as we get older because our taste-buds begin to prefer sweet over savoury.
Emma Stevenson, professor of sport and exercise science at Newcastle University, is working with food companies to get more protein into snacks that the elderly are known to regularly buy, such as biscuits. We need to maintain our muscle mass as we age, because we become less active and frail, she says.
Close says the elderly should increase protein intake to around 1.2g per kg body weight.
Most people get more than their daily recommended allowance of protein from their diet
How Much Protein Do You Need
Protein requirements vary depending on a person’s weight, age, gender, and level of physical activity. If you’re a sedentary person, the Recommended Dietary Allowance prescribes 0.36 grams of protein per pound. You may need more if you are an athlete or an active person who engages in greater endurance or strength-related activities. In that case, protein content ranges from 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound.
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How Many Times To Eat Protein When Intermittent Fasting
So, how much protein should you actually eat and in how many meals? That would depend on the type of fasting schedule you have and whats your desired rate of muscle protein synthesis
Although elevated muscle protein synthesis makes you anabolic it doesnt necessarily mean youll be always building muscle. For MPS to build quality lean muscle, youd have to also have the signal of resistance training activated that would direct the protein into the right place. The training signal remains activated for about 48 hours after exercise, which means that if your goal is to maximize muscle hypertrophy or strength gain, then youd want to be training every other day .
As far as meal timing goes, Id say that there isnt much difference between eating 5 vs 2 meals a day as long as the total caloric intake and protein intake are the same. The difference is insignificant for most people.
When it comes to eating one meal a day or eating all of your calories within 2-4 hours, then you may be in a less optimal position to build muscle but you wont lose any muscle either as long as youre consuming an adequate amount of calories. To gain lean body mass with OMAD youd have to be doing a very gradual and steady recomposition.
How Much Protein Does Your Body Need
The amount of protein you need per day depends on many things and people need different amounts.
- The more lean muscle mass you have, the more protein you need to sustain that amount of muscle
- Being more active in general increases your protein demands because physical activity damages the muscle cells to a certain extent
- If you do resistance training, you need more protein to support that training with enough protein synthesis and mTOR activation
- If you do primarily endurance training, you need slightly less protein because endurance training doesnt break down that much muscle tissue as resistance training does. Even if it does, the purpose of endurance training isnt to build muscle so the desired intake of protein wouldnt be higher either.
The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.36g/lb of bodyweight which for an average individual weighing between 150-180 pounds would be 55-70 grams of protein per day . However, this is not ideal for the majority of the population and most people actually need more, especially if youre exercising.
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What Happens If You Eat Too Much Protein
It is possible to eat too much protein, but the exact numbers for actual harm remain unclear and it likely varies between people. At the end of the day there hasnt been any clear evidence that eating too much protein can cause harm in healthy people. Theres been a 2016 study that investigated the effect of a high protein diet over a one-year period in healthy, strength-training men. This study showed that eating around 1.4 grams per pound of body weight every day for a year didnt have any adverse health effects . Another study found that even consuming 5.5 times the recommended daily allowance of protein had no effect on body composition in healthy individuals .
However, some researchers do suggest that too much protein can be harmful for people, especially to people suffering from kidney diseases. There have been some indications that extra protein makes the kidneys work harder, as a consequence it may increase the risk of kidney stones .
When extra protein is not used efficiently by the body it may impose a metabolic burden on the bones, kidneys and liver. According to this study it therefore could also cause nausea, cramps, headaches, fatigue and bloating in healthy people . Yet, further investigation with large randomized controlled studies is needed to draw definite conclusions.
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.
Almonds are high in several nutrients and can boost the protein content of a meal or snack.
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What Does Protein Do
Protein is responsible for the growth and repair of all of the cells and tissues in your body. In fact, your muscles, organs, skin, hair, nails, bones, certain hormones and much more are all made up of some amount of protein.
Protein is also the provider of the essential amino acids, which are amino acids that your body requires but cannot produce on its own. They must be supplied through your diet.
So, in terms of overall health, function and you knownot dying, eating a sufficient amount of protein each day is crucial.
But what about for goals like losing weight or building muscle? What kind of roles does it play here?
Boost The Taste Of Your Shakes
Each protein powder has a unique taste, depending on theingredients and protein source, says Patton. A lot of companies use fillersor flavor enhancers designed by food scientists to create flavors beyond thestandard vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
To improve the taste of the protein shakes you make, mixyour protein powders with milk or a milk alternative toproduce a creamier milkshake-like texture.
Create your own flavor enhancers by mixing in one serving offruit or even a tablespoon of peanut butter.
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When You Consume Your Protein Actually Matters
If youre someone who drinks protein shakes in order to get enough protein to maximize your gym gains, you probably chug one right after your workouts. And while thats not a bad idea, theres an even more important rule when it comes to timing your protein intake: Its crucial to space out your protein intake throughout the day.
Protein is vital after a workout, Ansari says. But it is important for people to know that more is not necessarily better.
The amount of protein your muscles can absorb after working out varies, depending on factors like how much you exercised and your body composition, Ansari says. The Academy/DC/ACSM all recommend consuming 15 to 25 grams of protein within two hours after your workout to maximize MPS, while the ISSN recommends getting 20 to 40 grams .
If youre looking for an easy-to-remember rule, aim for something in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 grams of protein after a workout. So in terms of food, that could be a 7-ounce container of 2% fat plain Greek yogurt of protein a 4-ounce chicken breast or a scoop of protein powder.
How Did We Calculate Your Protein Intake
Bodybuilding.com’s protein calculator starts with the Mifflin St. Jeor equation, which is considered by our nutritionists and dieticians to be the “gold standard” of calorie calculators. Here’s how it works:
Calculate basal metabolic rate , or the calories your body burns simply by being alive. For men: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age + 5 For women: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age -161
Then, this BMR count is multiplied, depending on your activity level:
Sedentary = 1.2
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Why Is The Recommended Daily Value For Protein Not The Best For Health And Performance
The Daily Value is a term created by the FDA that replaced the term “US RDA”.
“US” stands for United States. RDA stands for “Recommended Daily Allowances”.
The RDA for protein is calculated by multiplying the EAR by 1.2.
So what is the EAR for protein based upon?
The EAR is based on what scientific research has said will be enough to “satisfy the needs of 50% of the people in that age group.” In other words, this means that half of that group will be deficient and half will have enough protein to avoid any negative effects on health. This is also not considering an athletic population that already needs more protein. This is simply an average population sample. Furthermore, I am not looking to only recommend the bare minimum to prevent disease. I am also looking for the amount to recommend that will fully maximize health, longevity, and physical performance.
So, to put this all together, the Daily Value you see on food labels for protein is equal to 20% more than what half of the average, non-athletic population needs to prevent deficiency and negative health effects. This is crazy!
The takeaway here is that the Daily Value for protein is INCREDIBLY LOW for what is actually needed for an athlete, not to mention for someone whose goal is to add lean muscle. The Daily Value is not even enough for someone who works out a few times per week.
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
Protein intake should be based on body weight, not on caloric intake.
Most studies have looked at dosages up to 1.5 g/kg only a few have looked at dosages as high as 2.23.3 g/kg. However, in healthy people, even those higher dosages dont seem to have negative effects.
Tip: Calculating your protein needs
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How Much Protein Do You Need Every Day
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.”