How much protein you should eat:
- We’ve all heard that protein is an essential part of our diets, but how much do we actually need?
- Your body does require some protein to function normally and provide other benefits, but too much protein can be just as bad as not enough.
- If you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthier, you might be wondering just how much protein per day you should be consuming to get the best results while still remaining healthy and staying within your calorie limits every day.
Is there such a thing as too much protein
Protein you should eat: The health and fitness industries have come a long way over recent years when it comes to understanding our bodies and what we need to perform at an optimal level.
However, despite all of these advances in technology, information, research etc. It’s shocking that there are still so many conflicting reports as to what we should and shouldn’t be eating every day.
Just recently there was a highly controversial report released saying that high-protein diets were bad for us, however just days later another major publication came out with a report saying that having a high-protein diet was actually good for us!
The truth is there has been more than enough research conducted over recent years which confirms whether or not increasing your protein intake can actually be beneficial for you.
Get enough calories before considering more protein
If you’re trying to lose weight, it can be tempting to add in as much protein as possible—especially if you’re an athlete.
But be aware that adding more calories isn’t always a good idea. Try to get enough calories through healthier sources like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins before considering adding more protein.
Excess protein can make it harder for your body to maintain muscle and lose fat—which are two important parts of any weight-loss plan.
Besides, unless you’re an elite athlete or working out several hours a day, there’s little reason to consume as much as 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight each day.
The recommended daily amount of protein according to BMI
Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator of body fat. It helps you check whether you’re a healthy weight for your height and age.
If you have a BMI in line with what’s considered healthy, then your recommended daily amount of protein should be between 0.8g and 1g per kg of your body weight.
If you’re overweight, aim to eat just under 1g per kg of your weight, while if you have an underweight BMI, then try and eat between 0.9g and 1g per kg of your weight.
Calculate your ideal daily amount of protein based on your age, weight, and height
If you’re sedentary, 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.36g per pound) daily is sufficient. For an active individual, 1g of protein per kilogram (0.45g/lb) each day should be enough to prevent muscle loss and aid in recovery between workouts, says sports nutritionist Matt Miller, founder of Matt Miller Fitness.
If you have an average-sized man weighing 180 pounds with a normal amount of lean mass—or a woman weighing 140 pounds with normal amounts of lean mass—you could shoot for roughly 90 grams daily if you are lightly active or 120 grams if you’re very active; above that point, excess protein gets converted into glucose via gluconeogenesis.
The recommended daily amount of protein during pregnancy
During pregnancy, you need more protein than you normally do. Specifically, you should be getting 71 grams of protein a day — and even more if you’re breastfeeding.
Protein helps build your baby’s bones, muscles and other body parts. To get enough protein on board, eat several small meals throughout the day that each contain approximately 15 grams of protein.
Some examples include 1 cup of milk (8 grams), a can of tuna in water (40 grams) or 3 ounces of meat (21 grams). These numbers apply to pregnant women only; for women who are breastfeeding after pregnancy, as well as men and children alike, 46 grams daily is sufficient.
The recommended daily amount of protein when breastfeeding
1g/kg body weight. That’s a whopping 75 grams of protein for a 100-pound woman. Yikes! Not only are you going to have to start using your smart phone’s calculator feature.
But that amount of food isn’t going to keep you feeling svelte, or give you room in your diet for all of those delicious non-protein foods we mentioned above. So what do you do?
Other considerations when thinking about getting more or less than the recommended amount of protein your weight, goals and activity level.
The recommended amount of protein for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight is not as high as it is for people who are trying to gain muscle.
The standard recommendation for active adults at a healthy weight range — about 50 kilograms (110 pounds) on average — is about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, according to Mayo Clinic. This equals 81 grams of protein for someone who weighs 176 pounds.
Remember that supplements do not replace meals
No amount of whey protein shakes or creatine pills can replace an actual, nutritious meal.
The only way to know for sure if you’re getting enough protein in your diet is to count it out and balance it with vegetables, carbs, and healthy fats. In general, aim for 20-35 grams of high-quality protein a day.
Does eating more than 20% of calories from protein cause kidney damage?
Although very little research has been done on kidneys of people with eating disorders, research in normal people suggests that eating more than 20% of calories from protein may damage kidney function.
Protein contains nitrogen, which can combine with water to form ammonia—especially when liver function is impaired by malnutrition.
The excess ammonia can cause acute kidney failure. It’s thought that these cases are rare because a) many diets already contain more than 20% of calories from protein and b) most patients with anorexia have healthy livers.
Understanding proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids in foods
All three of these macronutrients play important roles in your diet, so it’s important to know what they are and what they do.
But eating a well-balanced diet with a good mix of all three (and remember, you can get fats from plant sources) is key.
It’s generally recommended that adults eat about 20 to 35 percent of their calories from protein each day. For example, for a 2,000-calorie diet, that would equal approximately 80 to 175 grams.