How Much Protein Should You Actually Be Getting & Is All Protein Created Equal?
Protein has unique properties that increase lean muscle, aid weight loss, boost mood, and more.
1. Your body burns calories simply by digesting protein.
2. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, which can help you lose weight.
3. Protein helps build metabolically active lean muscle, making it easier to maintain weight loss.
4. Protein can help offset muscle loss associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
5. Protein can boost functionality and quality of life as you age.
6. Protein is a key dietary component for managing anxiety and mood.
7. Replacing carbs with protein may reduce risk factors for CVD and diabetes.
How much protein do you really need per day? Here's what top researchers say.
So, how much protein should you eat to reap the benefits mentioned above?
Think of the RDA for protein as a minimum, not an optimal goal.
A better way to calculate your protein needs.
What do these recommendations look like in real life?
- 0.8 g/kg: 54 grams of protein per day
- 1.2 g/kg: 75 grams of protein per day
- 1.6 g/kg: 105 grams of protein per day
How you spread out your protein in a day is key.
How intermittent fasting, keto, and other dietary strategies affect your protein needs.
Are all protein-containing foods created equal? Nope, and here's why.
Selecting the best animal-based protein sources.
- pasture-raised eggs and poultry
- grass-fed, grass-finished meat
- sustainable wild-caught fish
- grass-fed dairy and whey protein
Selecting the best plant-based protein sources.
- legumes (chickpeas, lentils, and beans—kidney, black, adzuki, butter, pinto, fava beans)
- whole soy (organic, non-GMO tofu, tempeh, edamame beans)
- nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts)
- seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chia, sesame)
- whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, farro, wild rice)
- a plant-protein blend, ideally free of added sugars