Calculating Your Protein Needs
While the above guidelines give you a good sense of where your protein intake should fall, calculating the amount of daily protein that’s right for you can help you fine-tune this further.
To determine your protein needs in grams , first, calculate your weight in kilograms by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2.
Next, decide how many grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is appropriate for you.
- Use the low end of the range if you are in good health and are sedentary: 0.8g per kg.
- Use a higher number if you are under stress, pregnant, recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.
Then multiply your weight in kg times the number of protein grams per day.
154-pound male who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights, but is not training at an elite level:
- 154 lb/2.2 = 70 kg
- 70 kg x 1.7 = 119 grams protein per day
How Much Protein Do You Need To Gain Muscle
Your protein needs are most directly related to your muscle mass – the more you have and the more you use it, the more protein you need.
Age and fitness level can also impact how much protein is required to promote muscle growth.
Bodybuilders and weightlifters have higher protein needs because they are looking to add mass and are simultaneously using their muscles more than the average person or non-lifter.
Of course, it is entirely possible to overdo it. Eating too much protein can negatively impact your ability to build muscle by limiting your intake of other important macros for bulking that support your training and weight gain. So getting the right amount for your individual requirements is crucial to getting the best results.
Many fitness enthusiasts recommend about one gram of protein per pound of body weight, but this likely isnt a perfect approach for everyone and the research varies on this topic depending on age, fitness level, and overall body composition goals .
How To Calculate Your Protein Needs And Where To Find Them In The Diet
Consuming too much or too little protein can lead to health problems. It is important to consume the right amount of protein for health and normal bodily function. This article explores what protein is, why getting the right amount is important, how to calculate someones protein needs, where to get protein from, and the risks of consuming too much or too little.
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High Protein Intake For Fat Loss
If you noticed Dr. Nelsons comment about being hypocaloric , you may be wondering if theres evidence that protein needs might change based on if youre trying to lose fat or gain muscle.
To be clear: the majority of research and the most prominent sports nutrition bodies agree that theres probably no need to exceed the daily 0.7 grams per pound, even if youre trying to lose weight.
That said, there are a couple of studies that have suggested more protein might be useful if you have a good amount of muscle mass and are trying to lose fat quickly. One, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, , found that athletes in a big calorie deficit maintained more muscle and lost more fat eating 1.1 grams of protein per pound than a group taking 0.54 grams, the absolute minimum recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine.
Another study published in 2014 that looked specifically at bodybuilders found that they would respond best to consuming 2.3-3.1 g/kg of lean body mass per day of protein. This is among folks with under 10 percent body fat, so they were eating an upper level of about 1.3 grams per pound of bodyweight.
How To Determine Your Protein Needs
Chicken and broccoli may be on the menu for many bodybuilding diets, but how much protein do you really need on a daily basis? The truth is, the amount of protein the body needs varies from person to person depending on several factors such as muscle mass, activity level, age and fitness goals. According to the National Institutes of Health , the Recommended Daily Allowance for protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight , however, they also note that a healthy diet can consist of 1035% protein.
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Protein Calculator: How Much Protein Do I Need
Determining how much protein to eat per day is important for any lifter, athlete, or person, period! Here’s the number to aim for to build muscle, lose weight, and support your exercise goals.
The amount of protein you need depends on a number of factors, including your weight, age, goals, and activity level. The daily minimum recommended by the National Institutes of Health is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight for a sedentary person. However, if you do intense workouts, have a physically demanding job, or both, experts say you may need moreâperhaps as much as double.
This calculator will tell you how much protein to eat each day based on your specific body and lifestyle. Dial in this nutritional priority to take control of your nutrition and nail your goals!
What Are The Best Sources To Get Protein
The importance of protein to humans comes from amino acids, especially the nine essential amino acids humans obtain in their food. The best sources of these are whole foods, meats, dairy, fish, eggs, grains, legumes, and nuts. High protein foods contain different amino-acid profiles, so introducing variety into your diet is important. Eating boiled chicken breasts 4 times a day is healthy , but youd be depriving yourself of more balanced nutrition in the long run.
If youre finding it difficult to get enough protein in your diet, these gaps can be filled by nutritional supplements like whey protein. If youre looking for delicious ways to sneak protein into your daily routine, weve highlighted a few of our favorite recipes like these muffins, or cottage cheese fruit bowls.
Just a few last reminders on the effects protein has on your health and diet. First, high-protein foods are typically lower in fiber content, so remember that youll need to increase your intake of foods high in fiber like kale, asparagus, or broccoli. These will help keep your insides running smoothly. Additionally, if youre lactose intolerant or vegan, there are additional plant-based sources of protein and supplements for you to use as an alternative to dairy or animal products.
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What Makes The Promix Protein Calculator Unique
The Promix Protein Calculator was designed by Albert Matheny, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S. Albert is a Registered Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist, and Founder + Owner of SoHo Strength Lab in New York City . For the past ten years, Albert has worked with athletes and clients of all ability levels to improve their nutrition and training.
How To Calculate Protein Intake
This article was co-authored by Courtney Fose, RD, MS and by wikiHow staff writer, Jessica Gibson. Courtney Fose is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She has worked as a Dietitian since 2009, and received her MS in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Arkansas in 2016.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 43,328 times.
Protein is one of the body’s most important nutrients, performing a variety of tasks in our bodies, including acting as enzymes and hormones . The recommended dietary allowance of protein defines the amount needed for the average healthy person and is suitable for roughly 97% of the population.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical School’s Educational Site for the PublicGo to source The amount of protein you need every day depends on your personal calorie needs, taking into account your age, sex, state of overall health, activity level and whether you need to lose or gain weight. Calculating the right amount of protein is important because too much protein can cause health problems. Excess protein can stress and overload the kidneys, be converted into body fat, cause dehydration and possibly increase the risk of diabetes, kidney disease and prostate cancer.XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
How Much Protein To Gain Muscle
So, with all that in mind, how much protein should you eat if you want to maximize muscle growth?
If you want a simple number to aim for, one that doesnt involve trying to estimate your body fat percentage or decide on a target bodyweight, go for 0.7 grams per pound, or 1.6 grams per kilogram, of bodyweight.
Thats the number pulled from a study of studies called a meta-analysis that looked at the effect of protein intake and weight training on muscle growth.
The researchers pooled the results of 49 trials, covering a total of 1,863 people.
After crunching the numbers, they came to the conclusion that eating more than 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight isnt going to help you build muscle any faster.
Protein As Part Of Your Overall Diet
But every persons body is different and your activity levels will play a large role in determining how much protein you need.
For example, have you noticed how pro athletes often consume more protein?
If youre very active your protein needs may increase.
So, if you feel you need to up your protein for example, try protein powder, shakes or snacks, which you can tailor to your needs or other protein rich foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, or nut butter.
And, protein from plant sources tends to be lower in saturated fat, contains no cholesterol, and provides fiber and other health-promoting nutrients.
But remember, for a healthy diet dont just focus on protein a mix of good carbs, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, and healthy fats from nuts, avocado, and vegetable oils is also important.
And of course, to maintain a healthy weight, consume about the same number of calories that you burn each day.
So, now you should be able to answer with some clarity that question, how much protein should I have a day?
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What Is The Promix Protein Calculator
The Promix Protein Calculator provides you with a tailored response to your question, How much protein do I need in a day? Our Promix Protein Intake Calculator helps you optimize your nutrient consumption within your daily routine. Whatever your goals, our protein intake calculator will guide you toward the ideal amount of protein and provide valuable information about how to train. Our protein intake calculator not only does the math for you, it guides you toward the right natural protein powder and natural nutritional supplements to fit your preferences and lifestyle for maximal results.
How Do I Track And Fulfill My Protein Needs
The most accurate way to determine the amount of protein in your diet is to look at the nutrition labels of your food and utilize the MyFitnessPal app to log that information, prioritizing the verified foods designated with a green check mark.
While there is variance in protein content among different sources, below are some examples of high-protein foods to include in your regular rotation of meals:
- 3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry: 21 grams
- 1 cup of cooked beans: 16 grams
- 1 cup of dairy or soy milk: 8 grams
- 1 egg: 6 grams
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How To Get Enough Protein
Now that you have an estimate of the amount of protein you need, the last question to answer is: how do I eat all this protein?
Our #1 recommendation is to get protein from whole foods whenever possible. This will ensure you get plenty of vitamins and minerals.
A serving of protein is about the size and thickness of your palm:
Protein can come from any number of sources, including:
- Meat .
Not a meat-eater? Read our massive plant-based guide!
However, if youre aiming for the higher ranges of protein intake you might need to supplement.
Personally, I drink a protein shake daily to help me reach my goals.
Some protein supplements to consider:
Check out The Ultimate Protein Shake Guide for more protein powder recommendations and recipes on how to make delicious smoothies.
Whether through whole foods or supplements, protein should be a main part of every meal you eat. Its one of our top recommendations for being a healthy nerd.
You can always adjust up or down based on your results.
If you need any help along the way, we got you.
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How To Actually Calculate Your Protein Needs
Perhaps, then, the best way to measure how much protein you need to consume daily is based on lean body mass, or everything in your body that isnt fat. This could provide a more accurate figure than focusing on just your total weight.
Of course, if youre a fitness model sitting comfortably at four per cent body fat, then theres obviously not going to be much difference whether protein intake is expressed relative to your weight or lean body mass. For the average guy, however, its a considerably different story. Theyre likely to be carrying more weight around their midriff and have a higher body-fat percentage.
On the flipside, lets look at an obese man who weighs 135kg. In this case, it would be unwise to base his protein intake on his total bodyweight. Using the 2g of protein per kg, hell be eating a whopping 270g protein on a daily basis.
Needless to say, our hypothetical overweight man definitely doesnt need to be eating the equivalent of 10 chicken breasts a day, even if hes looking to build muscle. In fact, most research shows little benefit to consuming more than 2.2g of protein per kg of lean body mass.
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Why Protein Is Important For Building Muscle
To build muscle, your body needs to synthesise more muscle protein than it breaks down, which is why anyone looking to build muscle needs to make sure theyre getting enough protein, as well as making sure the work theyre doing in the weights room is right too.
Its not just us saying that, theres a body of research that confirms the part protein plays in building muscle. A study published in the journal Nutrients, for example, found that protein intake was shown to promote additional gains in lean body mass beyond those observed with resistance exercise alone.
Muscle Protein Synthesis Vs Muscle Protein Breakdown
Amino acids are also used for muscle protein synthesis the process of repairing and maintaining muscles after intense use.
When muscles are used during exercise or strenuous activity, it creates micro-tears and leads to muscle protein breakdown . Amino acids are then shuttled to your muscles to start repairing this damage and synthesizing new tissue to replace the damaged ones.
This process doesnt automatically lead to bigger muscles , but it can make your muscles stronger or adapt to the type of training that caused the tears in the first place .
MPS is why protein, and strength training, in particular, are so essential for maintaining and building lean body mass.
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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.
Daily Protein Requirement For Athletes
For building muscle mass and for maintaining muscle mass through a positive muscle protein balance, an overall daily protein intake in the range of 1.42.0 g protein/kg body weight/day is sufficient for most exercising individuals, according to a 2017 critical review performed by the International Society of Sports Nutrition . In the same statement they posit that “higher protein intakes may have positive effects on body composition in resistance-trained individuals “. Additionally, the report suggests an optimal intake schedule of several doses of protein spread 3-4h apart evenly during the day.
While previously there were concerns related to too high doses of daily protein intake, current research proves the safety and efficacy of protein in general and whey protein in particular .
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