How Much Protein Should You Eat per Day?

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How much protein should you eat per day? A question that has been asked many times with many different answers. Today, we will look at another approach regarding daily protein intake. If you look at how many protein bars, shakes, and powders exist on the market, you might assume that you need a protein supplement. These products promise to suppress your appetite, aid in weight loss, and help build muscle. But what’s the truth behind these claims?

Despite the hype surrounding the idea that everyone needs more protein, the majority of people in the United States consume enough or even exceed their recommended intake. This is especially true for men between the ages of 19-59, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. Men in this age group tend to consume more protein than recommended, particularly from sources like meat, poultry, and eggs. Even athletes, who require more calories, often consume more protein than necessary without the use of supplements. When you eat more food, you automatically consume more protein. But how much protein do you really need, and what are the risks of taking too much? In this article, we will provide answers to these questions.

More protein equals bigger muscles?

While it’s important to consume enough protein for your body’s needs, it’s important to note that extra protein intake alone won’t lead to muscle growth. Rather, it’s the combination of protein intake and strength training that will help with muscle growth.

Due to the fact tat the body can’t store protein indefinitely, any excess protein is either used for energy or stored as fat. The same goes for calories from any source, which can be stored as fat in the body.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that excessive protein intake can be quite risky. Many foods high in protein are also high in total and saturated fats, which can lead to elevated blood lipids and increase the risk of heart disease. Excessive protein intake can put the kidneys in overdrive and may be especially risky for those with a predisposition to kidney disease.

How much protein do you need?

It’s recommended that anywhere from 10% to 35% of your daily calorie intake should come from protein. For example, if you need 2,000 calories a day, your protein intake should be between 200-700 calories or 50-175g (grams) of protein. The recommended dietary allowance to prevent deficiency for an average sedentary adult is 0.54-0.9g (grams) of protein per Kg of body weight. So, someone who weighs 165 pounds or 75Kg (Kilograms) and does not exercise should consume around 40-67.5g (grams) of protein per day.

As we age, we naturally begin to lose muscle mass, which can impact our quality of life and independence. To prevent this, protein intake should increase to about 1-1.2g (grams) per Kg of body weight, or 75-90g (grams) per day, for someone weighing 75Kg (kilograms).

For people who exercise regularly, protein needs should increase even further. Those who lift weights or are training for a running or cycling event need 1.2-2g (grams) of protein per Kg of body weight. Anything more than 2g (grams) of protein per Kg of body weight each day is considered excessive and risky.

If you are overweight, your protein needs are adjusted in order to avoid overestimation due to your weight. It’s recommended to consult with a registered dietitian to develop a personalised nutrition plan that takes into account your individual needs and goals because how much protein you you eat everyday is not as simple as 1,2,3.

Where does protein come from?

The healthiest sources of protein are plant-based foods such as soy, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils, as well as lean meats like skinless chicken or turkey, different types of fish and seafood, egg whites, and low-fat dairy products.

It’s recommended to get your daily protein requirements from these whole foods rather than relying on supplements since they’re not more effective than food, as long as your calorie intake is sufficient for building lean muscle.

Processed foods lack the essential nutrients that whole foods provide, and food manufacturers may not have complete knowledge about optimal food composition.

When is the Best Time to Consume Protein?

It is advisable to evenly distribute protein consumption throughout the day. Typically, people tend to consume the most protein during dinner and the least during breakfast. Recent studies suggest that shifting some protein from dinner to breakfast can aid weight management by reducing hunger and cravings throughout the day. However, further research is needed to verify these claims.

A general recommendation is to consume 15-30g (grams) of protein during each meal. Studies have shown that consuming more than 40g (grams) of protein in one sitting is not more beneficial than consuming the recommended 15-30g (grams) at once. Therefore, it is not necessary to spend extra money on excessive amounts of protein.

I still want to use a protein supplement, what do I do?

If you are considering using a protein supplement, there are certain criteria to keep in mind. Look for a supplement that contains about 200 or fewer calories, no more than 2g (grams) of saturated fat, and no trans-fat or partially hydrogenated oils. Additionally, it should have 5 grams of sugar or fewer. These are just some of the most basic and common things to look for in a supplement before buying. Every protein supplement has its own benefits and purpose. Make sure you understand what the supplement you are buying is going to help you with.


Getting enough protein is important for maintaining a healthy diet, and if you eat a balanced and varied diet, you’re probably meeting your protein needs. However, it’s best to aim for protein-rich foods throughout the day, not just at dinner. If you have a higher protein requirement due to being pregnant, older, or physically active, you may need to be more mindful of your protein intake to ensure you’re getting enough.

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