All About Protein | Protein Intake Per Day | Protein 101

What Should Be Our Protein Intake Per Day?

In fitness nutrition, one thing you hear the most about is protein. If you want to build muscles, get enough protein. Losing weight? Well, eat your protein! Stay the same weight? Protein. Just wanna chill on the couch all day and do nothing? Well, then also you’re gonna need PROTEIN!

We’re tirelessly told that we need it, but exactly how much protein should we be eating? How many servings of protein per day should we be consuming? What should be our protein intake per day? 

The next set of questions is, Are the recommended servings of protein per day the same for all? Is there a personalized protein per day calculator? Or do we all can have the same protein intake per day? 

What Should Be Your Protein Intake Per Day? 

homemade protein powder

If you look on the internet you will typically find numbers around 0.8 to 1 gram per kilogram of your bodyweight. 

A modest amount, but nothing massive. 

For a 180-pound male, that’s roughly two chicken breasts or three and a half scoops of your favorite protein supplement.

For people that don’t work out and just want a healthy dose of protein, then 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight is completely fine. But, these recommendations are for the average person simply meeting daily requirements for a healthy life. 

Read more: How to make protein powder at home? 

How Much Protein Do You Need To Build Muscle?

protein intake per day

Since almost all fitness goals revolve around either building or preserving muscle tissue, naturally it will require more protein. 

Per kilogram of your body weight, 2.2 grams of protein intake per day would be sufficient. 

For people wanting to bulk, almost all studies showed similar improvements in muscle protein synthesis with a protein intake of 1.2 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, those that are more fit requiring the higher end of the spectrum. 

Read more: How to regain muscles mass with proteins? 

How Much Protein Do I Need To Lose Weight Fast?

how to lose fat

The amount of protein intake per day varies here, as well. For you to lose weight fast, 30% of your total calorie intake should be from protein. Or, 1.6- 2 grams per kilogram grams of your body weight, should be your protein intake per day. 

So, if you consume 2000 calories, 150 grams servings of protein per day would be an optimal choice for you. 

When it comes to weight loss, intuitive thinking might tell you, you need less protein since you generally eat less to begin with. 

Studies, however, show favorable results from those that eat a higher protein diet, especially if they are either experienced lifters or have a low body fat percentage. The more body fat you have, the more you can get away with eating less protein. And the more intense you are training, the more protein you need to supplement the break down that will occur. 

All this being said, for people wanting to lose weight or body fat while preserving lean mass, eating roughly 1.6 grams to 2.3 grams per kilogram of bodyweight tends to do the trick, granted you are exercising enough. Bear in mind, though, that even the subjects eating the most protein still saw a drop in overall lean mass, just not as much as those eating less. 

Read more:  Easy tips to lose weight fast! 

How Do I Calculate How Much Protein I Need?

There is no protein per day calculator for all, it depends upon the reason you need protein for. 

  • Protein per day calculator for a person who doesn’t work out and just wants a healthy dose of protein,  0.8 grams X your body weight (kg) = protein intake per day 
  • Protein per day calculator for a  person who is aiming at building muscles, 2.2 grams X your body weight (kg)= protein intake per day 
  • Protein per day calculator for a  person who is aiming at losing weight, 1.5 grams X your body weight (kg)= protein intake per day 

Read more: 5 easy protein shakes (to help complete your desired protein intake per day)

What happens if you do not have enough protein?

Protein is an essential nutrient, and lack of protein can cause; 

  1. Swelling 
  2. Hair, nail and skin problems
  3. Fatigue 
  4. Weakness
  5. Hunger 
  6. Slow down your injury healing process
  7. Mood changes 
  8. Frequent sickness

Read more:  Delicious and easy protein cake recipes. 

Can You Live Without Protein?

servings of protein per day

No, you can not live without protein. Just like a car needs fuel to move our body needs protein for energy. 

Protein is essential for muscles and for the immune system of the body. 

So, you should have the desired protein intake per day. 

Read more:  How to boost your immunity? 

How Much Protein Is Too Much?

Although protein is one of the healthiest and essential nutrients, too much of anything is harmful. 

Some studies say, over 3 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight is not good. 

Strength gains, however, do favor a protein intake above 3 grams per kilogram, but is not exactly necessary, especially if you’re a beginner to intermediate. 

However, some studies show that people can get away with eating as much as 4.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight with no health issues. But, you need to have a balance of workouts with it. 

What Does Too Much Protein Do To Your Body? 

If your protein intake per day is very high it will be stored as fat, while the surplus of amino acids will be excreted. It can lead to weight gain over time, especially if you consume too many calories. 

In any case, there are drawbacks to eating too much protein. 

For weight loss, eating too much protein means fewer calories from the more energy-efficient macronutrients carbs and fats. Not only will you have less energy, chances are that it will be much more difficult to adhere to your diet since it leaves little room for more desirable food choices. 

For weight gain, too much protein will make it difficult to meet calorie needs since it will make you feel full quicker. Protein is also the most energy-inefficient macronutrient, requiring your body to take roughly 30% of the calories from protein just to digest and use it as energy. 

What Happens If You Eat A Lot Of Protein But Don’t Work Out?

If you increase your protein intake per day to lose fat or to gain muscles, while sitting on the couch all day long, then probably you are going to gain fat. 

Excess protein gets stored in the body as fat, and can lead to weight gain. So, just have the adequate servings of protein per day and do the desired workouts. 

Read more: How to lose fat without losing muscles? 

What Breakfast Is High In Protein?

breakfast

Breakfast is a great time to have protein for various reasons. 

Check out protein rich foods you can have for breakfast here

Read more: 5 easy protein rich easy to make snacks. 

What Fruit Is High In Protein?

Fruits are healthy and delicious foods. 

Some of the fruits that are rich in protein and can help you fulfil your desired protein intake per day are; 

  1. Guava.
  2. Avocado.
  3. Jackfruit. 
  4. Dried apricots. 
  5. Kiwifruit.
  6. Blackberries.

Read more: What are the healthiest fruits on the planet?

HEALTHIEST FRUITS

Which Vegetable Is Highest In Protein?

Vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients. 

Some of the vegetables that are rich in protein and can help you fulfill your desired protein intake per day are; 

  1. lima beans
  2. bean sprouts
  3. green peas
  4.  spinach
  5.  sweet corn
  6. asparagus
  7. artichokes
  8. brussels sprouts
  9. mushrooms
  10.  Broccoli.

Read more: What are the healthiest foods on the planet? 

What Food Is 100% Protein?

Some foods that are pure proteins; 

  1. Chicken breasts
  2. Turkey breasts 
  3. Eggs

What Are Some Cheap Sources Of Protein? 

Some cheap sources of protein that can help you have your desired protein intake per day are;

  1. Natural Peanut Butter.
  2. Eggs.
  3. Plain Greek Yogurt. 
  4. Sunflower Seeds. 
  5. Black Beans.

How Else Can You Monitor Your Protein Intake Per Day? 

One of the ways to determine adequate protein intake per day is by measuring your nitrogen balance. 

From the three macronutrients, protein is the only one that contains the element nitrogen. Knowing this, researchers can figure out if you’re eating enough protein by measuring the nitrogen content in your food and the nitrogen content that you excrete. The goal is to achieve a positive nitrogen balance, meaning the amount of nitrogen you’re consuming is greater than the amount leaving your body. Of course, measuring your own nitrogen balance is a rather, complicated task. 

Fortunately, we can look at studies to determine the best value for positive nitrogen balance or educatively guess the best amount for building or preserving muscle. 

In fact, studies show that subjects can achieve a positive nitrogen balance with only 15 percent of their nutrition coming from protein. 

The Takeaway

If you struggle meeting these protein intake per day ranges mentioned, try sticking to the low end of the spectrum or at the very least, try meeting the minimum requirement of 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. 

And no, unless you already have renal issues,eating too much protein will not destroy your kidneys. 

Last but not least, never forget that having the proper exercise program paired with proper nutrition is your best bet. If you feel confident about your workouts, give these recommendations a shot and see if it works for you.

If you have any recommendations yourself, share it in the comments section below! 

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