How Much Protein Do I Need per Day?
The amount of protein you intake per day can alter your results whether your goal is to gain muscle or lose fat. Protein can play a vital part in both preserving muscle mass if you're trying to lose fat. It can also help you build muscle if you're in a caloric surplus.
Many people too often consume less protein then they really need. On the other hand, sometimes you have people who eat too much protein per day and it's not really doing much for them. We're going to go over just how much protein you need per day and how to properly allocate protein in your diet.
How Much Protein per Day?
Taking directly from my, Why are Macros Important article:
Protein is possibly one of the most important macronutrients. Protein is responsible for building, restoring, and maintaining muscle. It’s also responsible for creating healthy blood cells, enzymes, hormones, and much more. Protein is made up of amino acids.
There are 2 categories of amino acids, essential amino acids, and nonessential amino acids. Essential amino acids can’t be made by the human body. You can only get them from food. Non-essential amino acids can be made by the human body.
The recommended amount of protein to make sure you’re not in a deficient is 0.8 grams per kg or 0.36 grams per pound. For someone who works out regularly you want around 1.5-2.4 grams per kg or 0.65-1.1 gram per pound. Protein is broken into 4 calories per gram.
So if you're let's say 150lbs (68kg), you should be having around 130-140 grams per day. You can also always use the Macro Calculator to get your other Macro Nutrients
What Happens if I Don't Eat Enough Protein
Intaking an adequate amount of protein is highly important. There are multiple things that can happen if you aren't intaking enough protein per day:
- Muscle Loss
- Potentially Weaker Immune System
What Happens if I Intake too Much Protein
On the other hand, taking too much protein can lead to some other issues. If you're intaking too much protein, it can start to break down into sugar and can lead to weight gain. This can be an even bigger issue if you're on the ketogetic diet considering this can throw you out of ketosis.
Don't Intake All Your Protein in One Meal
Having more then 20g of protein per meal can increase amino acid oxidation.(1) This isn't always the case, but it's best to eat around 0.2g/lb/meal. Note: This may be more then 20g of protein per meal, but that's okay.
In my general opinion, as long as you're not trying to get a majority of your daily protein in one meal and have it broken up into 3-4 meals a day is ideal for optimization.
Protein is essential to building and maintaining muscle as well as overall body functions. Try to intake around 1.5-2.0 grams per kg or 0.65-1 gram per pound. You should divide your daily intake of protein into about 3 -4 meal (or more) meals per day.
Use the Macro Nutrients to figure out the rest of your macro nutrients
- Schoenfeld BJ, Aragon AA. How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15:10. Published 2018 Feb 27. doi:10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1