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How Much Protein Do You Need in A Day

Published : Mar 01, 2021 3 mins read Updated On : Mar 18, 2024

There is a lot of noise surrounding protein and its consumption. Here we’ll try to cut through most of them and tell you how much you should be eating to plan your diet, lose weight bulk up, and build some muscles.

What is protein and why is it important? 

Protein is one of the important macronutrients which is required for pretty much every bodily function and process. It’s an essential dietary nutrient that plays a key role in exercise and recovery. The elements of protein that include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen combine to form what is known as amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

Our body tissues, enzymes, neurotransmitters, hormones, skin, and other body fluids all require protein to function properly. Proteins consist of smaller molecules called amino acids, some of which are naturally produced by the body, and others are obtained from other sources.

How much protein should you eat per day?

Not getting enough proteins daily does affect your health and body composition negatively. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This can amount to

  • 56 grams per day for a sedentary man
  • 46 grams per day for a sedentary woman

This is probably enough to prevent deficiency, but a lot depends on other factors like age, muscle mass, activity level, physical goals, and overall health.

Does protein help you lose weight?

There is evidence to suggest that eating protein increases your capacity to burn more calories as your metabolic rate increases, which ultimately results in reduced appetite. The general thumb rule of consuming fewer calories than you burn is supported by regular protein intake.

Getting 25-30% of your calories from the protein sources you eat significantly boosts your metabolism to up to 80-100 calories per day. The most important contribution of protein supplements for weight loss is its ability to reduce appetite leading to lesser calorie intake.

It is helpful not only in aiding weight loss but also in preventing weight gain. It will reduce your tendency for late-night snacking, help you add fewer calories per day, and make it easier for you to stick to a diet. 

How does protein help you build muscles?

Our muscles are pretty much made of protein. Muscles are tissues that are constantly being broken down and rebuilt. To gain muscles your body must be able to synthesize more muscle protein than it breaks down.

Such people need to eat more protein and exercise as well. This helps in strengthening your body and building your muscles.

Also, for the ones wanting to maintain the muscles they’ve built, a protein intake higher than the previous is required to prevent muscle loss. This is also important as exercise leads to fat loss which you would not want to lead to muscle loss.

A fairly common recommendation is 2.2 grams per kg of body weight.

How to get enough protein in your daily diet?

There are a variety of protein-rich food items available for everyone. The best sources include meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products as they are rich in all the essential amino acids. There is no reason to think that plant sources of proteins are any less as the combination of different plant sources like nuts, legumes, quinoa, spirulina, hemp, tofu, and green peas can equally provide you with sufficient proteins to meet your daily requirements.

For the ones running short of time, a good protein supplement is a great option to include more protein in your diet. For instance, you can add them to your smoothies, your daily cup of coffee, or pancakes, make protein muffins out of it, or add them to your daily staple of bread or chapatti.

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