How Much Whey Protein Should You Take Per Day
EDIT: All images need to be center alignedEDIT: The phrase all protein powders arent built the same has been used on at least three times on different articles. Please find another way to say this going forward.
The most important tenets of living a healthy lifestyle are rest, physical activity, and nutrients. Its this last pointnutritionthats particularly important for our strength and physique goals. Most of this nutrition should come from the foods we eatclean and whole foods with minimal processing to ensure that were putting as much good stuff into our bodies. For amateur lifters and those working out for general fitness, this makes most supplements mostly unnecessary.
That is, except for protein powder.
While whey protein isnt necessary to meet your workout goals, its benefits extend to such a wide range that its the closest supplement that comes to essential for both the novice and the pro.
But despite its ubiquity, most people dont know how to supplement with it properly. For example, many people might think that more is better. This makes sense, to some degree.
Protein is, after all, the building block of our muscles. It follows that the more protein we get, the bigger and stronger our muscles will beright? The answer, as you might imagine, is much more complicated than that. To better know how much whey we should be taking, we first have to understand what whey actually is.
How Much Protein Is It Safe To Eat
Once confined to sportsmen and women, high-protein diets are now commonplace with Paleo, Atkins, Zone and Dukan advocating that people eat large quantities of fish, meat, eggs, nuts and cheese in order to lose weight. But how much protein is it safe to eat?
For weight maintenance it is recommended that 20 percent of your diet is protein, for weight loss up to 25 percent, and this is what our high-protein, low-GI diet is based on.
Protein can help with weight loss because it makes you feel fuller for longer and it has been linked to increasing the release of the gut hormone that triggers the ‘stop eating’ signal in the brain. But it is important to ensure you are getting all the other essential nutrients, in particular fibre, as a low-fibre diet can lead to complications such as constipation and vitamin deficiency.
However, some scientists suggest that a very high-protein intake could be linked to health risks. So how much protein is it safe to eat and how careful do you need to be when following a high-protein diet?
How Much Protein Do You Need To Build Muscles
When it comes to building muscles, it might be difficult to arrive at a definite number of protein to consume. It depends on your workout schedule, daily routine, and your dietary preferences. However, there is a guide that you can adhere to if your goal is to add mass.
On the other hand, if you have muscles, you need to consume around 1g of protein per pound. Therefore, if youre 130lbs, you consume 130g of protein everyday.
Read Also: Recipe For Protein Balls With Peanut Butter
Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Lactating Women
As with pregnancy, there is little research investigating how lactation and breastfeeding affect protein requirements. Women produce a wide range of breast milk volumes, regardless of their energy status . The infants demands appear to be the primary regulator of milk production.
Based simply on adult protein requirements plus the protein output in breast milk, the RDA for lactating women was set at 1.3 g/kg. However, one study reported that half of the lactating women consuming 1.5 g/kg were in negative nitrogen balance, while another study suggested that 1.01.5 g/kg leads to a rapid downregulation of protein turnover suggestive of an adaptive response to insufficient intake.
Considering the lack of data on the effects of a protein intake greater than 1.5 g/kg in lactating women and that consuming 1.5 g/kg or less leads to adaptations suggestive of insufficient intake, lactating women should aim to consume at least 1.5 g/kg of protein daily.
Optimal daily protein intake for lactating women
Women And Protein Counting Grams
One way to ensure you are getting adequate protein is to count the grams in everything you eat. Different sources have different recommendations, but generally, the minimum is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For women who are active or trying to lose weight, extra protein is better.
A good general guideline is 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
For a woman who weighs 150 pounds, this means eating between 80 and 136 grams of protein per day. The high end of this range is pretty extreme and only really necessary for any client doing a lot of strength training, preparing for fitness competitions, or who is a serious athlete. Experts recommend you donât stay in that upper level indefinitely.
You May Like: Best Protein Shake To Gain Weight
The Benefits Of Protein For Weight Loss Explained
While the research cannot conclusively determine that dietary protein alone promotes weight loss or that high protein diets are the best approach to losing weight, what weve seen so far is fairly compelling.
It is becoming more apparent that higher protein intake potentially has some serious benefits for dieters.
There are three main arguments for why you should consider consuming more protein when looking to shed pounds.
How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day
Both men and women should eat a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day .
Some scenarios, including pregnancy, activity levels, and older age, require more than that minimum.
Research also links higher protein intake with weight loss and muscle gain. So if youre trying to lose weight or gain muscle, your protein intake will vary even more.
Recommended Reading: Best Protein Powders For Smoothies
Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Children
The protein RDA is slightly higher for children than for adults: 0.95 versus 0.8 g/kg. This difference makes sense considering that children are still growing and need more protein to facilitate the process. , however, the RDA may underestimate true requirements.
Use of the technique in children aged 611 years has suggested that around 1.5 g/kg would make for a more appropriate RDA. Protein requirements are likely higher in children involved in sports and other athletic activities.
There are no long-term studies on optimal protein intake since it would be unethical to deprive children of the protein they need for their development and various physiologic and metabolic functions.
Children require at least 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day . An unknown amount of additional protein is likely required by children who are involved in sports or otherwise regularly active.
How Many Grams Of Protein Should I Eat A Day
Heads up: When we say grams, what were referring to are the grams of the macronutrient protein and *not* the foods it comes from. For example, one large egg weighs about 50 g, but only provides a little over 6 g of protein.
When it comes to the total amount of protein you need, the current international Recommended Dietary Allowance for both men and women is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight .
This means a 150-lb. person would require about 54 g of protein while a 200-lb. individual would need 72 g.
This RDA is only the minimum to avoid a protein deficiency. Certain peeps often require more protein, including:
Also Check: High Protein Low Fat Breakfast Ideas
Do You Need Supplements
You should be able to get all the protein you need from a healthy diet.
Protein powders like whey isolate and foods marketed as being protein-heavy are now commonplace, and protein shakes can add substantial amounts of extra protein to the diet.
For sportsmen and women, protein helps muscle development and recovery after exercise, but some studies say that a healthy diet alone can provide the protein needed for muscle recovery.
Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a high protein, low fuss food.
A 1-cup serving of low fat cottage cheese has 163 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 28 grams of protein .
The newest trends in cottage cheese include single-serve containers, flavored options, and the addition of live and active probiotic cultures.
Besides protein, you get around 1015% of the RDI for calcium in 1/2 cup of cottage cheese. Some food scientists have recently suggested that manufacturers add vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption, though this is not currently common practice .
Low fat cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein and is becoming even more convenient with the increased availability of single-serving containers. Its also a good source of calcium.
Also Check: Cookies And Cream Protein Bars
How To Compensate For The Lower Quality Of Plant Proteins
When the scarcity of a given EAA in a given protein bottlenecks protein synthesis, this EAA is called a limiting amino acid for this protein. Cereal grains, such as wheat and rice, are low in lysine, as are most nuts and seeds. Beans and legumes, on the other hand, are poor in sulfurous amino acids, such as methionine and cysteine.
Conversely, as this table shows, pea and soy have a lot of lysine, and rice a lot of methionine and cysteine and as shows, corn has a lot of leucine. The solution to the LAA problem is therefore obvious: we can combine different plant proteins to make up for their respective deficits. Historic examples of such combinations include beans with corn in the Americas and rice with soybean in Asia. These grain-legume combos work because legumes supply the lysine missing in grains whereas grains supply the methionine and cysteine missing in legumes.
When To Take Protein Powder
Pre and post workout protein shakes are both considered effective times for protein supplementation.It is important to note that only a limited amount of protein can be used by the body at a time. For lean muscle growth, and smooth digestion, it is best to eat small, frequent protein rich foods, even beyond your initial post workout meal.
Read Also: Are Pure Protein Bars Healthy
Is There Such Thing As Too Much Protein Powder
Luckily, a high protein diet3 is a very safe and effective diet that has very few negative side effects to consuming too much protein.
Some protein powders are made with lower quality protein sources, and may even contain toxic levels of heavy metals like mercury and lead.
Make sure you choose a third-party tested protein when choosing a protein powder.
That being said, you will still want to limit
If you notice stomach problems after increasing your protein powder consumption, decrease it and talk to your doctor about alternatives and their opinion.
How Much Protein Should I Eat To Build Muscle
Your muscles are largely made up of protein and your body must synthesize more muscle protein than it breaks down to gain muscle. Higher protein consumption can help build muscle and strength. Eating enough protein also helps you prevent the muscle loss that typically occurs with dieting and the loss of body fat.
If you want to build muscle, a common recommendation is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Some scientists estimate protein should be a minimum of 0.7 grams per pound of body weight. With varying conclusions, it isnt exactly clear how much protein you should consume for muscle building. A reasonable estimate seems to be 0.7-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
You May Like: Vegetarian Food With High Protein
How Do You Get More Protein In Your Diet
The best protein sources are meats, eggs, fish, and dairy products because they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. Some plants are fairly high in plant protein, such as legumes and nuts.
Most people dont need to track their protein intake. If youre healthy and trying to maintain your good health and youre eating quality protein sources with most of your meals, your protein intake should be in an optimal range.
Who Shouldnt Take Protein Powder
High protein consumption is generally regarded as safe, except for populations with kidney disorders and diseases. People with kidney issues should be especially cautious before taking a protein powder.
Those with food allergies and sensitivities should also be cautious when deciding on a protein powder.
If you have a lactose intolerance, either a plant protein or a whey isolate, will do. Whey concentrations contain casein, a slow digesting, yet effective milk protein. Casein protein is not tolerated by everyone, therefore, whey isolates are becoming common.
Also Check: Where Are Proteins Made In The Cell
Beans Peas And Lentils
Dry beans, peas, and lentils, also called pulses, are a subgroup of legumes. They average 8 grams of protein per 1/2-cup cooked serving and are low in fat and high in fiber .
The high fiber and protein content in pulses helps make them more filling. Whats more, the fiber may help lower your blood cholesterol if you eat pulses regularly .
In a review of 26 studies in 1,037 people, eating an average of 2/3 cup of cooked pulses daily for at least 3 weeks resulted in about a 7 mg/dL reduction in LDL cholesterol compared with control diets. That equaled an almost 5% reduction in LDL over time .
Notably, pulses are low in a few essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein in your body. However, by eating other plant protein sources over the course of a day, such as whole grains and nuts, you can fill in those gaps (
You can remove the skin either before or after cooking the fat savings are virtually the same either way. Typically, poultry cooked with the skin intact is moister .
White meat chicken and turkey, particularly the breasts, are rich in protein and low in fat if you remove the skin either before or after cooking.
Protein Intake How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day
The exact amount of protein you need depends on many factors, including activity level, age, muscle mass, and overall health.
Few nutrients are as important as protein. Not getting enough of it will affect your health and body composition.
However, opinions regarding how much protein you need vary.
Most official nutritional organizations recommend a fairly modest protein intake.
The DRI is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
This amounts to 54 grams per day for an 150 pound sedentary person or 65 grams per day for an 180 pound sedentary person:
This may be enough to prevent deficiency, but the amount you need depends on many factors, including your activity level, age, muscle mass, physique goals, and overall health.
This article examines the optimal amounts of protein and how lifestyle factors like weight loss, muscle building, and activity levels factor in.
Proteins are the main building blocks of your body. Theyre used to make muscles, tendons, organs, and skin, as well as enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and various molecules that serve many important functions.
Proteins consist of smaller molecules called amino acids, which link together like beads on a string. These linked amino acids form long protein chains, which then fold into complex shapes.
Your body produces some of these amino acids, but you must obtain others known as essential amino acids via your diet.
Protein is not only about quantity but also quality.
Read Also: Breakfast Food With High Protein
What Protein Actually Is
Protein is one of the three macronutrients . Unlike carbs and fat, protein is not usually a major energy source, although we definitely get some of that from itprotein provides four calories per gram. But protein is often referred to as a building block in the body because of its central role in growth and development.
Almost all animal-derived productsmeat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fishcontain a significant amount of protein, so they get labeled as protein sources when were talking about our diets and nutrition. But protein is also present in a lot of plant-based foods. Theres a good amount in beansas seen in these lentil recipespeas, nuts, and seeds, for instance, while vegetables and grains generally contain smaller amounts, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Whole grains will have more protein than refined grains, though, which are missing the part of the grain that often supplies a lot of the protein content, as SELF previously reported.
Now when a protein is a good source of all nine of the essential amino acids, we call it a complete protein, according to the FDA. All animal products are complete proteins, and so is soy. When a protein is missing or pretty low in any of those essential amino acids, its considered incomplete. Most plant foods are considered incomplete proteins.
How You Should Space Out Your Protein Intake
When you eat your protein is just as important as how much you eat. Its not about simply loading up after exercising or at one meal and skimping on it for the rest of the day. Like we mentioned, the body doesnt have a protein holding tank like it does for carbs, where it can siphon away extras for quick access when we need it.
Thats why the best way to get your protein is split up throughout the day. Eating a good amount of protein at different points in the day helps your body direct protein where its needed, when its needednot to mention, keeps you feeling satisfied and energized. So take a look at your daily amount , and see how you can break that up in your various meals throughout the day.
Spacing out protein intake is also super important for active individuals. Thats because muscle repair and growth are greater when you consume adequate protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Dr. Linsenmeyer explains. Yes, protein is vital after a workout, Yasi Ansari, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and assistant director of Performance Nutrition for UC Berkeley Athletics, has previously told SELF. But it is important for people to know that more is not necessarily better.
Don’t Miss: Think High Protein Bars Review