How Much Protein Do You Need?

A question I get asked a lot is “How much protein do I need”? It’s a subject often debated in the nutrition world. Here’s my two cents…

After many years of research and experience I have come to the conclusion that although each individual’s needs may vary typically we need about 1 gram per pound of body weight. The RDA recommends that 10% to 35% of your diet should include protein. The basic recommendation for protein intake is about 0.36 g per pound of body mass to prevent protein deficiency for relatively inactive, healthy adults. However, this amount is not necessarily optimal for active and athletic people. For people doing high intensity training, protein needs might go up to about 0.64-0.9 g per pound of body mass. Rounding up to 1g of protein per pound of body mass will keep calculations easy and it will provide sufficient amounts of protein. You can include a higher percentage of protein if you prefer but not more than 1.4 g per pound of body mass.

We need a small amount of protein to survive, but we need a lot more to actually thrive and be healthy. Keep in mind that we can only store so much protein at once so be sure to consume moderate amounts of protein throughout the day.

Keep in mind these ranges and recommendations are suggestions based on current research. At the end of the day it’s your right and responsibility to listen to what your body is telling you. If you feel like you need more or less of any nutrient than by all means do it!

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