How To Measure Protein Intake


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Proteins In Common Diets

How To Calculate Your Daily Protein Intake (by Abazar Habibinia, MD, Director of The CAASN):

Our protein calculator allows you to specify a custom percentage of proteins in your diet, but here we list six common diets: high & low carb, moderate, Zone, Keto and DASH, and their protein contents for your reference.

Proteins in common diets

Keto Diet 15%

When considering your diet plan and protein percentage of the total calorie intake, don’t forget to consult your physician if making significant changes relative to your current one.

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.

Calculate Protein Requirement By Calorie Intake

Another way to calculate your daily protein requirement is by knowing how many calories you need in a day.

  • The National Academy of Medicine recommends that an individual can get anywhere from 10 to 35 percent of calories each day from protein.
  • One gram of protein gives four kilocalories.
  • Thus, a person consuming 2000 calories a day can derive 200 to 700 calories from protein.
  • This means they can eat about 50 to 125 grams of protein a day.

Alternatively, to know your dietary reference intakes for protein needs, calculate on the available online tool, DRI Calculator for Healthcare Professionals, which is developed by the US Department of Agriculture.

It must be noted that these protein requirements are approximations. They do not consider special situations, such as your health goals , pregnancy, lactation, underlying health conditions , and athletic activity level. To know your individualized protein requirement, you must discuss it with a qualified dietician.

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Convert Total Protein Quantity Into Calories

To convert proteins into calories, multiply the sum by 4. This is the amount of calories in a gram of protein. This product equals the total amount of calories in the recipe derived from protein. In this case, the total caloric content in this dish derived from protein is roughly 597.44 calories.

Convert total grams of protein into calories – or – Skip this Step with Intake

Protein Units In Studies Of Circulating Lipids

How Much Protein Should I Eat? Calculating Protein Intake Guide

Similarly, many studies have assessed dietary protein in relation to circulating lipids , often in the context of metabolic syndrome and/or as secondary outcomes of weight-loss trials. Of the 13 papers we scanned on this topic since 2015, none used grams or g/kg ideal BW, 5 used g/kg actual BW , and the remaining 8 studies used percent energy . Whether experimental or observational, all inconsistently adjusted for various body mass and energy, and results were primarily nonsignificant irrespective of the study design and protein unit. For example, several trials , but not all , were energy-restricted, with 1 cross-sectional study using g/kg actual BW, adjusted for body fat percentage and skeletal muscle mass but not energy intake , and the only prospective cohort study using percent energy, adjusted for both BMI and WC, as well as energy intake .

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Calculate Using Your Body Weight

Of course, not everyone has access to body composition analysis. And if you dont, you can estimate your protein needs based on your current body weight. Its not a perfect method. It doesnt take into account how much muscle mass you have, but it does at least account for differences in body size.

Heres how to calculate your protein needs:

  • In pounds: multiply your body weight by 0.7
  • In kilograms: multiply your body weight by 1.5
  • The number you get is a reasonable target for the amount of protein, in grams, that you should eat each day.

    So, a woman who weighs 140lbs should aim for about 100g of protein a day. A 220lb man should shoot for at least 150g of protein.

    With either method, the recommended amount of protein is more tailored to your needs than general recommendations based on gender alone. Of course, if you have a specific athletic goal in mind, such as strength training or endurance, your needs might vary somewhat, and you can find more detailed information in my guide for calculating macros for athletic performance.

    Calculate Using Your Lean Body Mass

    Since protein is so important in maintaining your lean body mass , the suggested amount that you should eat every day depends, in part, on how much lean mass you have.

    Ideally, youd get a body composition measurement done , which would tell you how much lean body mass you have. Then you could easily determine the amount of protein suggested for you.

    That would be 0.5 to 1 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. If using the metric system, thats about 1 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass.

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    How Much Protein Do I Need 3 Easy Ways To Calculate

    Kim Yawitz, RD

    Have you ever noticed how fitness enthusiasts are so gung ho about protein shakes, egg whites, and ground turkey? Its because dietary protein is really important for building muscle and losing fat! Now, I do think some meatheads take the protein fixation a bit too far, but I can also tell you that lots of people dont get enough protein. If youre wondering, How much protein do I need in a day? youve come to the right place.

    In this post, Im going to share three easy ways to know how much protein you need and share the pros and cons of each approach so that you can better determine how to estimate your own protein needs.

    Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Adults

    TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE | how to calculate your protein intake

    Maintenance: eucaloric diet | Muscle gain: eucaloric diet or hypercaloric diet | Fat loss: hypocaloric diet | * Grams per kilogram of body weight

    Also, note that

    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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    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

    Body weight
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    Why Is Protein Important

    Consuming too little protein is bad for you. As an adult, you can experience problems such as anemia, weakness and fatigue, swelling, vascular and immune system issues, if you consume too little protein. If you’re still growing, too little protein can stunt your growth. People following low-protein diets, vegans and vegetarians are the more likely than most to be consuming too little protein.

    This doesn’t mean you should eat as much protein as you can, though. Too much protein can be bad for you, as well. Protein consumption that surpasses 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day can cause vascular issues as well as problems with your digestive system and kidneys. People who adhere to high-protein diets or drink a large number of protein shakes may be the most likely to consume excessive amounts of protein.

    Regardless of what type of diet you choose to follow, you should consume âat least 5 percent proteinâ. Less than this amount is too little to keep your body in good health and can lead to loss of muscle mass. Most people should consume diets that are about 12 to 20 percent protein.

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    Notes About Using The Promix Protein Calculator

    No protein calculator is perfect without taking physical measurements. For the most accurate representation of your daily protein needs, it is helpful to first determine your lean body mass using either a Dexa Scan or Bioelectrical Impedance Scale. After you have your lean body mass, you can evaluate your training and lifestyle to achieve a more exact determination of your protein needs. If you would like an in-depth analysis and recommendations, contact Albert. For anyone other than elite athletes, this level of detail is not necessary, nor will it yield significantly better end results in relation to your training goals.

    Your Privacy is Important to Us

    The information you input is for your own personal use and will not be published or reproduced.


    The Promix Nutrition Protein Calculator is for education purposes only. Please consult your dietitian and doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise program.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


    Peterson, Courtney & Thomas, Diana & L Blackburn, George & Heymsfield, Steven. . Universal equation for estimating ideal body weight and body weight at any BMI. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 103. 10.3945/ajcn.115.121178.

    Institute of Medicine . “2 History of Nutrition Labeling”. Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols: Phase I Report. The National Academies Press.

    Brief History Of Who And Us Recommendations

    Daily Protein Intake

    Interestingly, this distinction between ideal and actual BW by the WHO is not explicit in US protein recommendations. Although reference body weights exist in the IOM DRI report , as well as in the EFSA report , these seem to have been provided solely as a basis for the calculation of g/d values, rather than to indicate that protein intake should depend on an ideal weight or weight range.

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    Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Older Adults

    Sarcopenia is a muscle disorder. It is defined as an impairment of physical function combined with a loss of muscle mass. It is the primary age-related cause of frailty.

    Frailty is associated with a higher risk of disabilities that affect your ability to perform daily activities, a higher risk of having to go to a nursing home, and a higher risk of experiencing falls, fractures, and hospitalizations.

    The link between sarcopenia, frailty, and associated morbidities may explain why is associated with a greater risk of premature death and reduced quality of life. This isnt a rare issue, either: in the US, over 40% of men and nearly 60% of women over the age of 50 have sarcopenia, and more than 10% of people in their 20s.

    Promote Muscle Gain By Increased Protein Intake

    If you are an athlete, looking to increase your muscle mass, simply eating high-protein foods won’t help. Dietary protein, after deamination, provides energy or recycles components of non-muscle molecules, or is converted to stored fat in fat depots. First of all, one needs adequate caloric intake corresponding to their exercise level. If the intake is insufficient during intense training even augmented protein intake may not be enough to maintain the proper balance of nitrogen since a disproportionate percentage of dietary protein will be catabolized to account for the energy deficit. So, you will burn your proteins before they can participate in muscle development.

    However, there is some support that the now common practice of eating and drinking predigested protein in the form of shakes, powders, pills or bars might assist in muscle growth, especially whey protein. A 2019 meta analysis supports the “efficacy and safety of whey protein supplements as an ergogenic aid on athletes’ sports performance and recovery.”


    Katch V.L., McArdle W.D., Katch F.I “Essentials of Exercise Physiology”, fourth edition

    Jager, R. et. al. “International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and exercise”, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 14, DOI: 10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8

    WHO “Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition”, WHO Technical Report Series 935

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    Here’s How To Calculate How Much Protein You Need Each Day

    including a perfect day of protein on a plate.

    How much protein is too much? Image: iStock

    Breaking down nutritional info can feel like rocket science, but this excerpt from the CSIRO Women’s Health & Nutrition Guide will show you exactly how to decode it.

    Our body’s requirement for protein varies at different life stages. For women, protein needs are highest during childhood and adolescence, as well as during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The Australian recommended dietary intakes for protein are a daily average of 0.75 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight for women 19-70 years of age.

    However, recent research and expert committees conclude that healthy adults might benefit from a higher daily average protein intake of between 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight.

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    Let’s take a look at an example. Samara weighs 70 kg. What does 1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight look like for her?

    • Samara’s lowest calculation: 1.2g of protein X 70kg body weight = 84 grams of protein
    • Samara’s highest calculation: 1.6g of protein X 70kg body weight = 112 grams of protein

    So Samara should aim for approximately 84-112 grams of protein per day.

    Yoghurt has LOTS of protein. Photo: iStock

    How Much Protein Do I Need In A Day

    Protein | How To Calculate Your Ideal Intake | Ask Me Anything

    The following chart reveals the recommended daily protein intake based on your age given that you are overall healthy.

    It is important to note that the FDAs recommended daily values are to prevent deficiency and not based on optimal health nor specific to individuals, especially those looking to gain lean muscle or improve their body composition. The recommended daily allowance of protein varies from one person to the next.

    To get your specific daily protein intake needs, get started with our simple and free protein calculator:

    Recommended Reading: Amount Of Protein Per Day

    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.

    How Did We Calculate Your Protein Intake’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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    What Is The Average Amount Of Protein I Should Consume If I Am A Bodybuilder

    The average protein intake of bodybuilders varies greatly depending on many factors. Bodybuilders need a good amount of protein each day to replace the water and other nutrients used during training and recovery.

    For example, if a bodybuilder is working out two days a week, he or she should be consuming two grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. If he or she were to take in three grams of protein per pound, this would result in a protein level that would cause him to gain fat instead of muscle. It is important to remember that bodybuilders do not necessarily need more protein than the average person. Just because bodybuilders require a higher protein level than the average person does not mean they are consuming more protein than everyone else.5 Rather, it means their body has a difficult time breaking down protein as fast as the rest of us do. Bodybuilders are genetically predisposed to absorb protein at a much faster rate than the rest of us.

    This is why some bodybuilders choose to supplement with vitamins and minerals instead. For one thing, these supplements will help the bodybuilder to better process protein and absorb the nutrients that he or she needs. In addition, they may also aid in recovery from intense training. However, bodybuilders do not need to consume excessive amounts of supplements to meet their dietary protein requirements. All they need is enough of them to meet their specific training goals.

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