What Is The Recommended Daily Intake Of Protein

The Importance Of Protein Quality

How Much Protein You REALLY Need Daily Protein Intake

When considering protein intake, it is also important to consider total energy intake. Age is associated with a progressive decline in basal metabolic rate at a rate of 1%2% per decade after 20 years of age . This reduction in BMR is closely associated with the loss in fat-free mass, including muscle, and the gain of less metabolically active fat that occurs as we age . In fact, studies suggest that BMR adjusted for the change in fat-free mass is 5% lower in elderly adults compared to younger adults . This implies that aging adults require a lower daily energy intake. However, the extent to which BMR may increase or decrease with age depends on the balance between weight gain with age, tending to increase BMR, and aging, which decreases BMR .

Although older adults typically eat less than younger adults, including less protein , it is important for aging adults to consider total caloric intake when choosing a protein source to incorporate in the diet. The discrepancies in quality between animal and plant protein sources go beyond the amino acid profiles. When the energy content of the protein source is accounted for, the caloric intake needed to meet the EAA requirements from plant sources of protein is considerably higher than the caloric intake from animal sources of protein . This is important to consider since obesity, especially with aging, is a major public health concern. Obesity is the most predominant factor limiting mobility in the elderly .

Foods High In Protein

There are many different combinations of food that a person can eat to meet their protein intake requirements. For many people, a large portion of protein intake comes from meat and dairy, though it is possible to get enough protein while meeting certain dietary restrictions you might have. Generally, it is easier to meet your RDA of protein by consuming meat and dairy, but an excess of either can have a negative health impact. There are plenty of plant-based protein options, but they generally contain less protein in a given serving. Ideally, a person should consume a mixture of meat, dairy, and plant-based foods in order to meet their RDA and have a balanced diet replete with nutrients.

If possible, consuming a variety of complete proteins is recommended. A complete protein is a protein that contains a good amount of each of the nine essential amino acids required in the human diet. Examples of complete protein foods or meals include:

Meat/Dairy examples

  • Hemp and chia seeds
  • Spirulina
  • Almonds

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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Meat And Dairy Products

Animals and animal products are comprised of complete proteins, which contain all the amino acids our bodies need to function at its best. Heres the amount of protein found in some animal and animal products:

  • An order of steak at a restaurant 36 grams
  • A glass of milk 6 grams
  • 2 slices of cheese 10.5 grams

Protein Grams Per Day

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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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Nutritional Value Of Protein

The nutritional value of a protein is measured by the quantity of essential amino acids it contains.

Different foods contain different amounts of essential amino acids. Generally:

  • Animal products have all of the essential amino acids and are known as ‘complete’ protein .
  • Soy products, quinoa and the seed of a leafy green called amaranth also have all of the essential amino acids.
  • Plant proteins usually lack at least one of the essential amino acids and are considered ‘incomplete’ proteins.

People following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet need to choose a variety of protein sources from a combination of plant foods every day to make sure they get an adequate mix of essential amino acids. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, as long as you eat a wide variety of foods, you can usually get the protein you need. For example, a meal containing cereals and legumes, such as baked beans on toast, provides all the essential amino acids found in a typical meat dish.

Ckd Without Dialysis: Limit Protein

The more protein waste that needs to be removed, the harder the kidneys need to work to get rid of it. This can be stressful for your kidneys, causing them to wear out faster. For people with kidney disease who are not on dialysis, a diet lower in protein is recommended. Many studies suggest that limiting the amount of protein and including more plant-based foods in the diet may help slow the loss of kidney function.

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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.

Desirable minimal protein intake range per meal and age

Body weight

Protein Maintaining Muscle Mass As You Age

Daily Protein Intake For Sustained Fat Loss

From around 50 years of age, humans begin to gradually lose skeletal muscle. This is known as sarcopenia and is common in older people. Loss of muscle mass is worsened by chronic illness, poor diet and inactivity.

Meeting the daily recommended protein intake may help you maintain muscle mass and strength. This is important for maintaining your ability to walk and reducing your risk of injury from falls.

To maintain muscle mass, its important for older people to eat protein effectively. This means consuming high-quality protein foods, such as lean meats.

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The Science Of Protein

Key points

  • Protein is a macronutrient that we need for growth, repair and maintenance in the body, especially for bones and muscles. Our protein needs change across the life course.
  • Protein is an energy source and provides 4kcal per gram.
  • In the UK, average intakes of protein are above the Reference Nutrient Intake including in vegetarians and vegans.
  • The RNI is 0.75g of protein per kg bodyweight per day for average-weight adults .
  • Top contributors to protein intakes in the UK are meat and meat products, cereals and cereal products and milk and milk products.
  • It is important for health to include a range of protein-containing foods and we are recommended to eat more plant-derived protein foods.
  • People who do some physical activity, like going for a run or to an exercise class are unlikely to need any extra protein. For people exercising at a high level, having some protein soon after a training session can help muscles rebuild.

You’re Trying To Lose Weight

Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, helping you feel full, and also pushes your body to secrete the gut hormone peptide YY, which reduces hunger. “When you bring protein to about 30% of your daily calories, you’ll naturally eat less,” says Lauren Slayton, RD, founder of Foodtrainers, a nutrition practice in New York City, and author of The Little Book of Thin. “Protein decreases appetite and also, in my experience, helps you manage cravings.”

While studies are mixed about whether consuming more protein leads to weight loss, research is pretty clear that protein can help you retain more of your lean muscle as you lose fat. One 2011 study suggests amping up protein to as much as 1.8 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day to stave off muscle loss when restricting calories. Cut back on refined carbs to balance out the extra calories from adding protein.

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How Did We Calculate Your Protein Intake

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

Animal Vs Plant Protein Whats The Difference

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About 20% of the human body is made up of protein.

Because your body doesnt store protein, its important to get enough from your diet each day.

You can get protein from many food sources, including plants and animals.

Some people claim that the source of the protein, whether animal or plant, shouldnt matter.

Others suggest that plant protein is superior to animal protein.

This article compares animal and plant proteins.

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Getting More Protein Into Your Day Naturally

If youre looking for ways to get more protein into your diet, here are some suggestions:

  • Try a peanut butter sandwich. Remember to use natural peanut butter with no added salt, sugar or other fillers.
  • Low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese is high in protein and can go in your scrambled eggs, casserole, mashed potato or pasta dish. Or spread it on your toast in the morning.
  • Nuts and seeds are fantastic in salads, with vegetables and served on top of curries. Try toasting some pine nuts or flaked almonds and putting them in your green salad.
  • Beans are great in soups, casseroles, and pasta sauces. Try tipping a drained can of cannellini beans into your favourite vegetable soup recipe or casserole.
  • A plate of hummus and freshly cut vegetable sticks as a snack or hummus spread on your sandwich will give you easy extra protein at lunchtime.
  • Greek yoghurt is a protein rich food that you can use throughout the day. Add some on your favourite breakfast cereal, put a spoonful on top of a bowl of pumpkin soup or serve it as dessert with some fresh fruit.
  • Eggs are a versatile and easy option that can be enjoyed on their own or mixed in a variety of dishes.

Calcium/protein Ratio Of Different Dairy Products

Protein intake is related to renal calcium excretion. To offset proteins calciuretic effect, calcium allowances have been recommended at a calcium/protein ratio of 20:1. In milk this ratio is 36:1 and, thus, more favorable than the recommended value. In other dairy products, however, the calcium/protein ratio varies between 35:1 and 7:1 . Although a low calcium/protein ratio may increase the risk of a negative calcium balance, there is evidence that, at least in young subjects, the higher renal calcium loss during high protein intake can be compensated by an increase in intestinal calcium absorption rate.

Dairy protein consumption may also be beneficial to bone health. The protein value of dairy foods is high, and an adequate protein intake is important for maintaining muscle mass. Especially, elderly subjects are at an increased risk of inadequate protein intake. The Framingham Osteoporosis Study has demonstrated that elderly persons in the lowest quartile of protein intake, which is below the recommended daily protein intake, have the highest bone loss. Similar to the overall protein effect, a lower percentage of animal protein is related to bone loss at specific skeletal sites of increased osteoporotic fracture risk .

Joao Felipe de Brito Galvao, Sharon A. Center, in, 2012

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Include A High Protein Food With Every Meal

When it comes to protein, its not just the total amount you take in every day that matters. Getting enough at each meal is also important.

Several researchers recommend consuming a minimum of 2030 grams of protein at each meal.

Studies show that this amount promotes fullness and preserves muscle mass better than smaller amounts eaten throughout the day .

Examples of foods high in protein include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and soy products like tofu or tempeh.

You can also select foods from this list of delicious high protein foods to make sure you meet your needs at every meal.


Include a high protein food at each meal to get what you need to feel full and maintain muscle mass.

What Happens If You Eat Too Much Protein

When To Consume Whey Protein | Recommended Protein Intake

If youre wondering what happens if you eat too much protein, heres the scoop. Eating too much protein is inadvisable as it can cause colorectal cancer, heart disease, kidney problems, and osteoporosis. Indulging in too much of it, even when following a low-carb high-protein diet, can easily increase your fat stores and risk nutrient deficiencies.

A secondary problem exists when we eat too much protein. Doing so excludes other vital nutrients, fiber, heart-healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. As we eat too much of one thing, we end up excluding other things. A well-balanced diet at every meal contributes to improving overall health and lowering your chances of developing diseases.

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How Can I Tell If A Food Is High In Fat Saturated Fat Sugars Or Salt

Looking at the amount of each nutrient in 100g or a portion of a food can give you an idea of how much it contributes to your daily intakes. This information is sometimes also written on the label as a percentage of the reference intake, or % RI.

There are guidelines to tell you if a food is high in fat, saturated fat , sugars or salt, or not:

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day

As with most things in nutrition, theres no simple answer. Your ideal intake of calories and protein depends on your health, body composition, main goal, and the type, intensity, duration, and frequency of your physical activity. And even taking all this into account, youll end up with a starting number, which youll need to adjust through self-experimentation.

Tip: Calculating your caloric needs

Your height, weight, age, and level of physical activity all contribute to your caloric needs. There are many calorie calculators out there, but the NIH Body Weight Planner stands out. It has been tested and validated against real-world data and can estimate the number of calories you need to reach then maintain a specific weight.

Calorie-wise, there are only three types of diets:

Daily protein requirements are expressed in grams, either per kilogram of body weight or per pound of body weight . Ranges in the table below reflect known individual variances.

Maintenance: eucaloric diet | Muscle gain: eucaloric diet or hypercaloric diet | Fat loss: hypocaloric diet | * Grams per kilogram of body weight

Also, note that

Tip: Calculating your protein needs

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The Health Benefits Of Protein

Protein gives you the energy to get up and goand keep going. While too much protein can be harmful to people with kidney disease, diabetes, and some other conditions, eating the right amount of high-quality protein:

  • Keeps your immune system functioning properly, maintains heart health and your respiratory system, and speeds recovery after exercise.
  • Is vital to the growth and development of children and for maintaining health in your senior years.
  • Can help reduce your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Can help you think clearly and may improve recall.
  • Can improve your mood and boost your resistance to stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • May help you maintain a healthy weight by curbing appetite, making you feel full longer, and fueling you with extra energy for exercising.

As well as being imperative to feeling healthy and energetic, protein is also important to the way you look. Eating high-quality protein can help you maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair, build muscle, and maintain lean body mass while dieting.

While most people eating a Western diet get a sufficient quantity of protein each day, many of us are not getting the quality of protein we need.

Percent Of Daily Calories

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Current U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines suggest that adults should consume between 10% and 35% of their total calories from protein. To get your number and track your intake, you’ll need to know how many calories you consume each day.

Once you know how many calories you consume, multiply that number by 10% and 35% to get your range. As an example, a person who consumes 2,000 calories per day would need to consume 200 to 700 calories each day from protein.

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