How To Calculate Amount Of Protein Needed Per Day

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

How Much Protein Per Day to Gain Muscle || How to Calculate The Best Amount of Protein

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.

How Much Protein To Build Muscle Ask An Rd

The main building blocks of your body,protein is used to repair and maintain your body tissues including muscle.

If your goal is to build muscle, then its important that youre getting the right amount of protein, as well as the right amounts of the other macronutrients, carbohydrates and fats.

The general strategy for calculating the minimum amount of protein that you need is 0.36 grams of protein per pound that you weigh. In a 165-pound adult, thats about 60 grams of protein per day.

But thats just the minimum recommended daily allowance .

You might be wondering if the minimum amount of protein recommended is enough to actually build more muscle. Below, well explore just how much protein you should consume per day to build muscle .

How To Plug In The Numbers

While you can just use the protein calculator to determine your recommended intake, well show you how to plug the numbers into the formula or rather, how it works.

Ok, so say you are a 30-year-old male that is 6 tall and weighs 185 lbs. Youll plug this information into the following formula for men to find BMR: 66.5 + 13.75 + 5.003 6.775


66.5 + 13.75 x 83.9kg + 5.003 x 182.9 6.775 x 30 = 1,931 calories

So 1,913 calories is the BMR and youll also get this number by selecting the custom option on the activity multiplier. Now lets factor in a specific activity level such as the medium exercise option that youll find in the activity level dropdown menu on the protein calculator.

To get our calculation, well have to take 1,931 and multiply it by 1.55, which equals 2,993 calories. So, the recommended calories for a 30-year-old, 6 tall male that weighs 185 pounds and does a medium level of activity is 2,993.

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How Much Protein Do I Need A Day

Protein needs vary person to person. A general guideline is to multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8 to 1.0 to find out a range of how many grams of protein you need per day. This number is a starting point. You may need more protein if you are very physically active or recovering from illness or surgery.

Choosing The Right Proteins

How many grams protein per day to build muscle ...
  • 1Choose lean, low-fat protein. If you’re worried about your dietary choices, go for leaner, low-fat proteins over less healthy options. Turkey, poultry, and seafood are good protein choices as they’re low in fat and tend to have fewer calories.XTrustworthy SourceUSDA Center for Nutrition Policy and PromotionU.S. agency responsible for promoting good nutrition based on scientific researchGo to source
  • If you’re a vegetarian, protein can be found in eggs, nuts, beans, soy products, and cheeses. Stick to low-fat, healthy cheese options.
  • 2Prepare protein in a healthy manner. The manner in which you prepare protein can cause it to have more or fewer calories. Avoid frying protein or cooking it in heavy oils or butter. Try using heart-healthy olive oil when cooking protein. Consider boiling or poaching eggs instead of frying them. Do not use too much salt. Excessive salt intake can cause problems like high blood pressure.XTrustworthy SourceUSDA Center for Nutrition Policy and PromotionU.S. agency responsible for promoting good nutrition based on scientific researchGo to source
  • 3Avoid processed meats. Processed meats, such as those found in frozen food or deli meats, tend to be higher in fat and calories. They also tend to have a higher overall salt content. Opt for fresh meats when possible.XTrustworthy SourceUSDA Center for Nutrition Policy and PromotionU.S. agency responsible for promoting good nutrition based on scientific researchGo to sourceAdvertisement
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    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.

    How Much Protein Per Day To Lose Weight

    If you want to lose weight, aim for a daily protein intake between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight . Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram if aiming for weight loss.

    My practical recommendation to people is that if you carry a BMI of over 30 or a body fat percentage above 25-30% it makes more sense to base your protein recommendations off of your goal weight.

    For the correct amount of protein to gain muscle, check this resource out.

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    Does All Digested Protein Go Towards Muscle Protein Synthesis

    Now that we have a much better understanding of protein digestion, it is necessary to note that not all those isolated amino acids and shorter peptides will go towards creating new muscle tissue/muscle protein synthesis .

    To put it simply, eating 100 grams of protein in a meal will not lead to a larger rise in MPS than a more modest amount. Based on research findings, 30 40 grams of a leucine-rich protein source are sufficient for maxing out the MPS response to a meal for at least 3-5 hours with a few exceptions that will be noted in just a bit.

    This isnt to say that you must restrict protein consumption to 30 grams per meal for optimum muscle growth.

    Bigger people will clearly need more and vice versa.

    Furthermore, the protein that doesnt go towards protein synthesis is still biologically useful for other roles in your body.

    Nevertheless, consuming an exorbitant amount of protein in a given meal will likely lead to a large percentage of those amino acids being oxidized and sent to the liver for gluconeogenesis, and/or excretion.

    Why Trust Verywell Fit

    How much protein do you need per day? |How to calculate your protein intake

    As a Registered Dietitian, Sydney Greene takes snack recommendations seriously. Every product has been researched and vetted by her against clinical research, product reviews, and third-party testing websites. These are products she would not only feel comfortable recommending to her clients but she would take them herself if needed.

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    How To Calculate How Much Protein You Need

    South Africans eat up to 81 grams of protein a day while Americans and the British eat over 100 grams a day. While according to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention the recommended daily average for protein is between 46 and 56 grams. But how much do you really need?

    How to Calculate Your Protein Needs:

    1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg2. Determine your protein number Mildly Active = 0.8, Regularly Active = 1.5, Heavily Active = 1.8 3. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.

    Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary . Use a higher number if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.

    Example: 140lb female who is mildly active:140 lbs/2.2 = 63kg

    How To Calculate Calories From Protein

    wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 16 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 133,985 times.Learn more…

    Knowing how to calculate calories from protein can be useful in meal planning. Protein is essential to maintain good health as inadequate protein intake can cause fatigue, hunger, and other physical symptoms. Calculating calories from protein and meal planning will help alleviate issues due to too much or too little protein.

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    How Much Protein Should I Eat In A Sitting For Muscle Gains

    Youve probably heard that the body can only utilize so much protein per meal or in a sitting. This is a bit of a controversial topic although more recent research has been able to provide us with more accurate information.

    Recent literature from 2018 concluded that the ideal strategy for protein intake if the goal is to gain muscle, eat 0.4 g/kg/meal across a minimum of four meals in order to reach the minimum recommendation of 1.6 g/kg/day. However, an upper daily intake of 2.2 g/kg/day spread out over four meals of 0.55 g/kg/meal has also shown to be an effective approach .

    But there are several factors that determine an ideal protein intake the study also mentioned that its practical to individualize a diet program and be open to exceeding estimated averages.

    Overall macronutrient ratio and protein quality/form could play an important role in how much protein can be effectively absorbed and utilized in one sitting.

    Does Protein Have Any Negative Health Effects

    How much protein do you need per day?

    Protein has been unfairly blamed for a number of health problems.

    Some people believe that a high protein diet can cause kidney damage and osteoporosis, but science does not support these claims.

    Though protein restriction is helpful for people with preexisting kidney problems, theres no evidence that protein can cause kidney damage in healthy people (

    31 ).

    Overall, theres no evidence that a reasonably high protein intake has any adverse effects in healthy people trying to optimize their health.


    Protein does not have any negative effects on kidney function in healthy people, and studies show that it leads to improved bone health.

    The best sources of protein are meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as they have all the essential amino acids that your body needs.

    Some plants are fairly high in protein as well, such as quinoa, legumes, and nuts.

    However, most people generally dont need to track their protein intake.

    If youre healthy and trying to stay that way, simply eating quality protein sources with most of your meals, along with nutritious plant foods, should bring your intake to an optimal range.

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    How Much Protein Should I Eat To Build Muscle

    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.
  • 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 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.

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    Meal And Shake Ideas To Meet Your Protein Needs

    Following a high-protein diet isnt as difficult as it may seem, we promise. If youre looking for foods and other sources of protein to add into your diet to boost your protein intake, here are some of our favorite dietary proteins:

    • Eggs

    • Nuts, like almonds and pistachios

    • Seeds, like pumpkin seeds

    • Lean meats like lean beef

    • Quinoa

    • Lentils

    • High protein veggies, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts

    Another easy way to get your protein is through drinks like a smoothie or a protein shake. Bonus: Liquids are easier to digest, so your body is able to absorb and use the protein in protein shakes and smoothies much quicker. Opt to create your drinks using a protein powder made from fast-absorbing proteins, like whey protein or pea protein, for an even speedier absorption rate.

    How To Calculate Calories You Need Per Day

    How to calculate EXACTLY how many grams of protein you need each day!
  • Apply Online Calculators. There are a variety of online calculators that can help you determine the number of calories you should be eating each day. Some of these are designed to help manage your overall health while others are designed to assist with weight loss, but they all largely work the same. Enter any relevant personal data such as your gender, age, weight and height and then choose the type of measurements you would like to work with to get a count of the number of calories you should be eating. You can find a BMR calculator to use at .
  • Calculate Your Own BMR. Online calculators work with the BMR or basal metabolic rate. This calculates the amount of energy necessary to perform essential functions like breathing, digestion or heartbeat. Men calculate the BMR by multiplying 12.7 times their height plus 6.23 times your weight minus 6.8 times your age. Then add 66 to determine your total BMR. Women follow the same formula but multiply their height by 4.7, their weight by 4.35 and their age by 4.7, then add 655 to get their total BMR.
  • Use Harris Benedict Formula. This formula helps to determine your calorie needs based on the BMR and activity level.
  • Those that perform very little exercise should multiple their BMR by 1.2 to determine their daily calorie need.
  • Those that take part in light exercise daily should multiply their BMR by 1.375.
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    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.

    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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