Protein is one of the most important nutrients that our body needs as it helps perform several bodily functions right from the cell stage and also helps in repairing muscle tissues. Go to any gym and you are sure to find people drinking protein shakes or trainers recommending protein supplements. While you can fulfil your protein requirements using natural sources too, the reason people prefer supplements is because they do not have to eat a lot to get the adequate protein intake. But the question is, how much protein do you need every day? You need to know this before you begin supplements because excess protein can be harmful for the body as it is difficult to digest. Here’s how much you need. (ALSO SEE 10 vegetarian protein-rich foods to bulk up)
According to RDA or Recommended Dietary Allowance, the least amount of protein one needs to stay healthy is 0.8g per kilogram of body weight, every day. This is for someone who does not follow a very active lifestyle. For someone who works out regularly, the protein intake is slightly higher. It is 1.2g per kilogram of body weight. For bodybuilders who do hardcore weight training, the protein intake can go up to 1.8g to 2g per kilogram of body weight every day. This is because they need more protein to build muscle after a heavy workout session.
According to this measure, a sedentary person who weighs 50 kg, will have to consume approximately 40g of protein every day. An active person weighing the same will have to get 60g of protein from their daily diet while someone who does intense workouts will need 90g to 100g. (ALSO SEE Best foods to build stamina)
A sedentary person is one who does not exercise at all and their day involves sitting for hours on end. A person with an active lifestyle is one who works out for 30 minutes every day while someone with a rigorous routine is someone who does intense weight training for more than an hour or two every day.
Depending on your weight and your lifestyle, you can figure out how much protein you need every day. Eating protein-rich foods is good but you need to monitor how much protein you get from these sources to make up for your daily intake. For instance, 100g of skinless and boneless chicken breast will give you 31g of protein. If you are relying on just this for your protein intake, you will have to eat more chicken to fulfil your daily protein requirement. However, you will also have to ensure that your daily calorie limit does not go up if you want to maintain your weight. The average calorie intake for women is 2000 and for men is 2500 calories every day. This is why many opt for protein supplements. Once you figure out your daily protein intake requirement, make your meal plan accordingly and include foods that have enough protein in them. (ALSO SEE Best foods to eat after the gym)
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