How Much Protein Per Day – To Keep The Doctor Away [The Facts]

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How much protein per day to keep the doctor away!? I am sure you have probably heard of protein and it’s popularity in the fitness world. But do you know just how important it is for your overall health? In this article, I touch on the importance and benefits of protein, best times to take protein, safety, and of course, how much you should take!

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTEIN

How Much Protein Per Day - the protein molecule

Protein is an essential macro-nutrient that helps build muscle, repair tissue, and make hormones and enzymes. When we take protein in our body through the foods we eat, it gets broken down into smaller compounds called amino acids. Of the 20 amino acids found in the foods we eat, 9 of these are essential. An essential amino acid is one that must be provided from your diet as our body does not naturally produce it on it’s own. Failing to obtain enough of even 1 of the 11 essential amino acids, results in the breaking down of the body’s proteins (i.e. muscles!) to obtain the one amino acid that is needed.

The Essential Amino Acids Include:

  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Valine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Arginine (only essential in young children, not adults)

 

BENEFITS OF ADEQUATE PROTEIN INTAKE

How Much Protein Per Day to get ripped

When it comes to enhancing health, body composition, and performance, optimizing protein intake may be one of the most important dietary changes that one can make. Optimizing protein intake means you are no longer surviving, but thriving and has many health and fitness benefits such as:

Increased satiety: Protein-rich foods and protein-dense meals help you feel fuller, longer and may even decrease energy intake in subsequent meals

Increased thermogenesis: A higher protein intake increases energy expenditure and boosts the metabolism.

Improved body composition: Optimizing protein intake is crucial to building and maintaining muscle, and it’s critical for performance and recovery. In addition, high-protein diets have consistently been shown to be an effective tool for optimizing fat loss.

Preservation of metabolic rate: High-protein diets have been shown to preserve lean body mass when dieting for fat loss, and they have also been shown to be necessary for the preservation of metabolic rate, which is frequently compromised as a result of dieting.

 

 

BEST SOURCES OF PROTEIN

How Much Protein Per Day from our diet

I always stress getting your nutrients from your diet as best you can. Your diet is the only place you can get protein, so be sure to eat enough protein-rich foods! The two main sources of protein are animal proteins and plant proteins. Keep in mind that animals proteins are complete (i.e. it provides all the needed amino acids to make a complete protein) and plant proteins (except for soy!) are not ON THEIR OWN. So, you would need to make plant protein combinations as a vegan/vegetarian for example to get the adequate complete protein.

Here is a quick reference guide to some of the best foods to derive your protein from:

  • Eggs
  • Almonds & other nuts + nut butters
  • Lean meats
  • Oats
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt or Kefir
  • Milk
  • Broccoli
  • Wild Tuna & Wild fish of all types
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Shrimp
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Beans
  • Tempeh
  • Legumes
  • Peas/Chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Chia seeds
  • Beans
  • Bone Brothe

Unfortunately, a traditional american diet lacks quality sources of protein and depending on your age, activity level and your diet – you may or may not be getting adequate amounts of protein. That’s where protein powders come in!

 

 

TYPES OF PROTEIN POWDER

How Much Protein Per Day supplements

There are several different types of protein powder. Whey is the most popular protein supplement, but it is not the only one. Common types of protein powder include:

 

  • Whey protein: A dairy-based protein. It contains all the essential amino acids and is quickly absorbed.
  • Casein protein: A dairy-based protein. It contains all the essential amino acids and is slowly absorbed, which is why people often take it before bed.
  • Soy protein: A plant-based protein that contains all the essential amino acids. It has also been linked to some impressive health benefits.
  • Pea protein: A plant-based protein. It has low levels of the nonessential amino acids cysteine and methionine.
  • Rice protein: A plant-based protein with low levels of the essential amino acid lysine.
  • Hemp protein: A plant-based protein made from hemp seeds that has high levels of fiber and essential omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Hemp protein is low in the amino acid lysine

 

My top choices for protein supplementation are Whey Isolate or a blend of the plant-based proteins. Check out my recommendation for the best Whey and the best Plant based protein powders.

 

DOES TIMING MATTER?

How Much Protein Per Day timing

In the grand scheme of things, timing does not really matter. It’s more important how much quality protein you are getting vs. what time of day you get it. However. you may want to consume it at a particular time of day, depending on whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or preserve muscle. Here are a few tips for each goal:

1. Weight loss – Consuming protein-rich snacks between meals is ideal for fat loss. It may help curb hunger, which could lead you to eat fewer calories later in the day.
2. Building muscle – Aim to consume protein within two hours after working out. People who train in a fasted state, like before breakfast, should ideally take protein right after working out.
3. Preserving muscle – Aim to eat 25–30 grams of protein per meal. Taking a protein supplement at meals during which you consume less protein, such as breakfast, can help spread your intake over the day.

Athlete Tips: Endurance athletes may see improved performance and recovery from taking protein with a source of carbs during and after exercise. Resistance-training athletes can benefit from taking protein either immediately before or after a workout.

 

HOW MUCH PROTEIN PER DAY?

How Much Protein Per Day

Now that you know the importance of protein and it’s quality – on to the main topic at hand! How much protein you should consume daily.

Ultimately, this can vary based on your activity/fitness levels and current diet. However, most adults can benefit from consuming 0.6–0.9 grams of protein per pound (1.4–2.0 grams per kg) of body weight daily. If you are more physically active like athletes, weight trainers and outdoor enthusiasts – consuming a higher amount like 1-2 grams per lb of body weight is more ideal. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, staying at the low end is probably sufficient.

The best way to determine how much protein you are getting in your diet to determine if you need supplementation is to check the labels on your foods and log their protein content. Another way to do this is by using a nutritional tracker. .

 

SAFETY AND SIDE EFFECTS

*Protein powders and drinks may cause gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation in some people.

*If you take more than the recommended serving size of protein, you may also experience an upset stomach, cramps or other digestive discomfort. Headaches, fatigue, dehydration and a reduced appetite are also possible. Other more serious health problems that have been associated with consuming too much protein include, kidney disease, kidney stones, osteoporosis and cancer. This is largely overblown and not supported by enough evidence, however – here is a great article that looks deeper into these claims and clears up the confusion and fear.

*Remember, it’s always best to consult your physician or dietitian if you have any questions or concerns and remember, always listen to your body!

 

THE TAKE AWAY

How Much Protein Per Day to be healthy

Protein is a building block of our bodies and essential to our health. Getting the adequate amount is pertinent! However, not everyone needs extra protein supplementation. People who eat a diet that is rich in meat, fish, dairy, and eggs and do not do intense weight training are unlikely to need to take protein supplements. But if you think you do need more protein – eat more protein-rich foods and/or supplement with protein powders as needed.

In the end, it’s safe to say – we all need protein! I pray this article brings that to your attention and helps you in getting the adequate amount in your diet :). If you have any questions, tips or just want to share your experiences, please comment below!

Kind Regards,
Sherry S.

 

Sources:
  1. https://www.webmd.com/men/features/benefits-protein#1
  2. https://draxe.com/protein-foods/
  3. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/
  4. https://study.com/academy/lesson/proteins-structure-function-types.html

8 thoughts on “How Much Protein Per Day – To Keep The Doctor Away [The Facts]”

  1. Hello Steve! Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment :). I enjoy when other authorities in the niche back the information I present. I do hope this article raises awareness of the importance of protein! 🙂

  2. Hello Mark! I am so glad you found some informational nuggets of wisdom in this article! I definitely agree we do not get enough quality, complete protein in our diets today! Especially in western society. I look forward to providing you with more insightful content! Stay tuned and thank you for visiting/commenting 🙂

  3. Hello Mike! That sounds like the typical go-to amount of protein for someone weight training. Depending on your diet, body composition and activity/fitness level, you could definitely possibly need more though! So far, it’s proven safe to add more so why not!? Tuna is definitely an excellent source of protein! Just be careful of eating too much due to the high iron content. Getting a good balance of whole foods and protein-rich foods is the best way to obtain your protein but it is definitely hard to meet the necessary amount, especially when active and weight training. That’s why I love protein powders. I also love protein powders because you tend to avoid the pitfalls of pre-made protein drinks (my article about smoothies goes further into why if you want to check it out! https://inpursuitofgoodhealth.com/simple-smoothie-recipes-blend-your-way-to-good-health/). But if you were to go for a pre-made protein drink, there are definitely ones better than the others! Here is a fantastic article going into the best and the worst “Grab-and-go” protein drinks -> https://www.eatthis.com/protein-shakes/. I used to drink premiere protein myself but unfortunately, it’s not one of the better choices. In that article, you can see they mention a lot one of the protein powder brands I will be reviewing and recommending – Orgain organics (https://amzn.to/2EJ1Gtp check it out on amazon! It is also at stores like Walmart). Again, they have an actual protein powder which is always more favorable but their pre-made shakes are an excellent alternative. 🙂

  4. Hello Jennifer! Isn’t it pretty crazy and also amazing!? It drives the importance of having complete proteins in our diet. As for a pea based protein brand, one brand I really like and have personally tried is Orgain Organic Protein (https://amzn.to/2XB9MMe). You can purchase it online or in stores like Walmart. Plant based proteins tend to be a little too chalky for me, though and since I am not vegan or vegetarian, I personally prefer Whey isolate. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  5. Hi Sherry
    Thanks for a very interesting article. Being a health and fitness guru I fully understand the role of protein in our diet. It is good that you enlighten others about the necessity of having enough protein in your diet. Protein is not just important for people in the gym world but they are the building blocks for everyone’s body. It’s very relevant to good health and something that everyone should be aware of.
    Regards
    Steve

  6. Wow that was very informative Sherry! Thank you so much for sharing!

    I thought I was taking enough protein in my meals and after my work outs but based on my weight I guess I’m not taking enough! No wonder why I’m not building as much muscle as I would like.

    That was very informative to know that not taking enough protein actually slows down our metabolism. This is a helpful tip!

    I also heard that myth several times that taking too much protein is bad for you. In reality, the likelihood is that we are probably not even taking enough.

    Looking forward to your top recommended protein power review post!

    Mark

  7. when I was working out / training, I was eating 1 gram of protein per 1 pound body weight…. It was hard to eat 175 grams of protein a day without exceeding carbs so I did it with a lot of tuna fish and protein drink mix.
    What do you think about these protein drinks that are out ?
    I sometimes drink premiere protein and muscle milk. They don’t give me the energy that the rockin’ refuels do but unfortunately speedway and 7-11, where I used to buy the rockin’ refuel don’t carry them any more

  8. That’s crazy to think that lacking in only one of our amino acids will result in muscle loss. I’ve typically only used whey protein when I weight train but have heard so many good things about pea protein. I know you’re gonna be writing an article on your favorite protein powders soon but is their a particular pea protein brand you’d recommend?

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