How To Calculate How Much Protein To Eat

How Did We Calculate Your Protein Intake

How Much Protein, Carbs, & Fats Should You Eat? – Calculations and Adjustments

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

How Much Protein Do You Need Optimal Protein Intake

The generally recommended daily protein intake is 0.9 grams per kilogram of body weight for adolescents and 0.8 grams per kg of body weight for adults . You can use our protein requirement calculator to do the math for your weight with high accuracy. This is a minimum that you should not fall below, while the protein calculator here can estimate how much protein you will need to maintain a specific diet. If the recommendation produced is lower than the recommended minimum, then you may need to reconsider your diet, especially if you plan to adhere to it for a longer period of time.

A balanced approach would be to eat about 25% of your calories in the form of proteins. However, each person is different – with a specific health condition and fitness goals and your diet should be decided on accordingly, taking all factors into consideration.

Protein Deficiency When The Hunger Kills

We would like to end this text by addressing a grave tragedy affecting an unbelievable amount of people around the world the protein-energy malnutrition. It is caused by chronic hunger or disease reducing the ability of intestines to absorb food. As you may suspect, it concerns mainly developing countries. However, children and the elderly of America experience the malnutrition and protein deficiency too. This illness manifests in two disorders:

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How Did We Calculate Your Calories

Bodybuilding.com’s macro 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

The calorie count is then adjusted based on your goal:

Weight loss: Reduce by 10-20%Weight gain: Add 500 caloriesWeight maintenance: Unchanged

This calorie count is split into macronutrient percentages in the following ratios, based on splits commonly recommended by our nutrition experts for muscle gain, weight loss, and weight maintenance.

Weight loss: 40/40/20 Weight gain: 40/30/30Weight maintenance: 40/30/30

These daily grams of each “macro” come from applying those percentages to your daily calorie number. Each gram of a macronutrient is “worth” this many calories:

Protein: 4 calories

How Much Protein Should I Eat At Once

10 Ways to Eat Your Daily Protein

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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What Does Protein Do

When digested, protein breaks down into amino acids. These amino acids help the body’s tissues function and grow. That makes this macronutrient important to having healthy and strong muscles and bones, as well as impacting your hair and nails.

There are nine essential amino acids and 11 non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are “essential” in that they must be consumed through the diet because our bodies cannot make them.

Unlike with carbohydrates and fats, there is no mechanism to store excess amino acids that are consumed in the diet. So a continuous supply is needed. Put simply, you need to consume protein daily to meet your body’s needs.

Protein: Is More Better

For a relatively active adult, a daily protein intake to meet the RDA would supply as little as 10% of his or her total daily calories. In comparison, the average American consumes around 16% of his or her daily calories in the form of protein, from both plant and animal sources.

The Protein Summit reports in AJCN argue that 16% is anything but excessive. In fact, the reports suggest that Americans may eat too little protein, not too much. The potential benefits of higher daily protein intake, these researchers argue, include preserving muscle strength despite aging and maintaining a lean, fat-burning physique. Some studies described in the summit reports suggest that protein is more effective if you space it out over the days meals and snacks, rather than loading up at dinner like many Americans do.

Based on the totality of the research presented at the summit, Rodriguez estimates that taking in up to twice the RDA of protein “is a safe and good range to aim for.” This equates roughly to 15% to 25% of total daily calories, although it could be above or below this range depending on your age, sex, and activity level.

However, over the last several years, the public health message has shifted away from desired percentages of protein, fats and carbohydrates. For example, the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize the importance of eating healthier protein rich foods rather than concentrating on specific amounts of daily protein.

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Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Athletes

If youre physically active regularly, you need more protein daily than if you were sedentary. The American College of Sports Medicine, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend 1.22.0 g/kg to optimize recovery from training and to promote the growth and maintenance of lean mass when caloric intake is sufficient. This recommendation is similar to that of the International Society of Sports Nutrition : 1.42.0 g/kg.

Importantly, it may be better to aim for the higher end of the above ranges. According to the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date on the effects of protein supplementation on muscle mass and strength, the average amount of protein required to maximize lean mass is about 1.6 g/kg, and some people need upwards of 2.2 g/kg. Those of you interested in a comprehensive breakdown of this study will find one in NERD #34 .

However, only 4 of the 49 included studies were conducted in people with resistance training experience . IAAO studies in athletes found different numbers: on training days, female athletes required 1.41.7 g/kg the day following a regular training session, male endurance athletes required 2.12.7 g/kg two days after their last resistance-training session, amateur male bodybuilders required 1.72.2 g/kg.

Since higher protein intakes seem to have no negative effects in healthy people, one may want to err toward the higher amounts. For most athletes , the ISSN range will work well:

How Much Protein Do You Need Every Day

How much protein should you be eating per 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.”

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Whats A High Quality Protein

One often hears of proteins being separated into categories of high or low quality. This refers to the sources content of amino acids, the building blocks of protein: animal sources contain all nine essential amino acids, meaning the ones the body cant make on its own. Vegan sources of protein typically dont, with the exceptions of soy, quinoa, buckwheat, and a few others.

Generally, people worry about this more than they should. Research suggests that if youre eating a varied diet, youll effortlessly get all your amino acids throughout the day, which is more important than getting them all at every meal. Its also easy to combine plant-based proteins like legumes and rice, an extremely popular combination throughout the world and this forms a complete protein on its own.

How Does The Promix Protein Calculator Calculate Your Specific Protein Intake

The Promix Protein Calculator calculates your specific protein intake by taking data into account into three key areas that determine your protein needs. These areas are physical attributes , past training history and current training level , and future physical goals .

  • Your physical attribute data is used to get an approximation of your lean body mass. Lean body mass allows for a baseline calculation of your daily caloric expenditure, including protein needs.
  • Past and current training level data allows for an assessment of your protein needs based upon your training. This data also gives a better indication of where you are in your training, e.g. a beginner who can be expected to see fast and significant adaptations, an experienced lifter that is progressing over a longer timeline, etc.
  • Lastly, using your future physical goals, the algorithm is able to determine how your protein needs will be changing from you today moving forward. For example, are you making a significant change to your training or nutrition, primarily staying on the same training and nutrition plan, etc.
  • The data from these three areas allows the Promix Protein Calculator to consider all aspects impacting your protein needs and make a specific recommendation aimed to help you feel, perform, and recover optimally.

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    Protein Intake Calculator Methods

    There are two main ways to calculate your daily protein needs: By determining your protein intake based on a percentage of your daily calories, or by using your body weight.

    The foods you eat consist of three macronutrients, or macros as they are often called. These are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Each of these macronutrients will make up a percentage of your total calories.

    The amount of each macronutrient that you should include in your diet will depend on your current weight and fitness goals.

    The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that the percent of calories from protein intake should be between 10-35%, carbohydrates between 45-65%, and fats between 25-35%. This is a fairly wide range, and this is why you should base your own protein intake on your level of activity and dietary goals.

    Macronutrient intake levels for various nutrition goals

    Goal
    45-50%20-25%

    Each macronutrient provides a certain number of calories.

    • 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
    • 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
    • 1 gram of fat = 9 calories

    So now, to convert calories of protein to grams, divide calories from protein by 4. This will give you an estimate of how many grams of protein you should consume on a daily basis.

    Using the example above, if this person chose her protein intake to be 25% of her calories, the calculation would be:

    1930 calories × .25 = 483 calories

    438 ÷ 4 = 121 grams of protein a day

    How To Calculate And Track Protein Intake

    Do you know if you

    If you track your protein intake but wonder whether you should be tallying the protein ounces, grams of food, or grams of protein in the food, you are not alone. Ounces and grams are both measurements of weight, which makes understanding protein content versus food weight confusing! Lets dig in.

    An 8-ounce chicken breast is equal to 224 grams because there are about 28 grams in one ounce. But that doesnt mean the chicken breast contains 227 grams of protein rather, it contains 56 grams of protein. Thats because there is a difference between the weight of the protein-rich food and the amount of protein it contains.

    Gram weight for a serving of food refers to the weight of everything in that serving. Most foods that contain protein also contain other nutritional elements, primarily fat and water, which account for the additional weight. This is why there is a difference between how much a food weighs in grams versus how many grams of protein the food contains.

    For Example:

      For poultry, red meat, and fish you can use this simple equation to determine protein content:

      1 ounce of cooked meat = about 7 grams of protein

      Therefore, 4 ounces of cooked, skinless chicken breast contains 28 grams of protein.

      rawcooked

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      What Happens If You Have Too Much Protein

      Just like having too little protein in your diet can lead to serious health problems, eating too much protein for a long time can cause exhaustion and discomfort, including indigestion, dehydration, nausea, irritability, diarrhea, headaches, and put you at an increased risk for developing kidney stones.

      Knowing the answer to How much protein do I need can help you avoid eating too much protein, and subsequently suffering from discomfort or medical problems.

      Promote Muscle Gain By Increased Protein Intake

      If you are an athlete, looking to increase your muscle mass, simply eating high-protein foods won’t help. Dietary protein, after deamination, provides energy or recycles components of non-muscle molecules, or is converted to stored fat in fat depos. First of all, one needs adequate caloric intake corresponding to their exercise level. If the intake is insufficient during intense training even augmented protein intake may not be enough to maintain the proper balance of nitrogen since a disproportionate percentage of dietary protein will be catabolized to account for the energy deficit. So, you will burn your proteins before they can participate in muscle development.

      However, there is some support that the now common practice of eating and drinking predigested protein in the form of shakes, powders, pills or bars might assist in muscle growth, especially whey protein. A 2019 meta analysis supports the “efficacy and safety of whey protein supplements as an ergogenic aid on athletes’ sports performance and recovery.”

      References

      Katch V.L., McArdle W.D., Katch F.I “Essentials of Exercise Physiology”, fourth edition

      Jager, R. et. al. “International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and exercise”, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 14, DOI: 10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8

      WHO “Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition”, WHO Technical Report Series 935

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      How Does The Protein Calculator Work

      Our calculator uses formulas to determine daily protein intake based on individual variables such as the ones mentioned above.

      But before it can spew out your protein needs, it must first determine your recommended daily calorie needs. To do this, it uses the Harris-Benedict equation to calculate your basal metabolic rate or the number of calories your body needs at rest to sustain basic life functions . BMR is determined by your gender, weight, height, and age.

      Then, the calculator factors in how many calories you burn from daily activities to determine your recommended maintenance calories, or calories needed to maintain your bodyweight. To do this, it uses an activity multiplier formula of which weve provided below using bullet points.

      Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Fat Loss

      How to Calculate the Amount of Protein in Foods

      First, let it be clear that, though it is possible to lose fat on a eucaloric diet by shifting your macronutrient ratios toward more protein, if you want to keep losing weight youll need to switch to a hypocaloric diet .

      High protein intakes help preserve lean mass in dieters, especially lean dieters. To optimize body composition, dieting athletes should consume 1.62.4 g/kg, skewing toward the higher end of this range as they become leaner or if they increase their caloric deficit .

      Later studies have argued that, to minimize lean-mass loss, dieting lean resistance-trained athletes should consume 2.33.1 g/kg . This latter recommendation has been upheld by the International Society of Sports Nutrition and by a review article on bodybuilding contest preparation.

      Optimal daily protein intake for fat loss

      Body weight

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