Protein is kind of a big deal when it comes to optimal health. But the amount of protein you need to eat per day isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Here’s how to make sure you’re eating enough protein.
How Much Protein Should You Really Be Eating Per Day?
Both men and women should eat a minimum of 0.8 grams (g) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight every day (or 0.36 g per lb.). Some scenarios, including pregnancy, activity levels, and older age, require more than that minimum. Research also links higher protein intake with weight loss and muscle gain. So, if you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle, your protein intake will vary even more.
How many grams of protein should I eat a day?
When we say grams, what we’re referring to are the grams of the macronutrient protein and *not* the foods it comes from. For example, one large egg weighs about 50 g, but only provides a little over 6 g of protein.
When it comes to the total amount of protein you need, the current international Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for both men and women is 0.8 grams per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight (that’s about 0.36 g per lb.).
This means a 150-lb. person would require about 54 g of protein while a 200-lb. individual would need 72 g.
This RDA is only the minimum to avoid a protein deficiency. Certain peeps often require more protein, including: Athletes: 1.2–2.0 g/kg (0.5–0.9 g/lb.)
Pregnant women: 1.1 g/kg (0.5 g/lb.)
Older adults: 1.2 and 2.0 g/kg (0.5–0.9 g/lb.)
Protein is the one macronutrient that never gets a bad rep when it comes to losing weight. That’s because eating enough protein is shown to help weight loss.
Foods that are high in protein have a thermic effect, meaning they can boost your metabolism and increase use of energy. So, increasing the percentage of protein in your diet can wind up increasing energy expenditure. Greatist Blog