Protein: How Much Do You Really Need?

Most people are aware they need protein in order for their bodies to function normally, however it may not always be clear exactly how much their body really needs. This often results in individuals turning to protein powder and other sources, always believing they are not getting enough protein in their diets.

However, it is actually hard to not get enough protein, provided you maintain a healthy diet. It is also not beneficial to simply consumer extra protein, since this often means you are just adding more calories and fat into your diet. If you want to build muscle, you should simply consume your recommended daily requirement combined with muscle-building exercises.

So how much protein do you actually need? Well, sources recommend people consume 10 to 35 per cent of their daily calories from foods with high levels of protein. When you break it down, this means roughly 46 grams of protein a day for women, and 56 grams for men. This usually equates to two to three servings of food rich in protein each day, depending on the specific foods you consume. Thus, it is actually very easy to incorporate the right amount of protein into your diet naturally, rather than consuming protein powder in smoothies or choosing sugar-laden protein bars.

However, it is important to note your doctor may advise you differently depending on your body’s specific needs. Some of these needs include if you are pregnant, nursing, are on a diet, are a vegetarian or vegan, or are a serious athlete. All of those often mean you will require more protein in your diet.

Because of the specific conditions under which you may need more or less protein, we recommend checking with your primary care physician prior to making any significant change in your diet. After all, you do not need extra protein beyond your daily requirement for your body to function well, and making a mistake can result in serious health issues.