How much protein should I eat daily? The dietary reference intake recommends 0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. It is important to know that most nutritional organizations recommend a modest daily protein amount. And this amounts to 65 grams of protein per day for a 180-pound sedentary person.
If your goal is to gain muscle, then you may need to increase that to 1 gram of protein per bodyweight. The amount of protein that you need daily will always be predicated on activity level, age, muscle mass, fitness goals and your present overall health.
How much protein should I eat daily? Photo credit: iStock-ProNamy
Why would you need protein?
Protein is the essential building block to your body as it is used to create muscle, tendons, organs, skin, etc. Animal protein like fish, eggs, meat, dairy provides all the essential amino acids your body needs daily.
Research shows that consuming protein will increase the number of calories burned by boosting your metabolic rate and reducing your appetite. Consuming 25 to 30% of your calories from protein has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories compared to low protein diets.
There was a 12-week study where women increased their protein intake to 30% and the result was eating 441 fewer calories. And they lost 11 pounds just by adding more protein to their diet.
Because protein is essential to building muscle, the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will be. And the result is weight loss and more calories burned efficiently. Research studies tend to examine the daily grams of protein per bodyweight, as opposed to how many calories they are consuming when it comes to muscle gain.
Protein In Pregnancy
Pregnant women need more protein because both the woman and baby benefit from the extra protein intake. Research and experts have stated that pregnant women should consume 0.55 to 0.69 grams per pound of protein daily during pregnancy.
The recommended daily allowance for protein during breastfeeding is 0.59 grams per pound daily plus 25 additional grams.
The Average Person
If you are an average person who doesn’t lift weights or doesn’t exercise and lives a sedentary lifestyle, then the amount of protein you should consume if you are male should be around 56 to 91 grams of protein. If you are a woman, the daily number of grams of protein is 46 to 75 grams per day.
Some Good Lean sources of Protein Foods:
- Fish- A 3.5 ounce contains 20 to 25 grams of protein.
- Yogurt- 6 ounces contain 15 to 20 grams of protein.
- Beans- ½ cup contains 8 grams of protein.
- Tofu- 3 ounces contain 9 grams of protein.
- Lean Beef- a 4-ounce hamburger patty contains 24 grams of protein.
- Egg Whites- One Egg White contains 3.5 grams of protein.
- Low Fat Milk- one cup contains 8 grams of protein.
- Shrimp- A 3 ounce contain 22 grams of protein.
If you are not able to get enough daily protein from food, then a dietary protein powder supplement would be something to take as extra assistance.
The Bottom Line is the amount of protein you should consume daily will always be based on several factors and that is your physical activity level, fitness goals, age, muscle mass and overall health.
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