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, how much you should aim for each day, and how to get that much protein into your diet.
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