How much protein should I be eating? That is a question asked by so many people each and everyday, and for good reason as protein does so much good for your body with the big one being what you need to grow muscle.
I will go more in depth to the answer later in the article, but I will make it quick for you. I good amount of protein to eat to maximize muscle growth it 1 grams per pound of body weight, or 2.2 grams of protein per kg.
Importance Of Protein For The Body
Though eating protein does help with muscle growth that is not all it does, it also regulates blood sugar levels maintains healthy skin, hair, and nails, and supports immune function.
If that was not enough to convince to eat more meat, not eating enough meat could also lead to weaker skeletal muscle, a weakened immune system, slower injury healing, decreased bone density, and increased fracture risk.
If your curious if there is a point were you think you can eat too much protein, you can read this article called. Debunking The Absurd Myth: Will Protein Make Me Too Bulky?
Factors That Affect Daily Protein Requirements
On of the biggest factors that affect you protein requirements is gender, as men on average have more muscle mass than women, meaning most of the time men have to eat more protein.
Another factor is weight, as I said before the rule of thumb to how much protein you should be eating is 1 grams per pound of body weight, or 2.2 grams of protein per kg, so that means the more you weight the more protein you should be eating.
Activity levels is another factor, as the role of protein is to repair damaged muscle. So the more you exercise the more you will damage your muscle, meaning you should eat more protein. This also goes the other way, as if you don’t really exercise you don’t need to eat that much protein.
Those suffering from certain diseases, like kidney illness, should be careful to limit their protein consumption and amount to avoid further harm, to be sure visit your doctor.
Protein Requitements For Different Fitness Levels
The rule of thumb of 1 grams per pound of body weight, or 2.2 grams of protein per kg, is typically aimed at very active people as these are the best numbers to maximises muscle growth.
So if you are really not that active you can easily get away with 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight or 1 grams of protein per kg.
BOUNUS TIP #1 – Additionally, eat 20-30 grams of protein within 30 minutes after exercising can help with muscle recovery.
Protein Recommendations For Endurance Athletes
Endurance athletes like marathon runners and long-distance cyclists need more protein than the average person but less than some other activities like weightlifting.
They should aim for about 0.7-0.8 grams per pound of body weight or 1.2-1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day. To make those gains, they need to eat good sources of protein like chicken, fish, eggs, and even legumes (yes, beans too!). Plus, don’t forget about carbs to keep you going during those long workouts.
Protein Intake Recommendations For Strength Athletes
Strength athletes like weightlifters and powerlifters need more protein than the average Joe to support and boost muscle protein synthesis. They should aim for protein intakes of about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight or 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day.
I know it can be really hard for many to reach that number, so here are some good sources of protein, chicken, fish, eggs, and even plant-based sources complete protein like soy and legumes (beans for the win!).
If you want more ways to learn how to really get in that protein read this article here!
BOUNUS TIP #2 – Though I talk a lot about how great protein is, don’t forget about those carbs to fuel those intense resistance training and sessions. A little bit of carbs can go a long way to keep you lifting those heavy weights.
But How Much Protein Should You Be Eating?
I have talked about strength athletes and endurance athletes and how much protein they should be eating great. But how much protein should the average person be eating, someone who is the average.
Well though I still do suggest to try your best to reach that 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, if that is just too much for you the real answer is just don’t count as on average most people already eat enough protein in their diet.
BOUNS TIP #3 – If you aim to have 1 protein sources in every meal you should be able to smash you protein goals.
Example Of Protein-Rich Foods
If you are looking for some very high protein intake and rich foods to up your protein intake I got you, I made a list of 10 of the best high protein foods bellow.
- Beans (black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.)
- Chicken breast
- Turkey breast
- Fish (salmon, tuna, tilapia, etc.)
- Lean beef (top round, sirloin, tenderloin)
- Greek yogurt
- Whey protein powder
Though these are not the definitive 10 best and high protein diet options as there many more out there, there are great options that you will never go wrong with.
Protein-Rich Foods For Vegetarian And Vegan Athletes
Here are 10 of the best protein rich food that is vegetarian an vegan friendly that will be high protein diets help you up your dietary protein intake.
- Quinoa: 1 cup cooked = 8 grams protein
- Lentils: 1 cup cooked = 18 grams protein
- Tempeh: 1 cup cooked = 31 grams protein
- Hemp seeds: 2 tablespoons = 10 grams protein
- Seitan: 3.5 oz serving = 25 grams protein
- Spirulina: 1 tablespoon = 4 grams protein
- Chickpeas: 1 cup cooked = 15 grams protein
- Chia seeds: 2 tablespoons = 4 grams protein
- Nutritional yeast: 2 tablespoons = 8 grams protein
- Tofu: 3.5 oz serving = 8-15 grams protein (depending on type)
Protein Intake For Athletes Calculator
If you to more specifically know how much protein you should eat depending on you current goals and activity level, whether you want to be recommended protein intake for strength athletes or protein intake for athletes and active adults use this great resource from Bodybuilding.com
As we wrap up this inspiring expedition through protein, let’s take a minute to savour the progress we’ve made. Everyone, whether they’re a vegan lifter or a carnivorous yogi, needs protein to reach their fitness targets. So if you’re looking to bulk up like a Chia Pet on steroids, don’t hesitate to add an extra scoop of protein powder or sprinkle some nutritional yeast on your toast. The recommended daily intake might be just a guideline, but with the correct quantity of protein and the right mindset, you can accomplish whatever goal you set out for yourself – even if it’s doing burpees until your legs turn into Jell-O. Now show the world what you can do – flex those muscles