How To Calculate Your Protein Needs
In order to figure out your protein intake, it is first necessary to understand how the protein works within our bodies. Protein is the building block of all muscles, nerves, and organs, as well as vital enzymes that are used to heal wounds and synthesize proteins and other nutrients within our bodies. Protein is also responsible for the creation of many vitamins and minerals. When protein is not ingested or used, however, it collects in the fat cells for energy and can actually turn them into fat! This is why people who are trying to lose weight need to take a close look at their daily protein intake.
The best way to determine how much protein you need is by calculating your daily calorie intake, as well as the corresponding number of protein molecules that you need per day to maintain optimum health.3 Your ideal daily protein intake depends on your age, your gender, your body composition, your medical condition, your exercise program, your daily activity, and your health goals. And although it may seem like common sense, taking into consideration all of these factors, you will still end up with some variation in your protein intake.
Proteins In Common Diets
Our protein calculator allows you to specify a custom percentage of proteins in your diet, but here we list six common diets: high & low carb, moderate, Zone, Keto and DASH, and their protein contents for your reference.
When considering your diet plan and protein percentage of the total calorie intake, don’t forget to consult your physician if making significant changes relative to your current one.
What Should You Do
Research on how much protein is the optimal amount to eat for good health is ongoing, and is far from settled. The value of high-protein diets for weight loss or cardiovascular health, for example, remains controversial.
Before you start ramping up your daily protein intake, there are a few important things to consider. For one, dont read “get more protein” as “eat more meat.” Beef, poultry, and pork can certainly provide high-quality protein, but so can many plant foods including whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, and vegetables. The table below provides some healthier sources of protein.
Its also important to consider the protein “package” the fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that invariably come along with protein. Aim for protein sources low in saturated fat and processed carbohydrates and rich in many nutrients.
One more thing: If you increase protein, dietary arithmetic demands that you eat less of other things to keep your daily calorie intake steady. The switches you make can affect your nutrition, for better or for worse. For example, eating more protein instead of low-quality refined carbohydrates, like white bread and sweets, is a healthy choice though how healthy the choice is also depends on the total protein package.
Good sources of protein
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What Is The Maximum Protein Intake For A Bodybuilder
There are many things to consider when considering protein intake for a bodybuilder. Bodybuilders need all the protein they can get in order to maximize their growth and muscle mass while minimizing the risk of serious health problems.7 Bodybuilders who are just starting to body build generally will require much less protein than those bodybuilders who have been bodybuilding for years. Therefore, bodybuilders will need to learn how to find the right balance of protein, but how do they do it?
Some experts believe that bodybuilders should consume three times more protein than the average person needs daily. The reason is that bodybuilders use up large amounts of protein quickly, which makes them very hungry. This high-calorie diet is often only maintained for a short period of time before the bodybuilder acclimates itself to normal eating. Bodybuilders, therefore, need to make protein intake a priority when bodybuilding.
For maximum protein intake, bodybuilders should take whey protein. Whey protein isolate is the best choice because it contains all of the necessary amino acids and is the purest form of protein available on the market. It is also absorbed best by the body, providing it with the quickest absorption rate.8 Bodybuilders who take whey protein isolate will find that they have more energy during their workouts, and they will also see significant increases in muscle mass.
Protein Grams Per Day
As an alternative to the percentage approach, you can target a specific number of protein grams per day. One simple way to get a range of protein grams per day is to translate the percent range into a specific protein gram range. The math is easy.
Each gram of protein contains four calories. Simply divide the two calorie range numbers by four. Someone who eats 2,000 calories per day should consume 200 to 700 calories from protein, or 50 to 175 grams of protein.
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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 Much Protein Per Meal
Muscle protein synthesis is the process of building new skeletal muscle tissue. When MPS chronically exceeds muscle protein breakdown , resulting in a positive net protein balance, we can expect muscle growth over the long term. Each time you eat represents an opportunity to promote muscle growth through the stimulation of MPS.
Protein-feeding studies using various doses of whey protein suggest that 0.24 g/kg/meal will maximize the MPS of the average young adult, whereas 0.40 g/kg/meal will maximize the MPS of most young adults. For older adults, these two values jump to 0.40 and 0.60 g/kg/meal.
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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 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
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How Much Protein After Exercise
After exercising, when your muscles are more sensitive to the anabolic effect of protein, take a dose in the range of your desirable minimal protein intake per meal. If youve been exercising on an empty stomach, youll be in negative protein balance, so take this dose as soon as possible. Otherwise, try to take it within a couple of hours the exact size of your window of opportunity depends on how much protein youre still digesting.
Digging Deeper: After better than before?
Is it better to eat before or after exercising?
In a 2020 crossover trial we first summarized for Examine Members, 8 healthy young men were divided into three groups.
All three groups performed a full-body strength workout in the morning. One group ate a meal 1.5 hours before, another just after, and the last waited for lunchtime.
This happened three times, with three days in between. Each time, the men switched to a different group. Thus, at the end of the trial, they had all tried all three meal times.
Blood insulin and certain modified amino acids were measured as indicators of muscle breakdown. The results? Eating a mixed-nutrient meal immediately after resistance training, rather than 1.5 hours before or not until lunchtime, resulted in the greatest suppression of muscle protein breakdown.
Whether or not this correlates with improvements in muscle growth and recovery, however, is unclear.
How Much Protein Should I Eat In A Day
As we cover in our guide How Much Protein Do I Need to Eat, youâre going to find all sorts of different recommendations for how much protein you should be consuming.
For example, the current international Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.4g per pound of bodyweight .
In our opinion, and as described in this review article the RDA for protein is too low and should be higher regardless of your body composition.
Our calculator actually starts you off at 0.54â0.82g per pound of bodyweight , which tops out at over twice the level of the RDA.
Also, the amount of protein you eat will depend on your individual goals. Thatâs why we have so many variables in our protein calculator.
The RDAâs blanket recommendation for protein intake is oversimplified.
Weâll dive into this further in the subsequent sections.
One final point: we gave you a wide recommended range of protein, because people vary quite a bit in their protein needs.
So donât take our protein recommendation as gospel!
Consider your results here as a starting point. Try one range, see how you feel, and take it up or down from there.
If you respond well to a protein intake thatâs not within our recommended range, donât sweat it!
The protein recommendations here come from studies, and studies are based on averages. You may be an outlier.
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Can I Eat Too Much Protein
Now that Iâve drilled it into your head that you should be eating plenty of protein, a natural question will arise:
How much protein is too much protein?
Weâve got good news for you: as long as youâve got a healthy liver and kidneys, you can eat lots of protein with no ill effects.
As Examine points out in its research on protein:
âHigher protein intakes seem to have no negative effects in healthy people,â**
**Of course, if you have specific kidney or medical issues with regards to protein intake, PLEASE go with your doctorâs recommendation for required protein consumption!
Go ahead and aim for the high end from our protein calculator.
One final note: if our current recommendation for protein is a lot higher than what you normally do, ease into it.
Donât go from minimal protein intake to woofing down steak and eggs while chugging a protein shake.
Studies have found that immediately doubling protein intake can have negative effects.
Increase your intake gradually, a little more each day, and youâll be fine!
Kidney Stone Dietprotein Calculator
Calculating your daily protein requirement is simple! Just enter your weight in lbs below and the Kidney Stone Diet Protein Calculator will handle the rest!
Since food labels show protein in grams, the easiest way to figure out how much MEAT protein to have is by using the equation below. My patients get overwhelmed because we are using grams and kilograms in our equation, but dont worry, I will break it down for you step-by-step.
To calculate how much meat protein is right for you, use this equation:0.8 to 1.0 gm/kg/d.
I will use my weight as an example and then you can plug in yours:My weight is 122 lbs.
After I convert my weight in pounds to kilograms I weigh 55.4 kg.
I got this number by dividing 122 lbs by 2.2
Therefore, if I were to eat on the low end of the equation it would look like this:0.8 x 55.4 = 44.32 grams of protein a day.
If I wanted to eat on the upper end of the equation it would look like this:1.0 x 55.4 = 55.4 grams of protein a day.
Based upon the equation above I can eat anywhere between 44.3 grams 55.4 grams of meat protein per day. If I search how many grams are in 3 ounces of chicken I find this answer:There are about 7 g of protein in 1 ounce of cooked meat. So, for example, 4 ounces of raw boneless skinless chicken breast yields about 3 ounces of cooked chicken or 21 g of protein.
You can see how quickly grams of meat protein add up.
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Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Healthy Sedentary Adults
For adults, the US Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 g/kg. However, a more appropriate statistical analysis of the data used to establish the RDA suggests this number should be higher: 1.0 g/kg.
Note that, contrary to popular belief, the RDA doesnt represent an ideal intake. Instead, it represents the minimum intake needed to prevent malnutrition. Unfortunately, the RDA for protein was determined from nitrogen balance studies, which require that people eat experimental diets for weeks before measurements are taken. This provides ample time for the body to adapt to low protein intakes by down-regulating processes that are not necessary for survival but are necessary for optimal health, such as protein turnover and immune function.
An alternative method for determining protein requirements, called the Indicator Amino Acid Oxidation technique, overcomes many of the shortcomings of nitrogen balance studies. Notably, it allows for the assessment of protein requirements within 24 hours, thereby not leaving the body enough time to adapt. Studies using the IAAO method have suggested that about 1.2 g/kg is a more appropriate RDA for healthy young men, older men, and older women.
Further evidence that the current RDA for protein is not sufficient comes from a randomized controlled trial that confined healthy, sedentary adults to a metabolic ward for eight weeks. The participants were randomized into three groups:
Learn Exactly How Many Grams Of Protein Per Day You Need
This protein calculator is a helpful tool to understand your individualized protein needs. There are several factors to consider when determining your bodys protein needs including your current body weight, activity level, and fitness goals. Instead of guessing or crunching numbers to determine how much protein you need, the protein calculator does it for you. Weve already done the groundwork for you to ensure our protein calculator is accurate and based on the most current research.
What Are The Benefits To Eating Protein
As a macronutrient, protein is vital to your bodys natural processes. When you supplement your diet with the right amount of protein, you are making it easier for your body to build lean muscle, strengthen bones and tissue, deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, aid in digestion, and regulate hormones. Furthermore, eating protein can help curb hunger, maintain a healthy weight, reduce fatigue, and reduce recovery time after exercise or injury.
What Grams Of Protein Really Means
This is a very common area of misunderstanding.
In nutrition science, grams of protein refers to the number of grams of the macronutrient protein, not the number of grams of a protein-containing food like meat or eggs.
An 8-ounce serving of beef weighs 226 grams but only contains 61 grams of protein. Similarly, a large egg weighs 46 grams but only packs 6 grams of protein.
If youre at a healthy weight, dont lift weights, and dont exercise much, aiming for 0.360.6 grams per pound is a reasonable estimate.
This amounts to:
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Calculate Using Lean Body Mass
Using your bodyweight is a great way to get a general idea of how much protein you should be consuming. However, this can end up being a higher amount than actually needed if the person is obese. Fat mass doesnt really require much protein or have a use for it so basing protein intake on TOTAL body weight can yield a much higher protein intake than actually needed.
A more accurate way to calculate your protein needs would be to base it off of your actual lean body mass. A majority of your lean body mass is your actual muscle mass. The rest of your lean mass are things like body water, hair, nails, skin, etc. Anything that is not fat is registered as lean body mass. If you get your body fat tested you will then be able to calculate your fat mass verse your lean body mass. Simply take the body fat percentage and multiply that by the total body weight. That would then give you your total fat mass. Take that number and subtract it from your total body weight and you have your total lean body mass.
Example: 150 lb person at 20% bodyfat
150 x 20% = 30 pounds fat mass
150 30 = 120 pounds lean body mass
You can then use your lean body mass to actually calculate the amount of protein. You will still use a range of 1.8 2.4 g per kilogram. Now you will be using your lean body mass instead of total body weight to calculate. Again, you want to aim higher if you plan to be in a calorie deficit for fat loss goals.
Until next timestay happy healthy and fit!