How To Calculate How Much Protein You Need Every Day
This may sound surprising, although there is an exact value of protein, specific to your individual needs, that you should be consuming every day. Protein plays a huge part towards achieving a healthy quality of life and managing a healthy lifestyle, so it’s important that you’re keeping track of what you’re consuming. Although there’s no need to fear! Here’s a simple guide to understand the importance of protein in your diet, and how you can calculate your individual protein needs.
Why Is It Important To Know If You’re Getting Enough Protein?
Protein is important for a variety of bodily functions, that we aren’t always consciously aware of, allowing us to achieve and sustain a beneficial quality of life. Aside from the fact that your nails and hair are primarily composed of protein, the macronutrient is an essential part of every cell in your body. When digested, protein is broken down into various amino acids, which are crucial building blocks for muscles, bones, and skin, and are also vital in the process of making bodily molecules such as enzymes and hormones.
Why Do Protein Requirements Vary Between Individuals?
Protein requirements vary among individuals mainly depending on their weight, age and general health. People aren’t all identical, therefore specific needs across age and weight ranges will vary. Also, if you have a specific condition where you have increased protein requirements, you’re most likely going to have different needs than others.
How Can You Calculate How Much Protein Your Body Needs?
Recommended Daily Intakes (RDI) and Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) are general, rough guides for people to use to understand and estimate how much protein they require every day. According to these RDIs, average men and women with no additional requirements need about 0.84g/kg (grams per kilogram of body weight) and 0.75g/kg, respectively.
Essentially, protein should make up approximately 15 to 20% of your total energy intake. The first step to calculate how much protein you should be consuming each day is to figure out your average weight.
Weigh yourself for seven mornings in a row and figure out an average. From here, multiply your weight by 0.8 (as the Dietary Reference Intake recommends 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight) to achieve the amount of protein you require per day (in grams of protein).
For example, a young male who weighs 80 kg will require approximately 64g of protein per day.
To assist you in reaching this value, you can take advantage of nutrition information panels to keep track of and record your protein intake. That being said, don’t be too fixated on achieving this exacted value.
As this is intended to be an average, a little more or a little less each day isn’t detrimental.
If you’d prefer not to do the math yourself, many reliable protein calculators can be found online.
What Are Some Quality Sources Of Protein?
So now that you’re aware of how much protein your body needs, where can you attain some quality sources? A quality source of protein should offer consumers a dense source of essential amino acids, while simultaneously being lower in unhealthy saturated and trans fats. For example, eggs, lean meat, poultry, milk, yogurt, fish, seeds, legumes, and soy products are all quality sources of protein that should be actively incorporated into the average diet.
How Can You Optimise Your Protein Absorption?
Despite what many believe, those wishing to increase their muscle mass don’t necessarily need to increase their protein intake. Although athletes do require a slightly higher protein intake, a diet that involves excessive protein can actually be harmful to health, putting a strain on the kidneys, liver and can result in calcium loss.
When it comes to maximising your protein intake to suit your vigorous exercise routine, timing is everything. Following an exercise routine, aim to consume a high quality, protein-rich meal, coupled with a carbohydrate-based meal. This can help manage your body’s protein balance.
Unlike fat and carbohydrates, the human body cannot store protein. Therefore, any protein that is not required by the body will be excreted. So what is the best way to maximise your daily protein intake? It’s best to incorporate small portions of your daily protein requirement into all of your meals, scattered throughout the day. Managing this intake of protein doesn’t take up large portions of your day, and yet it can lead to meaningful steps towards achieving a positive wellbeing.