How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

At One Love Fit Club in Chino Hills, CA, we focus on eating healthy and working out. When you’re eating health, especially when you’re trying to build muscle tissue, you need extra protein, but how much protein do you need? Before going into that, let’s look at what protein actually does for the body. Protein is made of amino acids and when digested, breaks down to the original amino acids. These amino acids are necessary for various biological reactions in the form of enzymes. They’re also part of the hormonal system, provide energy, build connective tissue, maintain the body’s pH, are part of the immune system, help balance fluid, store nutrients and help build body tissue.

There are various diets that modify the amount of protein you consume.

Diets are often divided into the macronutrients, with the most common suggesting 45 to 65 percent of calories eaten should be from carbohydrates, 10 to 35 percent of those calories from protein and the rest, 20 to 35 percent from fat. Increasing the protein in your diet can actually help you lose weight, since it keeps you full longer, so you don’t eat as much. The Dietary Reference Intake—DRI—suggest that 0.36 grams per pound of body weight is necessary.

The amount you need is also determined by sex and activity level.

Besides using body weight, your sex and how active you are makes a difference in the amount of protein you need. Men need more protein than women, since they have more muscle mass. Sedentary people need less protein than active people and far less protein than athletes or extremely active non-athletes. While the required daily allowance of protein comes to approximately 10% of the total daily calories and the American public consumes about 16%, most professionals are now leaning toward a higher amount, especially in seniors, to help preserve muscle strength and keep the body leaner.

Some diets, like the keto diet, include more protein than the average American diet.

Low carb, high protein diets like the keto diet has most the calories—75%—derived from fat, with 20% of the calories from protein and only 5% from carbs may help the body in a number of ways. It can be heart healthy and help you lose weight, but not because of the protein per se, but because of fewer carbs. You can get too much protein, which can affect your kidneys, increased risk of cancer, problems with liver functioning, bone disorders and artery disease.

  • It’s considered unhealthy to eat too much protein over a long period. Too much protein would be about 0.9 grams per pound of body weight for the average person. That’s quite a bit when you consider a 16-oz rib eye has 7 grams of protein.
  • If you’re going on a high protein diet, always consult your doctor first to make sure it’s a healthy option for you. Most studies show that eating as much as 3 grams of kilogram of body weight are dangerous for healthy individuals.
  • The quality of the protein you eat is also important. Salmon, beans and yogurt are better for you than getting all your protein from red meat.
  • Eating protein not only makes you feel fuller longer, it also makes your metabolism higher. Consuming a form of protein with a sugary treat can also help stabilize your blood sugar and keep it stable longer.

For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club

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