How Much Protein Should I Have?

Function of Protein

Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of life. Protein is essential to the structural components of our body such as DNA, bones, cartilage, musculature, skin and even hair. It aids in both the repairing and the building of our cells as well as muscles. Protein is an important component in our red blood cells which help carry oxygen to the entire body and supplies it with the nutrients it needs to function. About half the dietary protein we consume daily is used just to create enzymes which help digest our food. These are just a few of the many functions contributed by protein.

Recommended Daily Allowance

When it comes to nourishing our body, protein is one of the most satiating macronutrients that leaves us feeling full for longer periods of time in comparison to carbohydrates which are a quick source of fuel but burn off quickly. For weight loss or body re-composition goals, protein intake is a great tool to help achieve it. 

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for sedentary individuals is 0.8 g/kg body weight. 

When doing aerobic training that is moderate to vigorous 1.2 g of protein per kg of lean body weight is recommended. 

When weight lifting for body re-composition or hypertrophy gains 1.4 – 1.6 grams per kg is recommended. 

For healing of a tendon (strain) or ligament (sprain) from an injury, 1.2 g/kg is recommended. And finally, while healing from surgery, 1-1.2 g/kg is recommended. 

It’s important to assess your goals you are aiming to accomplish and then select the correct protein amount or your body. Please note, too much protein intake can cause symptoms of nausea, headaches, and dehydration. Therefore it is important to hydrate adequately so as to avoid kidney problems. A general rule of thumb is to consume at least 8oz of water for every one scoop of 20 grams of protein powder.

Overall, protein is an essential macronutrient with a wide range of functions in the body. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet that includes an appropriate amount of protein to support your individual needs and goals. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help you determine the right protein intake for your specific situation.