How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

Everyone needs protein. But if you are a bodybuilder, your protein demands are likely higher than those of the average individual. Regardless of your lifestyle, there is a good chance that you are not getting enough protein, and you will need to know exactly what your body needs to remain healthy.

Factors Influencing How Much Protein You Should Consume

There are many factors that influence how much protein you should consume, including 

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Sex
  • Your fitness goals
  • How often you work out

Endurance athletes such as marathoners need 50% more protein than those who live a sedentary lifestyle. If you are sedentary, take your weight and multiply it by 0.4. If you exercise regularly, multiply your weight by 0.6. If you are a competitive bodybuilder, multiply your weight by 0.85. Whatever number you get is a rough estimate of the number of grams of protein you should consume.

Things to Consider When You Are Obese

If you are obese, consuming the optimal amount of protein can become more complicated because you may consume much more protein than necessary following the guidelines above. Instead, you should consume protein based on your target body weight rather than your actual body weight.

Some diet experts argue that those who need to lose weight should have a diet higher in protein. However, it is important that the source of protein does not come with large quantities of trans fats.

Things to Consider for Others with Special Protein Needs

Pregnant women need more protein. You should consume at least 70 grams of protein in order to support the development of your child and to also remain healthy yourself. Also, seniors can benefit from having a diet that is higher in protein because extra protein can guard against muscle loss, especially when combined with a weight-training program.

Things to Consider if You're Worried about Having Too Much 

At some point, protein does stop helping you. More research needs to be done on whether consuming more than 1.5 kg of protein is beneficial, but plenty of anecdotal evidence has suggested that this quantity has helped bodybuilders and those who are highly active achieve a greater level of performance.

A common claim is that Americans eat too much protein, but this isn't necessarily true. However, the problem is more the way that Americans consume protein. It is better to spread protein out throughout the day than to have all of it in one large meal. However, if you consume protein properly, you will be much healthier.

For more information or to look into buying protein sources, talk to companies like ARD Nutrition