How Much Protein Should I be Eating?

We have all undoubtedly been given all sorts of information about protein. The most conflicting issue seems to be how much protein to take. All this information swirling around can make things very confusing and even overwhelm us. Well, I’m here to help you with information overload. In short, protein is required for the growth and maintenance of tissues. Your body’s needs are dependent on your health, daily lifestyle, and activity levels. So how do we know how much protein we need? On average the human body needs about .8 grams per kg of body weight. For example, a person weighing 175 pounds (175 / 2.2 = 79kg) would need about 64g of protein a day to maintain their current weight. This is contrary to most information out there which typically uses pounds instead of kilograms as the unit to measure against.

Most information out there will tell you to eat more protein to gain muscle but that is only a half-truth. That big steak you just had isn’t going to increase your muscle mass. While adequate protein is needed for growth, you can’t build muscle without the exercise to go with it. The body can’t store protein so once the current needs are met any extra protein is stored as fat. So how much protein should I eat if I want to increase my muscle mass? Those who exercise regularly will have higher needs, about 1.1 to 1.5g per kg. This will keep you at a growth level without putting you into excess calorie intake which would lead to extra stored fat. Excess protein (especially beef) can also have negative effects on your cholesterol and lipid numbers. Although I’ve provided you with some insight on this vast and over consuming topic, you should always consult with your doctor or registered dietician to help determine your appropriate daily goals.

Written by Cody Perez – Performance Specialist

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