There’s no denying the fact that diet plays a crucial role in determining whether you will make it or break it on your journey to building a strong physique. Without ample good quality nutrition, you won’t be able to maximize the benefits of an hour-long training session that you go through day in day out. And when it’s about diet, let’s focus on what matters the most – Protein.
Quite often, I have seen people shying away from eating enough protein because of a variety of reasons including effects of high protein diet on the body. Well, we will discuss the effects in detail in the near future but for today let me answer one of the most frequently asked questions about protein – How much protein needed per day? Here’s everything you need to know –
Ideal Protein Intake per Day
People have been debating on the daily requirement of protein for a long time. Fortunately, it’s good to see that they have finally come up with some numbers. The least amount of protein required for a person for maintaining optimal body function is 0.8 grams per kilogram or 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight per day. This is known as the RDA – The Recommended Dietary Allowance. Not to mention that the value of the RDA differs from one person to another based on factors such as activity levels and fitness goals.
Daily Protein Requirement based on Lifestyle
As I mentioned previously, the RDA value has a lot to do with your lifestyle and activity levels in particular. If you happen to be a couch potato, then you may not want to ingest as much protein as those guys do on the covers of sports magazines. For all the beautiful ladies out here on the blog, if you are more than just a working class women or a housewife, that is, you do a lot of Strength Training and Aerobics then you must increase your protein intake per day. Let’s see it in detail –
Sedentary Lifestyle (Male/Female)
This includes an average sedentary healthy adult who is not very keen on getting fit and does not have any specific fitness oriented goals in his/her life. On a lighter note, these are the same people who often google “how to stay healthy without exercise.”
Daily Protein Requirement – 0.5-0.7 gm protein per pound bodyweight
Moderately Active Lifestyle (Male/Female)
Most of the people out here fall under this category. This section incorporates adults who are trying to stay healthy, lose weight and improve their physique by means of exercise. Having said that, the people who are categorized under this section should not be confused as athletes as working out daily does not necessary make one an athlete.
Daily Protein Requirement – 0.8-1 gm protein per pound bodyweight
Very Active Lifestyle/Athletes (Male/Female)
If you don’t find yourself coming under the two categories mentioned above then there are chances that this one’s for you. This section includes healthy adults who are eyeing to increase their muscular gains, enhance strength capacity and above all minimize body fat by means of rigorous training methods. Moreover, it also covers females who are indulged in strength training. Needless to say, protein consumption for this group will be higher than the other two groups.
Daily Protein Requirement – 1-1.5 gm protein per pound bodyweight
For instance, suppose that a man weighing 170lbs leads a moderately active lifestyle and wants to improve his physique, he must aim for 136 grams to 170 grams of protein per day. This figure is obtained by multiplying the weight of the person (170 lbs) with the RDA value for each lifestyle which is 0.8-1 in this case.
Similarly, a 125lbs woman who leads a very active lifestyle and wants to maximize her muscle gains and improve her body composition should consume no less than 125 grams of protein per day.
Special Mention: Overweight People
If you go by the standards that are mentioned above, you may get wrong results because of the excess proportion of fat that is present on your body. Don’t worry. Here’s a simple thing you need to do – Make your daily protein requirement calculation based on the weight you want to achieve. Let’s say you currently weigh almost 250lbs and you’re working out very hard to reduce it to 200lbs. So, you should be using your aimed body weight (200lbs in this case) and multiply it by the RDA value of your lifestyle and the result obtained is the protein intake you should look for.
Popular High Protein Foods
Below mentioned are some of the finest source of protein that will come in handy if you want to increase your daily protein intake. Have a look –
- Chicken Breast
- Egg Whites
- Whey Protein Powder (such as MFF Whey Protein 80)
- Casein Protein Powder (such as MFF Calcium Caseinate)
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Nut Butters
If you are pretty bad at maths just like me and you don’t want to trouble yourself over multiplying bodyweight with figures in decimals then stick to the time tested standard value that even Arnold Schwarzenegger followed – 1 gram protein per pound bodyweight. In addition to this, I would personally recommend you to include a couple of protein shakes in your diet because believe me you probably won’t love to chew all that chicken breast and beans all day long. Just a couple of shake and there you have it – 40-50 grams of high-quality protein. Whey Protein and Casein Protein are among the finest sources of protein powders you can go for. Here’s more to – Different types of protein.
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