How Much Protein Do We Actually Need?

By Subodh / April 4, 2015

All of us need protein, irrespective of the fact you are losing weight, gaining weight, or are healthy. Along with helping in better fat burning, proteins are essential to perk up your energy levels and keep you full. While it is a quintessential part of a healthy diet, overindulgence might lead to an intake of fat and calories in amounts than which your body actually needs. So, what exactly is the protein requirement of your body?

Ease your confusion and know about some interesting facts about protein and its adequate intake by just scrolling down and reading through this article.

protein food

How Much Protein Is Actually Enough?

According to RDA, your protein intake should be between 10 percent to 35 percent of your net calorie intake, depending on your level of activeness. Converting it into raw numbers a woman needs 46 grams as against 56 grams for men, with both leading sedentary lifestyle. This is the minimum quantity. Here are a couple of food items that gives you protein:

Source Protein Offered
3 oz meat 21 grams
1 cup dry beans 16 grams
8 oz yogurt 11 grams
1 cup milk 8 grams

A look at this table would tell you that you can easily get the daily requirements by including 3 to 4 servings of these sources in your daily diet.

So, who needs more protein and why?

As Mentioned above, the protein requirement varies with groups of people. Here are some of the groups of people who need to include a higher level of this basic food group in their diet.

  1. Weight loss enthusiasts

If you want to shed the excess body fat in a sensible and permanent way while maintaining your lean body mass, then proteins will help you. Protein rich foods will keep you full and eliminate the hunger pangs. Just ensure that you are keeping track of the portion sizes and calories intake to prevent yourself from overdoing. If you are on a 2000 calories diet and if you weight about 75 kg, you might need roughly between 120 to 150 grams of protein per day.

  1. Pregnant and lactating women

According to studies conducted on these women, a pregnant woman needs 10 grams protein more than their pre-pregnancy stage, while a lactating woman on a average requires a total of 20 grams in extra. Just try including ½ a cup of cottage cheese and an additional glass of milk in your diet to meet these requirements. Low-fat dairy products make ideal choices of protein during pregnancy as they supply you with necessary calcium and vitamin D3.

  1. Athletes

The muscle breakdown during the event and post workout calls for the need for a higher dose of this food group. In general, endurance athletes would need about 50 percent more protein than a sedentary person. And, if you are talking about bodybuilders, their net daily requirement would be somewhere between 150 to 180 grams of protein per day.

  1. Vegetarians and vegans

Eggs and meat are loaded with protein, but they are excluded from a vegetarian as well as vegan diets. Vegans go a step further and eliminate even dairy products. These people need to include various types of beans and whole grains along with nuts and seeds in their diet to ensure that they get the right dose of protein.

Top 10 Sources of Protein

Here are the top 10 sources of protein:

Source Serving Size Amount of Protein
Pork loin chops 134 g 33 g
Lean beef 85 g 31 g
Fish such as salmon and tuna 85 g 22 g
All beans [soy beans, kidney beans, white lima beans, lima beans] 100 g 17 g
Chicken breast 85 g 16 g
Low fat mozzarella cheese 28 g 9 g
Peanuts 28 g 7 g
Tofu 85 g 6 g
Egg whites 50 g 6 g
Yogurt and milk 100 g 6 g

Just make sure that you are not going over the boards. If you are confuse with how much protein you need, do a simple calculation. Multiply your net calorie intake with 7.5% and you will get the solution. Eat healthy and live healthy!