How Much Protein Do I Need?

Protein is an important nutrient to build and repair muscles - but how much should you eat?

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or want to build lean muscle, you might wondering how much protein you actually need. That’s a fair question, as males and females are built differently and everyone’s metabolism varies. How much protein you need will often depend on how much you intend to exercise and what your physical condition is right now.

How to Determine Protein Intake

It's recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein as a general estimate, this way of calculating takes into account how old you are and how active you are. Generally, those who engage in heavyweight fitness routines or have highly active lifestyles will need more protein than people who sit in front of a computer to work all day long.

Where to Find Protein

Many fresh foods carry high protein content:

  •     Fish
  •     Beef, Lamb, Buffalo or Bison
  •     Chicken, Turkey and other Poultry
  •     Pork
  •     Bacon
  •     Nuts and Seeds
  •     Eggs
  •     Milk
  •     Yogurt
  •     Cheese

 

Why Protein?

Proteins are part of every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies. The body is constantly turning over these proteins. We digest protein from foods, turning them into amino acids that are later used to replace these proteins in our bodies.

Amino acids are the building blocks of Protein. There are 20 different amino acids that join together to make different types of protein. Some amino acids can't be made by our bodies, these are known as essential amino acids, as it is essential that our diet provide these.

 A complete protein source provides all of the essential amino acids. These are also called high quality proteins. Animal-based protein, like meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, and cheese are considered complete protein sources.

An incomplete protein source is lacking in one or more of the essential amino acids. Complementary proteins are two or more incomplete protein sources that combine to provide adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids. It's important to utilize Complementary proteins if you do not consume animal products.

  • Exercise.com (exercise)


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