How Much Protein do I Need?

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The origin of the word Protein is from the Greek word protos, meaning first. The meaning indicates its importance in human nutrition. Protein is present in many body parts like meat, hair, connective tissues, enzymes, etc. It is necessary to take enough protein daily to meet up your body’s needs. But the main question is, how much protein does your body need? Have you ever wondered how much protein do I need?

Not getting the proper intake of protein will cause many health issues. Many nutritionists have different views about the amount of protein to be taken daily. It is necessary to take enough protein daily to meet up your body’s needs.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of the body weight. RDA indicates the basic amount of nutrients you need to meet the nutritional requirement. It is not the fixed amount you are supposed to eat daily, but the minimum amount that prevents you from making you sick.

For calculating the daily protein intake, you can multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36. 

Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)

The DRI is 0.36 grams of protein per pound (almost 0.8 grams per Kg) of the body weight. This amounts to 56 grams per day on avg. sedentary man and 46 grams for avg. sedentary woman. 

As mentioned earlier this is the minimum amount that will prevent you from deficiency and other diseases related to protein deficiency. But the actual amount that your body needs depends on many factors like your

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle building 
  • Activity level

This is the reason that athletes require more protein intake for muscle building.

What is Protein?

Proteins are the basic building blocks of our body. They make the max of our body like the muscles, tendons, skin, enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and many other molecules. Protein is considered the structural as well as the functional unit of the body. 

Structure of protein

Protein is made up of small molecules or monomers called amino acids. These amino acids are linked together by a peptide bond to form the complex structure of the protein. Amino acids are arranged in a fixed ratio to make a perfect protein for you. That’s why animal’s tissues are enough sources of protein for you.

Amino acids

Amino acids are the monomers of the protein. The amino acids which can be synthesized by the body are termed as non-essential amino acids and the other type of amino acids that can’t be synthesized by the body are called the essential amino acids. So, they should be taken in diet.

Animal foods are enriched with protein. 

Many scientists and researchers have studied to estimate the optimal protein amount needed for the body, but they have varying conclusions. To give the exact figure of the protein amount is difficult. 

It is very important to gain the proper amount of protein to keep your body strong and maintain muscle mass.

Do you know how much protein do you need?

To determine how much protein do I need, you should target the total calories, your activity level, and your body weight. To maintain a healthy weight you have to intake an equal amount of calories that you burn. 

What is a “gram of protein”?

It means the number of grams of macronutrient protein, it is often misunderstood and is considered the

 the number of grams of protein-containing food. 

Protein intake for Pregnant Females

During pregnancy, for tissue development and growth body needs more protein. It will be beneficial for both mother and the baby. According to research avg. intake during pregnancy should be 0.55-0.69 grams per pound of the protein daily. Some scientists suggest this to be the minimum amount. Intake greater than this will be beneficial too.

Protein intake for Feeding Mothers

Those ladies who are involved in breastfeeding have to intake more protein. Usually the avg. protein intake for such females ranges from 0.59-0.64 grams per kg and the additional intake is also beneficial. 

Determine How Much Protein Do I Need

Percent of Daily calories

According to this, DRI suggests that adults should consume 35% of their calories from proteins.

Protein Gram Per Day

You can also determine how much protein do I need, by getting a range of protein grams needed/day. So use simple math. Each gram contains 4 calories simply divide 2 calorie range numbers by four. It means if you eat 2,000 calories per day you will consume 50-175 grams of protein.

Based On Weight and Activity

As we have mentioned earlier adult needs a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein /Kg of body weight, which means a person weighing 75 Kg will need 60 grams of protein/ day.

Based On Lean Body Mass

This is considered the most effective technique for measuring the protein need. A lean body mass needs more protein as compared to fatty tissues. LBM is not fat. You have to do body fat testing. Multiply weight by fat percentage. Calculate LBM. To determine protein need multiply LBM by appropriate activity level.

Protein assists in weight loss

If you want to lower your body weight then you will have to consume and burn more calories than you intake. It is evident that if you eat more protein, it will boost your metabolism and help to burn calories, and reduce the appetite as well. 

It is observed that if you consume 25% of your calories from protein, it will offer you the feeling of fullness. And it also reduces the late-night snacking desire leading to weight loss. 

The optimal intake of protein is about 30% of the calories for weight loss. 

Protein assists in muscle gain 

As we all know that protein is an important part of the muscle. Muscles keep on continuous breakdown and they need to be rebuilt. To gain muscle, your body must synthesize enough protein. A high protein intake helps to build muscle very quickly. And it also provides strength. Protein intake also helps to gain strength. 

To build muscle mass, we usually consider grams of protein taken daily per Kg of the body. 

Precautions while Protein intake

Some people think taking much protein results in kidney failure and cause osteoporosis, but science has proved them wrong. There are no such bad effects of protein intake. It can only cause a problem for people with preexisting kidney problems. Healthy people do not have any such negative effects. 

Benefits of protein intake 

  1. It lowers the blood pressure 
  2. Help in fighting diabetes
  3. It helps to gain muscle mass
  4. It helps the pregnant woman in tissue growth and development
  5. It helps to maintain proper fluid balance
  6. Helps in building and repairing tissues
  7. It transport nutrients

Sources of Protein

Dietary sources are excellent sources of protein. They include:

  • Eggs
  • Lean meat
  • Beans, peas
  • Dairy products
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Tofu
  • Fish 
  • Seafood

In selecting fish, keep in mind it should be mercury-free and have low in omega.

Food Protein(grams)
1 egg 6
1 cup of milk 8
1 cup cooked pasta 8
6 ounces plain Greek Yogurt 17
½ cup cottage cheese 14
1 ounce of nuts 7
3 ounces cooked turkey or chicken 19

 

Overconsumption

Some people think taking much protein results in kidney failure and cause osteoporosis, but science has proved them wrong. There are no such bad effects of protein intake. It can only cause a problem for people with preexisting kidney problems. Healthy people do not have any such negative effects. 

Only a small protein is excreted, while the extra is converted to glucose. In this way, if you are getting more protein, then you don’t need to worry. If you know how much protein do I need then you don’t have to worry at all. 

 

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