The popularity and drop in price of whey protein products recently has seen an explosive growth in the interest levels in increasing protein intakes. Initially I was never sure how much protein I should eat in a day, so I set about trying to find out. It did not help that most bodybuilders have massive intakes of protein in their diet, which make me wonder if that amount of protein is really necessary. The fact is, your protein intake requirements really depend on you, your body weight, your fat percentage or if you’re on a diet, how many calories your diet is. Do not believe anyone who says you need to take a specific amount, and figure out how much you need for yourself.
The first thing you need to see is if there are signs that you are not getting enough protein, these can include constant cravings for meat or animal foods, cravings for carbohydrates, fatigue, weight loss, inability to gain weight, and mental or emotional instability.
Getting too much on the other hand, might be disruptive to your digestion, and you might also feel an aversion to meat or high protein foods or a complete lack of appetite. Consumption of it can cause you to get dehydrated and in excessive amounts can be a strain on your kidneys, so remember to drink a lot of water to compensate.
How much protein should I eat a day when i am working out?
For a standard individual i would recommend the numbers in the next segment on calculating your intake based on your calorie intake. But, If you are working out (and by this i mean weightlifting, trying to build muscle and even endurance athletes) you are going to need much higher levels to support muscle growth.
So the recommendation is that you should take 1g of protein per 1lb of lean body mass. So for example a 150lb man with 10% body fat would need 135g of protein a day. Remember that this intake is meant for very active people who work a minimum of three days a week and are looking to build lean muscle mass. If you are not as active then the excess will possibly make you fatter and could result in other issues.
How much protein should I eat when i am on a diet?
Well the amount of protein you should eat when your on a diet will depend on how many calories you eat in a day. Remember that this means that you are not working out and trying to build muscle, merely trying to lose weight while on a diet. The recommendation is that protein should form 10% – 35% of your daily caloric intake.
If your diet keeps you at 1800 calories a day, approximately 180 – 630 of that should come from protein.
How did i work it out? Here it is:
1800 calories x 0.10 = 180 calories
1800 calories x 0.35 = 630 calories
So 10% – 35% of 1800 calories = 180 – 630 calories from protein
So how many grams of protein should I eat in a day?
There are 4 calories in a single gram of protein. Therefore 180 – 630 calories in terms of grams of protein would be roughly 45 – 157.5 grams of protein. Here’s a list of protein calories and grams you should be eating depending on the calories in your diet:
- If you’re on a 1200 calorie diet, 120-420 calories (30-105 grams) of protein are recommended.
- If you’re on a 1400 calorie diet, 140-490 calories (35-122.5 grams) of protein are recommended.
- If you’re on a 1500 calorie diet, 150-525 calories (37.5-131.25 grams) of protein are recommended.
- If you’re on a 1600 calorie diet, 160-560 calories (40-140 grams) of protein are recommended.
- If you’re on a 2000 calorie diet, 200-700 calories (50-175 grams) of protein are recommended.
Now that you know how much protein you will need, your first step is to calculate your amount and then figure out how much protein you are getting in your diet. Once you know how much you should be eating then its a simple process of starting bridge that gap. That’s how i did it. Good luck.