The exact amount of protein you need depends on many factors including age, muscle mass, weight, medical condition, physical activity level, etc.
Before starting to the main topic "How Much Protein Do You Actually Need" let's understand why your body needs protein and how protein works in your body.
Proteins are the main building blocks of your body. They’re used to make muscles, tendons, organs, and skin, as well as enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and various molecules that serve many important functions.
Proteins are made up of amino acids that join together to form long chains.
There are 20 amino acids that help form the thousands of different proteins in your body.
Your body produces some of these amino acids, but you must obtain others known as essential amino acids via your diet.
Protein is not only about quantity but also quality.
Generally, animal protein provides all amino acids in the right ratio for our body because animal tissues are more similar to our own tissue.
However, if you are not eating animal food then you can fulfill your requirement by using supplements and being able to provide amino acids to your body in the right ratio.
Okay, now let's come to the main topic how much protein actually you need in a day.
This is the actual point that used to come to everyone's mind.
The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) to prevent deficiency for an average sedentary adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For example, a person who weighs 165 pounds, or 75 kilograms, should consume 60 grams of protein per day.
This may be enough to prevent deficiency, but the amount you need depends on many factors, including your activity level, age, muscle mass, physique goals, and overall health.
Let's discuss this topic from the point of view of some fitness goals.
GAIN MUSCLE AND STRENGTH: -
Muscles are largely made of protein. To gain muscle, your body must synthesize more muscle protein than it breaks down. In other words, there needs to be a net positive protein balance in your body.
As such, people who want to build muscle and gain strength need more protein than normal people.
A common recommendation for gaining muscle is 1 gram of protein per pound (2.2 grams per kg) of body weight.
Other scientists have estimated protein needs to be a minimum of 0.7 grams per pound (1.6 grams per kg) of body weight.
Some studies show that consuming more than 0.8 grams per pound (1.8 grams per kg) has no benefit, while others indicate that intakes slightly higher than 1 gram of protein per pound (2.2 grams per kg) are best. (READ STUDIES 1, 2)
it’s hard to give exact figures due to conflicting study results but 0.7–1 gram per pound (1.6–2.2 grams per kg) of body weight seems to be a reasonable estimate.
WEIGHT LOSS OR PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN: -
Protein is important when it comes to losing weight. As you may know, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn to lose weight.
Consuming 25–30% of your total daily calories from protein has been shown to boost metabolism by up to 80–100 calories per day, compared with lower protein diets.
In one study of men with obesity, consuming 25% of calories from protein increased feelings of fullness, as well as reduced late-night snacking desires and obsessive thoughts about food by 50% and 60%. (study)
In another 12-week study, women who increased their protein intake to 30% of calories ate 441 fewer calories per day and lost 11 pounds (5 kg) by simply adding more protein to their diet. (study)
According to the mentioned studies, a protein intake of around 30% of calories may be optimal for weight loss. This amounts to 150 grams per day for someone on a 2,000-calorie diet.
OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH CAN INCREASE PROTEIN NEEDS: -
Regardless of muscle mass and physique goals, those who are physically active need more protein than those who are sedentary.
If your job is physically demanding or you walk a lot, run, swim, or do any sort of exercise, you need to eat more protein.
We hope that this blog helps you to understand the important role of protein in your body.
And to understand what the quantity of protein should be in your diet.