How To Determine Your Protein Intake

Can The Body Absorb More Than 30g Of Protein

How To Calculate Your Daily Protein Intake (by Abazar Habibinia, MD, Director of The CAASN):

Some people claim that the body cant absorb more than 20-30 grams of protein at a time. And there does seem to be a limit to how much protein the body can use for muscle synthesis at a given time. In one study, researchers found that a meal containing 30 grams of protein boosted muscle-building activity by about 50%.

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How To Calculate And Track Protein Intake

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.


    How Much Protein Do We Actually Need

    Nutrients in food are critical for building and repairing body tissues and for regulating digestion, energy production and muscle contraction. The human body needs fuel in the form of calories from all three macronutrientsprotein, carbohydrates and fat. Each macro plays an important role in the body and has specific functions. With all the hype around macros, and how much or little we really need of each, it seems that following a higher-protein, lower-carbohydrate diet is the way to go. Or is it? Should we be eating more protein than carbohydrates or fat? What are the best sources of proteinanimal or plant based? Lets break it down.

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    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

    You’re A Vegetarian Or Vegan

    Protein and Bone Health

    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.

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    How Much Protein A Day To Build Muscle

    If you work out regularly, opt for about 0.8 grams of protein per pound bodyweight.

    Rebuilding torn up muscles takes a lot of amino acids. You want to provide your body with plenty of raw material to grow.

    A 2011 review of research on optimal protein intake for athletes and bodybuilders settled on 0.82 grams per pound as the ideal amount for increased muscle mass.

    But what about all those studies showing that you get crazy gains from several hundred grams of protein a day?

    Some studies that show significant benefit from higher protein were funded by protein powder or supplement companiesand conducted by researchers working for those companies. Unbiased research shows that 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight is plenty of protein to build muscle.

    Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Lactating Women

    As with pregnancy, there is little research investigating how lactation and breastfeeding affect protein requirements. Women produce a wide range of breast milk volumes, regardless of their energy status . The infants demands appear to be the primary regulator of milk production.

    Based simply on adult protein requirements plus the protein output in breast milk, the RDA for lactating women was set at 1.3 g/kg. However, one study reported that half of the lactating women consuming 1.5 g/kg were in negative nitrogen balance, while another study suggested that 1.01.5 g/kg leads to a rapid downregulation of protein turnover suggestive of an adaptive response to insufficient intake.

    Considering the lack of data on the effects of a protein intake greater than 1.5 g/kg in lactating women and that consuming 1.5 g/kg or less leads to adaptations suggestive of insufficient intake, lactating women should aim to consume at least 1.5 g/kg of protein daily.

    Optimal daily protein intake for lactating women

    Body weight

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    Percentage Of Total Calories

    Another way to calculate how much protein you need is by using daily calorie intake and the percentage of calories that will come from protein.

    First, determine how many calories your body needs each day to maintain your current weight:

    Next, decide what percentage of your diet will come from protein. The percentage you choose will be based on your goals, fitness level, age, body type, and metabolic rate. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-202 recommend that protein account for somewhere between 10% and 35% for adults.

    Multiply that percentage by the total number of calories your body needs for the day to determine total daily calories from protein.

    Finally, divide that number by 4.

    How Does The Protein Calculator Work

    TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE | how to calculate your protein intake

    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.

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    Best Types Of Protein

    As mentioned earlier, protein is made up of amino acids, some of which are considered essential because our bodies cannot make them and must be obtained from food. However, that doesnt mean that all of our protein choices must come from foods that have all of the essential amino acids. Instead, be aware of what foods contain protein and choose a variety of them each day.

    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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    Research On Protein Intake

    While there are various recommendations, theres a widely accepted range that has been determined for individuals who are sedentary, active, and who weight train. But theres so much conflict between experts and studies when it comes to ideal protein intake. The research is very mixed.

    Some resources suggest that we eat too much protein while more recent research is in favor of higher protein intake, especially for preserving muscle gain and strength. So it can be incredibly confusing for those who want to know how much protein they should be eating.

    Theres a misunderstanding not only among the public, but also somewhat in our profession about the RDA. People in general think we all eat too much protein, explained Nancy Rodriguez, a registered dietitian, and professor of nutritional science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

    Rodriguez was part of a Protein Summit where reports were published to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that argued Americans may be consuming too little protein. She suggests doubling the RDA and consuming 15-25% of daily calories from protein.

    The minimum recommended protein allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kg body weight per day. This is for basic physiological needs and to prevent deficiency. If you want to find your minimum RDA, multiply your body weight by 0.36 %20per%20day.” rel=”nofollow”> 6).

    On average, this is roughly:

    • 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man.
    • 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.

    How Much Protein Do You Need Optimal Protein Intake

    The Essential Guide to Protein for Optimal Health

    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.

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    How To Use The Protein Calculator

    This protein calculator estimates your total daily energy expenditure and then calculates a percentage of it, depending on the selected protein percent of your total calorie intake.

    To calculate your calorie needs, you have to enter age, gender, height, weight and activity level , which are all needed for the estimation. Finally, enter the percentage of total calories that you want to consume in proteins – you can check a list of proteins in common diets below. The tool will display the amount and caloric equivalence of the proteins you need to eat per day.

    Larger Athletes Require 30

    To make it easier for you to understand, a 30-35 grams portion of fish, meat or poultry is about the size of a mobile phone. An egg in any form and a one-ounce serving of nuts provides nearly 6 grams of protein. A cup of cottage cheese or nonfat yogurt contains 30 grams of protein. A half cup of beans also fulfills the need of 30 grams protein intake. However, vegetarians need to have supplemental protein after body building exercises to meet the requirement of leucine in their diets.

    However, researchers from Gatorade Sports Science Institute suggest that at 40 grams of protein per serving, there is a cap on proteins benefits. Thus, for a person to consume 50 grams of protein after a workout may not work as better as 20-25 grams of protein per serving. We usually tend to believe that if a particular thing is healthy in a moderate amount, then it must be super healthy in greater amounts. Hence, the idea of consuming more and more protein for a better muscular body is a misconception.

    Therefore, one needs to follow a regular workout session coupled with the moderate protein intake to see positive results in the body. If you are doing body building exercises, then you need to have proper portions of protein, carbohydrates, calories and supplements in their diet plan. On the other hand, if you are trying to lose weight, then you need to have lesser calories than proteins.

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    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.

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

    How To Calculate Your Protein Needs [Weight Loss vs. Fitness]

    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.

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    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 A Day To Burn Fat

    If your end goal is weight loss, increasing protein will help. Protein is more satiating than fat or carbohydrates. It also increases thermogenesis, meaning youll burn more body fat if you eat higher protein.

    Studies suggest keeping protein between 20-30% of your daily calories will help you burn fat. A good rule of thumb to get in that range is about 1g gram of protein for every pound you weigh.

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    What Are The Best Sources Of Protein

    There are a lot of good quality protein sources to choose from, and we recommend that the majority of your protein intake comes from these foods. We recommend that you focus on quality before quantity as clean, healthy sources are going to be the best option.

    Some example of good quality protein sources include:

    • Grass-fed meats
    • Soy protein
    • Low-fat dairy products
    • Nuts/nut butters
    • Beans and legumes
    • Protein supplements

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