While longing for attractive yet healthy physic,'How much protein I need per day?' is the most important question which answer depends on your age, level of physical activity, lifestyle, physical goals, muscle requirement, and health conditions. You are a male or female, what kind of body you are aiming for and at what degree your body is involved in your daily chores and profession are some points that you can't ignore while deciding the right amount of protein intake for your body, fitness and good health.
Before knowing the exact or close amount of protein need, let's understand what is protein and what are the basic use, benefits or functions of this abundantly found nutrient!
What is Protein?
Protein is much more than being just a nutrient. After water, it is the biggest contributor of body building.
Protein is a bigger term which basic units are amino acids. The molecules of these amino acids combines in different combinations and patters making a beads or strings like structure which makes a chain like formation.
There are two types of Amino acids that are found in are body. First are non-essential amino acids that are body produces and second are essential amino acids that are body can’t produce and rely on external sources which are our foods.
The most popular sources of protein are milk, cheese, butter, breads, rice, soya bean and ground nuts. Yet protein is abundantly found in eggs, meat, fish, beef and other animal products.
Why Do You Need to Care about How Much Protein Your Body Needs?
If you are a non-vegetarian and fulfilling your protein demands through animal products, you are probably supplying well to your body.
If you are a pure vegetarian, you need to watch what you are eating to fulfill your body’s protein demands. Same kind of vegetables diet might take you to protein deficiency. Yes, your body will work, but for long run, just ‘okay’ is not okay and you need to supply your body sufficient amount of protein.
Here is Why You Need Protein?
Other than being the fundamental building block, it helps in many other functions like clotting, defense, formation, transport, growth, tissue repair and replacement, etc.
When our body finds deficiency of carbohydrate, it breaks into carbs and accomplishes the requirement of fuel giving energy to our body.
Importance of Protein at Different Age: Know Your Protein Need!
Although the recommended quantity of protein need below is enough to save you from downright deficiency, yet the accuracy of exact needed amount for ensuring your optimal health depend on many factors. These factors include your age, activity level, muscle mass, health state, digestive capacity and overall weight vs your height.
Other than the above, your physique goal also matters. If you aim for some weight loss, muscle building, or weight gain, the “right” amount of needed protein per day will differ for you.
Here you are all those different states and situations that you might be in and as per that, the protein amount necessary for you!
How Much Protein Does a Little Child Need Per Day?
Babies: 0 to 06 MonthsAmount of Protein Per Day: 9.1 grams
Infants: 7 to 12 Months
Amount of Protein Per Day: 11 grams
Children: 01 to 03 Years
Amount of Protein Per Day: 13 grams
School-Age: How Much Protein Do Kids Need Per Day?
Kids: 04 to 08 Years
Amount of Protein Per Day: 19 grams
Boys and Girls: 09 to 13 Years
Amount of Protein Per Day: 34 grams
Protein Requirement at Teenage
Girls: 14 to 18 Years
Amount of Protein Per Day: 46 grams
Boys: 14 to 18 Years
Amount of Protein Per Day: 52 grams
Protein Need at Young Age
If you are an active game-player or a sports-person, injuries and muscle tears are the parts of your life. And where there are damages, repairing is one of the prime concerns. Here comes the need of repair-master of our body, who is none other than 'protein'.
In case of exercise too, this hero of repairing and replacement does wonders. In resistance to exercise, our body tissues face damages, and protein does its work there.
Do you know that even while moderate daily activities, the microscopic fibers of muscles get damaged.
Now in all above three states, it depends on you that how, how many and what type of heroes you are appointing to work for your body. The quantity and quality of protein is what should be watched in your diet. Your performance depends on the protein component introduced to your plate. This ensures how soon you recover your damages by repairing and replacement. And thus this also decides how quickly you will be able to resume the activity you are performing.
Adults: Daily Protein Requirements for Adults
Women: 19 to 70+ Years
Amount of Protein Per Day: 46 grams
Men: 19 to 70+ Years
Amount of Protein Per Day: 56 grams
Amount of Protein Per Day: 0.8 grams per pound of body weight
Adults Performing Little Physical Activities
Protein Quantity: 0.36 grams per pound body weight (every day)
Needed Protein Quantity for Pregnant and Breast-Feeding Women
Amount of Protein Per Day: 71 grams
How Much Protein Do Elder People Need?
Amount of Protein Per Day: As per old theory
0.36 grams per pound of body weight per day
0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day
Amount of Protein Per Day: As per new theory
0.68 grams per pound of body weight, per day
1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight, per day
Protein Requirement for Elderly (Old) People
0.45 to 0.6 grams per pound of body weight, per day
Importance of Protein at Old Age
People at this age most commonly face the problems of osteoporosis and muscle mass reduction, which is also known as sarcopenia. Protein helps in prevention of both of the issues in elderly people.
Protein repairs the damaged tissues or worn-out cells. In humans, after the age from 18 to 22 the organs develop to their full growth. After full development, the body cells or tissues need protein to mainly compensate the loss incidental. The toxicity in our body is responsible for occurrence of waste, deterioration of tissues, and degeneration of cells. If we follow a healthy lifestyle and consume a diet that supplies minimal toxins, we can significantly decline the rate of tissue waste, and so the needed amount of protein.
What about People Who Have Got Injuries?
Protein is known to repair your tissues, so yes! It is beneficial in injury recoveries as well. You can go ahead with introducing a significant amount of extra protein in your diet while injury.
Protein Amount Needed for Athletes
0.5 to 0.65 grams per pound of body weight, per day
1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight, per day
Endurance AthletesAmount of Protein Per Day: 0.55 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound
Athletes on/after Training, Building Muscle MassAmount of Protein Per Day: 0.64 to 0.82 grams of protein per pound of body weight
Athletes Performing Excessive Strength Training
Protein Quantity: 0.91 grams per pound body weight (every day)
This is the highest capacity of processing up the protein, for a human body.
To heal up the damaged tissues of a human body, the recommended amount of protein is sufficient, where it is noticeable that one should not exceed that suggested amount.
Protein for Weight Loss or Weight Gain
This amazing nutrient plays a vital role in both weight loss and weight gain, so you can’t at all afford to avoid protein in your diet.
Protein Use in Weight Loss
In state of hunger or even craving, protein gives you much more satisfaction than fat or carbohydrates. You feel satiated after consuming protein rich food, feeling fullness. It also helps you in getting rid of late night snacking and feeling lesser obsession about eating or food thoughts.
Protein boosts the rate of metabolism and reduces the appetite. For this boost, about 25 to 30% of protein calories work best. This protein consumption reduces your appetite decreasing the rate of calorie intake.
So this way, it helps you to lose weight, preventing from gaining extra pounds.
The Bottom Line
Add protein to your diet in appropriate amount, that is, about 30% of calories can be an optimal diet plan for weight loss or weight management.
For example, if you are following the 2000 calorie per day rule, about 150 grams of protein per day can help you a lot.
Warnings: Can High Protein Give Adverse Effects on Health?
Don’t overdo. Don’t start relying on just protein for fuel or energy. People who want to lose weight or build muscles or want a perfect body, they often mistake while following ‘low carb high protein’ diet. Too much use of protein is going to take you nowhere.
Lack of carbohydrate means our body needs to depend on stored protein of our body. And protein breaking into carbohydrate and then into energy is too strenuous job which gives extra burden to your liver and kidney. So don’t forget to go for ‘right’ amount.
High protein is recommended to avoid if you already have kidney related problems, but it is not so that if you have a healthy body and you are taking high protein then you will end up at kidney damage. The studies and research say this theory a myth that higher proteins affect your body adversely, but this is also right only when you are taking other nutrients in balanced amount and performing physical activities in coordination to your diet plan.
Nutrients are essential and play wonder if introduced to your food and diet plan, but beware! Measured quantity is the key to get the optimum results. Otherwise the things can be disastrous too.
Protein Requirement: Does Too Much Protein Consumption Helps More?The benefits of protein in developing muscles, protecting from diseases, growth of hair motivates to consume protein. But beware! Excessive intake of protein can prove to be harmful too. It might increase your body fat. Over consumption can also give over strain to your liver and kidney. So take adequate protein in your diet, but do not over-take. Stick to fulfill the daily body requirement of protein! This is the best approach to follow.
Protein Use in Muscle Gain and in Building Muscle Strength
Our body is made of muscles; muscles are made of many tissues that contain largely protein. These tissues constantly break and again rebuild.
To build muscles, our body needs to build more tissues than they are breaking. So we need to take more protein than what our body is consuming in tissue formation, repair and replacement process.
As protein contains nitrogen abundantly, we can say we need to make net protein balance or net nitrogen balance.
The above mechanism is the reason that people advise to intake protein in greater amount as higher protein eating helps building muscles and gaining strength.
Proteins are recommended for those also who have already built body muscles, but want to lose some body fat, holding muscles. High protein saves you from losing muscles when dieting Is on.
How Much Protein Do Muscle Mass Watchers Need?
For those, who want to maintain muscle mass, are not suggested protein intake amount in percentages of calories, but they are advised to take protein in grams per body weight unit. Where this amount is for per day or on daily basis, the body weight is in kilograms or pounds.
1 gram per pound of body weight
2.2 grams per kilogram or body weight
Although if we want to know the exact quantity of protein intake, research suggests contradictory amounts:
More than 0.8 gram per pound doesn’t help.
Slightly greater than 1 gram per pound gives best results.
Yet most support quantity is as below:
0.7 to 1 gram per pound of body weight
1.5 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight
Protein Diet and Muscle Soreness
If you are suffering from muscle soreness after a heavy workout or weight-lifting schedule, don't forget to introduce adequate protein to your diet as protein helps repairing and replacing the body tissues. It saves you from experiencing a prolong recovery process. But remember! Over-eating of protein will not speed up the healing process, so it is in vain to consume too much protein to get better results soon. Our body needs its time to heal, which can't be done at fast pace. So be patient!
Protein Supplements: Vegetarians Vs Non-Vegetarians
Protein Need Per Day
In case of protein, the recommended dietary allowance differs age-to-age and as per level of daily physical activities. However, 2 to 3 servings of protein sources in diet is beneficial for healthy tissues.
Considering the above fact, either we can rely on animal proteins or can go with combining more than one type of plant proteins in our diet.
Protein Sources for Vegetarians: Protein Rich Food and Fruits
Here, one thing needs to be clear that animal protein doesn't mean lean meat or eggs only. Vegetarian people can get it with milk or milk products too.
Let's know some combinations for veggies, which can fulfill the body requirement of protein!
Protein Source: Whole grains
Combining food: Legumes
Protein Source: Rice
Combining food: Beans
Protein Source: Toasts of whole wheat
Combining food: Peanut butter
These all are high-quality protein rich sources that supply plant based proteins.
Idea of Protein Quantity
For giving you an idea about how much protein a serving contains, below are some measurements!
Protein Source: Milk
Quantity: One cup
Amount of protein: 8 grams
Protein Source: Dry Beans
Quantity: One cup
Amount of protein: 16 grams
Protein Source: Meat
Quantity: 3 ounce portion
Amount of protein: 20 grams
Important to Know: Basic Terminology of Protein Requirement Amount
For indicating the amount, ‘grams of protein’ or ‘’pounds of protein’ are two terms that are used commonly. Here it means ‘grams of macronutrient protein’ and not ‘grams of food like vegetable, soya or eggs’. So do not confuse with this.
For example: An egg weighing 46 grams contains only 6 grams protein. So by taking 46 grams of egg, you are not going to take 46 grams of protein, but just 6 grams of protein.
So here you will know how much 'real protein' amount, not food amount. This kind of terminology is used because different food, fruits and vegetables consist different amount of nutrients. One can't say "take 1 apple" for some results because that apple can be smaller or bigger which changes its nutrition value.