Proteins are a vital macronutrient, also called the building blocks of the body. The coordination of functions of the body, metabolism, cell repair, structure, and cellular support are all spheres of working of proteins.
Since they are so essential, it is important to consume the daily required value recommended. Several factors like physical activity, metabolism, lifestyle, and dietary habits affect this standard amount.
However, excessive protein intake is also dangerous. It may cause indigestion, calcium loss, and overburdened metabolism.
Thus it is important to draw a fine line between both underconsumption and overconsumption.
This article will help you get a better understanding of how much protein is too much protein while determining the optimal range of protein intake.
- 1 How Much Protein Should Be Consumed Per Day?
- 2 How Much Protein Is Required Per Day For Weight Loss?
- 3 How Much Is Protein Per Day Required To Gain Muscles?
- 4 Daily Protein Requirement In Pregnancy
- 5 Protein Requirements In Old Age
- 6 Daily Protein Requirements In Menopause
- 7 Daily Protein Requirement Based On Physical Activity
- 8 Daily Protein Intake Of People With Kidney Or Liver Disease
- 9 What Do You Mean By “Grams Of Protein”?
- 10 What Does An Average Protein Intake Look Like In Terms Of Food?
- 11 What If You Consume Too Much Protein?
- 12 Conclusion
How Much Protein Should Be Consumed Per Day?
According to dietary recommendations, the healthy amount of protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
If weighing body weight in pounds, it should be 0.36 grams per pound. However, for an average-weighing adult female, it is 46 grams of protein per day. For males, it should be 56 grams of protein per day.
Similarly, a person weighing 180 pounds should consume 65 grams of protein daily. Now, it is important to understand that these numbers are only to prevent protein deficiency.
The overall protein intake is different for each individual depending on his/ her long-term goals and routine. A person with more physical activity will need a lot more protein than mentioned above to attain the goal.
Similarly, age, gender, pregnancy, weight management, and several other factors require different protein intake.
How Much Protein Is Required Per Day For Weight Loss?
Protein intake is a significant factor that could induce weight loss along with diet management and exercise. According to a study, protein intake boosts satiety and reduces cravings for a long time.
They are also a better calorie source than carbs or fats if you are aiming at losing weight. About 30 percent of the calories you consume daily should come from proteins to increase weight loss chances.
That is because proteins boost metabolism which helps burn more calories.
It is known that it is essential to burn calories to lose weight, hence with a good protein intake you are likely to burn more calories without feeling the need to cut off extra calories.
Hence, you are dodging chances of deficiency and starvation by eating the optimal amount of calories required by the body. Meanwhile, you are burning up to 100 calories more in comparison to low protein diets.
To calculate how much protein you need (in grams) in a day to lose weight, multiply your total calorie intake by 0.075. For instance, a person having 1500 calories a day requires 113 grams of protein to shed some kilos.
How Much Is Protein Per Day Required To Gain Muscles?
Proteins are also an integral part of muscle building. If you are trying to gain muscles or even maintain your gains, you would need proteins.
An additional benefit of consuming protein is that you could lose weight without losing too much muscle mass. That is why proteins are always the main focus of bodybuilders and weight trainers.
Muscles need repair and appropriate protein intake sustains the repair and building process. When calculating your protein intake for muscle mass gain, do not look at calorie intake, take into account your body weight.
A study has shown that a minimum of 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight are essential for muscle mass gain and strength.
It could also go up to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Using your lean mass rather than total weight is considered a better option by many.
Daily Protein Requirement In Pregnancy
Pregnancy and breastfeeding are two phases with increased nutritional requirements for mother and child. During both these phases, the female should consume more proteins than the normal requirements.
It is essential for muscle growth and tissue development. If not consumed in adequate amounts, a lack of the macronutrient may lead to deficiency.
According to a study, the optimal range for protein intake during pregnancy is 1.2-1.52 grams per kilogram of body weight. This is about 0.55-0.7 grams per pound. Others suggest an intake of 1.1 grams of protein per kg of body weight.
Lactating mothers need 1.3 grams of proteins per kilogram of body weight and an additional 25 grams of proteins on top of it.
Mothers should opt for dietary proteins and not supplements unless prescribed by a medical expert. Some safe protein sources at this time could be salmon, eggs, tofu, beans, and nuts.
Foods to avoid are high mercury content fish, uncooked or undercooked meat/ fish, flaxseed oil, raw flax seeds, and raw sprouts.
Protein Requirements In Old Age
With declining age, the signs of protein deficiency may rise. To keep up with normal physical function, and muscle and bone strength, elderly people need much more protein than recommended daily allowance.
The study suggests that the needs may increase by 50% with aging. Most older adults need 1.3-2.0 grams of proteins per kg of body weight every day. Other findings suggest 1-1.3 grams of protein per kg.
The lower end of the range i.e. 1.3 grams is suitable for an adult who is 65 or above and has less physical activity.
1.6-2.0 grams per kg of body weight is the requirement of an adult of age 65 or above with high physical activity like exercising. Above mentioned recommended daily allowance may help prevent osteoporosis and sarcopenia in elderly people.
Daily Protein Requirements In Menopause
Menopause is another challenging aspect of a female’s life. Just like all the other nutrients, protein requirements are also high during menopause.
The reason is that estrogen drops significantly in this period leading to loss of bone and muscle mass.
To keep up with the changes, women need about 1 – 1.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight. This could be distributed evenly among all the meals giving 20-25 grams of protein per meal.
For example, females undergoing menopause weighing 70 kg should eat 70-84 grams of protein every day. Post menopause, with increasing age, the protein requirements may reach up to 2.0 grams of protein per kg of body weight.
Daily Protein Requirement Based On Physical Activity
The normal intake of 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight is not enough for people with high physical activity. Weight lifters, athletes, cyclists, swimmers, and other high-energy demanding activities require more protein and is one of the essential requirements as post workout nutritional consumption.
Intense physical activity demands about 1.2- 1.7 grams of protein per kg of body weight. To calculate it for yourself, there are two methods. Firstly, you could multiply your weight in kilograms to a suitable value between 1.5-2 grams.
For the second method, decide the proportion of calories you wish to get from proteins. For example, if you need 1500 calories a day and you wish to get 20% of it by proteins, multiply 1500 by 0.20.
The answer is 300. Divide it by 4. The number obtained now i.e. 75 is the grams of protein you need every day. Similarly, if you need 2000 calories and 30% of it should come from proteins, multiply 2000 by 0. 30.
Now divide the answer obtained by 4 i.e 600/4. The answer is 150 grams.
Daily Protein Intake Of People With Kidney Or Liver Disease
People with kidney and liver diseases or injuries have a hard time digesting protein. A high protein intake may cause further damage.
It is best to limit the daily intake to 0.6-0.8 grams of proteins per kg of body weight. Sticking to the lower end is a safer option. Exceeding the limit may trigger chronic disease.
What Do You Mean By “Grams Of Protein”?
Grams of proteins is the number of proteins by weight required daily in meals. Most people misinterpret it as the weight of the food they eat. For example, if you eat 100 grams of cottage cheese, you get only 14 grams of protein.
To attain your goal of minimal 46-56 grams of protein a day, you need to eat about 4 servings of 100 grams of cottage cheese. Thus, it is important to eat proteins in a balanced manner, distributed evenly in meals throughout the entire day.
What Does An Average Protein Intake Look Like In Terms Of Food?
Normally, you need to get 15-30 grams of protein per meal. It should look like 2 hard-boiled eggs with a cup of milk. It could also be 3 ounces of salmon or chicken. Getting proteins evenly throughout the day is not difficult.
You could also eat more proteins in breakfast and then adjust accordingly during other meals. Morning protein intake might help you attain weight loss goals by boosting satiety.
What If You Consume Too Much Protein?
Some people consume about 3 grams of proteins per kilogram of body weight for additional benefits. According to a study, extra protein is not beneficial for the body. It may only be converted to excessive energy or stored as fat.
Besides this, excessive protein could cause protein poisoning that may be responsible for damaging the liver and kidney. It could also elevate the health problem for people who already have kidney or liver disease.
It may also lower blood pressure. Moreover, it may also cause osteoporosis. Although there is not enough evidence of serious health hazards, it is best to consume only the required amounts as the rest is usually of no use.
Proteins are key elements for our body. A lack of these may cause several health issues. Eating foods like seeds, nuts, dairy, meat, and eggs helps reap enough protein throughout the day.
You must take into account your weight, physical activity, gender, and health status to determine the ideal intake. However, you should avoid excessive intake as it is of no use.