And if you want to lose fat, build muscle, or really just improve the way your body looks or performs in virtually any capacity, protein (and how much of it you eat per day) becomes even more important.
So, now that you know why you need it, the question becomes how much of it do you need? Exactly how much protein is ideal for you, your diet, and your specific goal?
Let’s answer that…
How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day?
Surprisingly, the most common recommendations for how much protein you should eat per day when you’re trying to improve your body don’t typically vary by too much and instead tend to fall within a similar range.
For most of the people, most of the time, that recommended range is:
Ideal Daily Protein Intake: 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Of course, that range is a bit broad. So, here’s my recommendations for how to narrow it down to what’s best for you…
Recommended Amount Of Protein Per Day For Different Situations & Goals
|Person, Situation & Goals||Ideal Daily Protein Intake|
|Average healthy sedentary adult (male or female) that does NOT work out or have any related goals. This is just what I consider to be a good minimum daily protein intake for general health/function.||0.5-0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight.|
|Average healthy adult (male or female) that IS doing some form of exercise regularly or IS trying to improve their body (lose fat, build muscle, etc.). This is the minimum I’d recommend in this case.||0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight.|
|Average healthy adult FEMALE whose primary goal is building muscle, getting “toned, ” maintaining muscle while losing fat, increasing strength or improving performance.||1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.|
|Average healthy adult MALE whose primary goal is building muscle, getting “toned, ” maintaining muscle while losing fat, increasing strength or improving performance.||1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.|
(When in doubt, the old standby recommendation of “1 gram of protein per pound of body weight” which has been around the fitness world for decades is a fine middle-of-the-road protein intake for most people.)
So, in order to figure out how much protein you should eat per day, you just need to multiply your current body weight (in pounds) by the amount recommended on the chart above.
Confused? Here’s 2 examples of how it would be done…
- Let’s say a 130lb woman has the goal of building some muscle, or getting “toned, ” or losing fat (while maintaining muscle). She’d simply multiply 130 by 1-1.2 and get a daily protein intake of between 130-156 grams per day.
- Now let’s say a 180lb man wanted to build muscle, or maintain muscle while losing fat, or improve strength/performance. He’d do 180 x 1-1.5 and get a daily protein intake of between 180-270 grams per day.