What Are Complete Proteins
Proteins that you eat are broken down in the gut into their basic components, amino acids. These amino acids are absorbed and used by various cells and organs to make proteins your body needs. There are twenty amino acids that human bodies use, and proteins that contain all of them are called complete proteins. Animal foods have complete proteins.
Among plant sources, quinoa, Quorn and soy protein are complete proteins. Other plant source proteins lack one or more of the amino acids. But eating plant proteins won’t leave you deficient in amino acids. As long as you eat a diet with many types of plant protein, you’ll get enough of all the amino acids.
Some amino acids can even be made in the body. The amino acids that your body can’t make are called essential amino acids. Your diet must provide these. Again, eating a balanced diet with varied plant protein sources will provide all the essential amino acids.
What Happens If You Have Too Much Protein
Just like having too little protein in your diet can lead to serious health problems, eating too much protein for a long time can cause exhaustion and discomfort, including indigestion, dehydration, nausea, irritability, diarrhea, headaches, and put you at an increased risk for developing kidney stones.
Knowing the answer to How much protein do I need can help you avoid eating too much protein, and subsequently suffering from discomfort or medical problems.
Percent Of Daily Calories
Current U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines suggest that adults should consume between 10% and 35% of their total calories from protein. To get your number and track your intake, you’ll need to know how many calories you consume daily.
Once you know how many calories you consume, multiply that number by 10% and 35% to get your range. For example, a person who consumes 2,000 calories per day would need to consume 200 to 700 calories daily from protein.
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Protein Calculator For Weight Loss
Home » Protein Calculator For Weight Loss
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This free protein calculator for weight loss is meant to provide you with a healthy protein intake range and serve as a resource you can bookmark for future reference, share with others, or backlink from your website.
Protein intake for weight loss and building muscle is a contentious topic these days with many camps espousing different views. However, protein ranges should not be viewed as an absolute written-in-stone target, but more so as a starting point that you can adjust and fine tune depending on your particular needs or situation.
After using the protein intake calculator, please read the free resource article that follows which provides more context and discusses the role protein plays in weight loss, appetite control, and supporting muscle growth for sport and exercise.
Also be sure to check out the other health calculators on this site which you can use in conjunction with this protein calculator:
Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Pregnant Women
The protein RDA for pregnant women is 1.1 g/kg. This value was estimated by adding three values:
- The RDA for a healthy adult
- The amount of additional body protein a pregnant woman accumulates
- The amount of protein used by the developing fetus
However, as with non-pregnant healthy adults, the RDA may not be sufficient, let alone optimal. Theres some evidence that the RDA for pregnant women should be about 1.66 g/kg during early gestation and 1.77 g/kg during late gestation . Moreover, a meta-analysis of 16 intervention studies reported that protein supplementation during pregnancy led to reduced risks for the baby:
- 34% lower risk of low gestational weight
- 32% lower risk of low birth weight
- 38% lower risk of stillbirth
This effect was more pronounced in undernourished women than in adequately nourished women. Importantly, these values were determined from sedentary women carrying one child, meaning that pregnant women who engage in regular physical activity or are supporting the growth of more than one child may need even higher amounts.
Also, keep in mind that we can only tell you what the studies reported we cant possibly know about your health and your pregnancy specifically. Please be sure to consult with your obstetrician/gynecologist before making any changes.
Optimal daily protein intake for pregnant women
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Protein For Weight Loss
Over the years, you may have heard about high protein diets such as Atkins, Dukan, or the Zone. They all reduce carbohydrate intake and increase protein to promote weight loss. But do they work? Sometimes, and for some people.
High protein diets are popular because they improve satiety , reduce calorie intake, and preserve lean body mass. Some studies show that diets with higher protein intake can help prevent weight regain, but there is no definitive evidence to support this claim.
Studies show that weight loss can be achieved by following many different diets, including high protein, low carb, or low-fat diets. Most diets result in modest weight loss over six months, regardless of macronutrient levels however, the effects on weight reduction largely disappear by 12 months.
These studies show that the most important factor for weight loss may not be how much protein, fat, or carb is in a specific diet plan. What’s more important is whether you can stick to the plan in the long term to lose weight and keep it off. Your best option is a plan that is accessible, affordable, and enjoyable for you.
A note of caution: high protein diets aren’t right for everyone. Some studies have indicated that very high intakes of protein and fat can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and may harm the kidneys.
How Much Protein Should You Eat In A Day
MIKAYLA JORGENSEN, MS, RD October 26, 2022
When it comes to your body, protein intake depends on many factors, including your activity level, age, muscle mass, and more. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow.
The DRI is a set of Dietary Reference Intakes set by the National Academy of Sciences Food and Nutrition Board. These are composed of four different guidelines RDA , EAR , AI , and UL . For protein, the RDA is used to establish general intake goals.
Let’s take a look at all things protein, including how much you need, the best sources, and when to eat it.
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Its also a great option for active people as it contains a recovery fruit blend including tart cherry, which may improve muscle recovery in both strength and endurance athletes. Just one scoop provides 15 grams of protein and 20 percent of your daily iron needs , which may be helpful for those on a plant-based diet.
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Protein source: Pea, navy bean, garbanzo bean, lentils, cranberry | Serving size: 2 scoops | Protein per serving: 30g | Gluten-free: Yes | Vegan: Yes | Sweeteners: Stevia
How Did We Calculate Your Protein Intake
Bodybuilding.com’s protein calculator starts with the Mifflin St. Jeor equation, which is considered by our nutritionists and dieticians to be the “gold standard” of calorie calculators. Here’s how it works:
Calculate basal metabolic rate , or the calories your body burns simply by being alive. For men: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age + 5 For women: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age -161
Then, this BMR count is multiplied, depending on your activity level:
Sedentary = 1.2
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Daily Protein Requirement For Athletes
For building muscle mass and for maintaining muscle mass through a positive muscle protein balance, an overall daily protein intake in the range of 1.42.0 g protein/kg body weight/day is sufficient for most exercising individuals, according to a 2017 critical review performed by the International Society of Sports Nutrition . In the same statement they posit that higher protein intakes may have positive effects on body composition in resistance-trained individuals . Additionally, the report suggests an optimal intake schedule of several doses of protein spread 3-4h apart evenly during the day.
While previously there were concerns related to too high doses of daily protein intake, current research proves the safety and efficacy of protein in general and whey protein in particular .
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Health Benefits Of Protein
Protein helps to maintain body tissues, including muscles, organs, the nervous system, blood, skin, and hair. It also serves as a transport mechanism for oxygen, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
In addition, eating protein can help you manage your weight because it takes longer to digest a protein-rich meal. After consuming a meal with protein, you’re likely to feel full and satisfied longer.
Some protein foods have additional health benefits. Legumes are high in protein and fiber and contain phytochemicals that may have health benefits. Fish, such as salmon, tuna, herring, and trout, are high in protein and also omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for health.
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Getting Enough Protein In Your Diet
If you look at any popular health magazine, website, or instagram feed, you might be fooled into thinking we dont get enough dietary protein, only to be confronted with advertising for protein bars, shakes, and supplements.
However, if youre concerned about getting enough protein in your daily diet, rest assured protein deficiency is rare if you live in any modern society.
If you eat a varied diet, protein derived from common food sources such as poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, or non-animal foods like nuts, seeds, vegetables and legumes that provide plant proteins.
For those on vegan or vegetarian diets, you will need to focus on plant proteins to ensure you get the minimum amount of protein for weight loss or just to simply maintain good health. A varied diet with the right complement of protein sources should give provide the right complement to get your essential amino acids .
Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Adults
Maintenance: eucaloric diet | Muscle gain: eucaloric diet or hypercaloric diet | Fat loss: hypocaloric diet | * Grams per kilogram of body weight
Also, note that
- Protein intake should be based on body weight, not on caloric intake.
- Most studies have looked at dosages up to 1.5 g/kg only a few have looked at dosages as high as 2.23.3 g/kg. However, in healthy people, even those higher dosages dont seem to have negative effects.
How much protein you need depends on several factors, such as your weight, your goal , your being physically active or not, and whether youre pregnant or not.
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Example Of Estimated Daily Protein Needs
Here is an example of protein need estimates for weight loss for a female who weighs 165 pounds and is 5’6″. Assume her calorie needs are 1,800 per day.
If looking at the 25-30% of calories from protein:
Her protein needs will range from 450 to 540 calories from protein . There are 4 calories per gram of protein, so her protein needs are 112.5 to 135 grams per day.
If calculating 1-1.2 grams per kilogram of Ideal Body Weight:
To calculate Ideal Body Weight, use the following formula for women : Ideal Body Weight = 49kg + 1.7kg for each inch over 5 feet.
The Ideal Body Weight for this woman is 49kg + 1.7 , or 59.2 kg. Thus, her protein need ranges from 59.2 to 71.04 grams per day.
As you can see, there is a large variance between the recommendation of 71 grams and 135 grams of protein per day. Ultimately, you will need to determine what protein range feels best for your body and fuels your needs.
Protein Threshold In A Meal
Research has shown that there is a dose-response relationship to protein consumption and feelings of fullness. A systematic review of studies based on 350 calorie meals containing protein quantities ranging from 15-30g found that, while all meals resulted in an increased level of fullness, it was the 30g protein meal that produced the largest and most sustained feeling of fullness compared to meals containing 15, 20, and 25g.
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Research On Protein Intake
While there are various recommendations, theres a widely accepted range that has been determined for individuals who are sedentary, active, and who weight train. But theres so much conflict between experts and studies when it comes to ideal protein intake. The research is very mixed.
Some resources suggest that we eat too much protein while more recent research is in favor of higher protein intake, especially for preserving muscle gain and strength. So it can be incredibly confusing for those who want to know how much protein they should be eating.
Theres a misunderstanding not only among the public, but also somewhat in our profession about the RDA. People in general think we all eat too much protein, explained Nancy Rodriguez, a registered dietitian, and professor of nutritional science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
Rodriguez was part of a Protein Summit where reports were published to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that argued Americans may be consuming too little protein. She suggests doubling the RDA and consuming 15-25% of daily calories from protein.
The minimum recommended protein allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kg body weight per day. This is for basic physiological needs and to prevent deficiency. If you want to find your minimum RDA, multiply your body weight by 0.36 %20per%20day.” rel=”nofollow”> 6).
On average, this is roughly:
- 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man.
- 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.
How To Use Our Protein Calculator
Our Promix Protein Calculator is designed to work for someone that is new to training and for the experienced/elite athlete. Choose the path of questions that is appropriate for you and answer the questions truthfully to give the most accurate protein recommendation. Individual data is never shared or published.
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What Are The Benefits To Eating Protein
As a macronutrient, protein is vital to your bodys natural processes. When you supplement your diet with the right amount of protein, you are making it easier for your body to build lean muscle, strengthen bones and tissue, deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, aid in digestion, and regulate hormones. Furthermore, eating protein can help curb hunger, maintain a healthy weight, reduce fatigue, and reduce recovery time after exercise or injury.
Based On Weight And Activity
Other ways to get a more specific protein goal may consider lean muscle mass and/or physical activity level.
The average adult needs a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so a person who weighs 165 pounds, or 75 kg, would need about 60 grams of protein per day.
However, your protein needs may increase if you are very active. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Dietitians of Canada suggest that athletes need more protein.
These organizations suggest that athletes consume between 1.2 grams and 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, with endurance athletes at the lower end of this range and strength and power athletes at the higher end.
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High Protein Intake For Fat Loss
If you noticed Dr. Nelsons comment about being hypocaloric , you may be wondering if theres evidence that protein needs might change based on if youre trying to lose fat or gain muscle.
To be clear: the majority of research and the most prominent sports nutrition bodies agree that theres probably no need to exceed the daily 0.7 grams per pound, even if youre trying to lose weight.
That said, there are a couple of studies that have suggested more protein might be useful if you have a good amount of muscle mass and are trying to lose fat quickly. One, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, , found that athletes in a big calorie deficit maintained more muscle and lost more fat eating 1.1 grams of protein per pound than a group taking 0.54 grams, the absolute minimum recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine.
Another study published in 2014 that looked specifically at bodybuilders found that they would respond best to consuming 2.3-3.1 g/kg of lean body mass per day of protein. This is among folks with under 10 percent body fat, so they were eating an upper level of about 1.3 grams per pound of bodyweight.
Tip: Calculating Your Caloric Needs
Your height, weight, age, and level of physical activity all contribute to your caloric needs. There are many calorie calculators out there, but the NIH Body Weight Planner stands out. It has been tested and validated against real-world data and can estimate the number of calories you need to reach then maintain a specific weight.
Calorie-wise, there are only three types of diets:
A hypocaloric diet feeds you fewer calories than you burn. If you want to lose weight, thats the diet for you. If you want most of your weight loss to be in the form of fat, not muscle, youll also need to get enough protein and preferably to exercise.
A hypercaloric diet feeds you more calories than you burn. If you want to gain weight, thats the diet for you. If you want most of your weight gain to be in the form of muscle, not fat, youll need to get enough protein and engage in resistance training .
A eucaloric diet feeds you as many calories as you burn. It is also called a maintenance diet, since your weight wont change much but you can gain or lose fat or muscle, depending on how much protein and exercise you get.
Daily protein requirements are expressed in grams, either per kilogram of body weight or per pound of body weight . Ranges in the table below reflect known individual variances.
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