Today, we’re diving into protein. How much you should get each day, why you should eat that much, as well as how you can eat that much protein and what ways you can build a meal using protein.
The RDA vs. What an Athlete Needs
Studies have shown we need more than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Here’s a quick recap of the numbers I outline in this episode. (Special thanks to Examine.com for detailing these study outcomes so easily):
- If you’re sedentary, aim for 0.54-0.82g/lb or 1.2-1.8g/kg
- If you’re at a healthy weight range and active and want to maintain your weight, aim for 0.64-0.91g/lb for 1.4-2.0g/kg
- If you’re at a healthy weight, active, and want to build muscle, aim for 0.73-1.10g/lb or 1.6-2.4g/kg but up to 3.3g/kg if you’re an experienced lifter and want to minimize fat gain while bulking.
- If a healthy weight and active but seeking fat loss, aim for 0.73-1.1g/lb or 1.6-2.4g/kg
- If overweight or obese, aim for 0.54-0.68g/lb or 1.2-1.5g/kg – this is using your total body weight and not necessarily your lean mass.
- If pregnant, aim for 0.77-0.82g/lb or 1.7-1.8g/kg
- If breastfeeding, aim for at least 0.68g/lb for 1.5g/kg
- If vegan or mostly plant-based with your protein intake, then your requirements may be a bit higher than what I just outlined simply because plant-based proteins are less bioavailable due to their amino acids profile, which means your body doesn’t utilize the protein in the food as effectively as animal-based proteins.
Looking at all of these numbers I just outlined, most people should aim for 0.73-1.1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Basically, take 73-110% of your bodyweight and that’s your goal. Example: A 120lb woman needs 88-132g per day.
My hope is that this episode gives you a better understanding of protein’s importance. Also, learn how much you should aim for each day, and how to get that much protein into your diet.
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