You’ve probably heard a lot of noise about the benefits of protein, how much you need, and what food sources are best when looking to increase your intake of protein. Protein definitely lives up to expectations, and as great as it is for gaining muscle, that’s not its only benefit.
There’s a chance you’ve been convinced of the many benefits of protein but aren’t sure what the next best steps are.
The first thing you’ll need to do is figure out your daily protein recommendation and then build off that.
How Do I Calculate My Daily Protein Requirement?
Various methods and ranges are floating around the internet.
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 1.4 – 2.0 grams of protein/kg of your body weight/day is adequate for those that are exercising(1).
First, you will need to convert your weight from pounds to kilograms(kg). You can do this by dividing your body weight in pounds by 2.2 to calculate kilograms. Next, you will multiply this number by 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein to calculate your daily protein recommendation range.
● 160 pounds / 2.2 = 72.7 kilograms
● 72.7 kilograms x 1.4 grams of protein = 102 grams of protein
● 72.7 kilograms x 2.0 grams of protein = 145 grams of protein
Calculating your protein range will allow you to have a starting point and also compare what you are currently doing to what may be optimal for you. Remember that this is a general guideline and it’s always important to speak with a healthcare professional before making changes to your diet.
How Much Protein Do I Need to Gain Muscle?
If you want to increase muscle mass, you’ll definitely benefit from having a diet with adequate protein. It’s also important for you to consider adding resistance training to your workout regimen if you aren’t already.
Protein provides amino acids, which are the building blocks for muscle.
Muscle protein synthesis can be affected by your age and the stimulus provided by your training regimen. However, the general rule is to consume between 20 and 40 grams of protein per serving.
Research also supports that spreading your protein-packed meals throughout the day in 3-hour increments is optimal(1).
How Much Protein to Lose Weight?
If you are trying to lose weight, you will want to make sure you are hitting your daily protein goals for various reasons. One of these reasons is that eating more protein throughout the day can improve body composition by decreasing fat mass.
When you eat a diet that’s high in protein, you will likely feel full and satisfied which also results in consuming less food throughout the day.
If you aren’t sure how much protein you are eating now, it’s best to log your food with a tracking app like MyFitnessPal and understand where you can make improvements in your diet(2).
What are Other Benefits of Eating Enough Protein?
When you hear about protein from friends or your local trainer, weight loss and muscle building are often highlighted. These are very important but it’s also crucial for our overall health and proper functioning of the body.
High protein foods provide calories to our body which allow us to function properly throughout the day. Protein nourishes our body with many nutrients such as fiber, vitamin E, zinc, B vitamins, and more!
What if I’m Too Busy to Make Protein-Rich Meals?
There’s no question that you can go into the week with a perfect plan of how to reach your protein goals and then get thrown off track. The good news is that quick and easy options take zero to little time for preparation.
One item that is beneficial to have on hand after your workouts or during a busy day at work is a high-quality protein shake made from grass-fed whey protein.
Consider packing a jerky stick, purchasing a rotisserie chicken from your local market for dinner, or searching for a local meal prepping service to help you eat balanced meals.
One way to improve your body composition and performance is by reaching your protein goals.
Start by finding your protein range based on the recommendations of 1.4 – 2.0 grams of protein/kg of your body weight/day. You can always build from here and make changes based on your personal goals!
1. Jäger, R., Kerksick, C.M., Campbell, B.I. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 20 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8
2. Moon, J., & Koh, G. (2020). Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome, 29(3), 166–173. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes20028