How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

high protein foods laying on cutting boards

While it’s easy to think that the best way to increase muscle mass, improve weight control and stay fit is by adding more protein to your diet, it may not be so simple. In fact, most of us ask the question of how much protein do I need to add to my diet, as opposed to what are the upper and lower amounts which are healthy? 

However, protein is like other macronutrients in that your age, activity level and lifestyle dictate your optimum levels of intake, both upper and lower. 

And, there is a limit to how much protein per day you should be consuming, since prolonged overconsumption can have some negative health ramifications. 

The Downside of Too Much Protein

When it comes to protein, the typical consensus is that more is better which, to a degree, may be correct--especially for those performing weight-bearing or high-intensity exercise. 

However, even though the standard American diet (SAD) under-delivers on most important nutrients, protein is not one of them. In fact, nearly 60% of our population consumes protein at or above the RDA, making it one of the most consistently-consumed macronutrients in the SAD.

However, this doesn’t mean that government data is the best determining factor in your protein consumption, nor does it mean that eating too much protein is good for you. 

This is because protein isn’t like a water-soluble vitamin such as vitamin C or B in that you can consume all you want, and any excess will merely wash on through you. Remember too that protein contains calories, which means any excess will be stored as fat. 

Protein also contains amino acids and nitrogen which your body needs to rid of through urination. And, while there are no current studies showing that this can damage healthy kidneys, there is evidence that it can be a concern for those with renal disease

There are also other negative symptoms of too much protein, such as:

  • Indigestion
  • Dehydration without thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and lack of focus
  • Headaches

This is in addition to the increased risk of:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Liver and kidney injuries
  • Type II diabetes

So no, going completely willy-nilly on your protein consumption is NOT recommended, which means you need to figure out just how much protein is good for your particular needs. 

How Much Protein Should I Eat?

Before determining how much protein per day you need, you first need to go over a few determining factors. These include:

  • Your level of activity 
  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your current weight and health conditions
  • Your dieting goals, such as to gain muscle or to lose weight

For most of us of average BMI and activity level who are younger than 70, the recommendation is for .06 grams per pound of bodyweight per day. No, this is not an exact formula for everyone since body compositions and such things as the size of a person also plays in. 

However, as a general rule, this is a good guideline. True, those of us with naturally large muscle mass, men, pregnant women and athletes likely need more than this, although it is rare for all but the most massive of powerlifters to need more than a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. 

How do I get the Right Amount of Protein each Day?

Of course, when it comes to eating right and ensuring you get enough protein in your diet without overdoing it, the last thing you need is for it to feel like taking on a second job. 

After all, your first job has you busy enough, and why take the joy out of eating?

Instead, EatRiteFoods not only provides you with the convenience of fresh, nutritious, great-tasting food delivered right to your home or office, we also know the answer to the question, “How much protein do I need?”

In fact, in addition to making the tastiest, most nutritionally balanced foods possible, we are also athletes who understand the importance of a healthy diet. 

And, we let you know just how much protein, carbohydrates, fat and calories are in each meal so that there is no guesswork involved for you. 

So rather than relying on the convenience of packaged foods--a SAD endeavor to say the least--why not get the same convenience in real, great tasting and nutritionally balanced food? 

That way, meeting your daily protein needs is as easy as…..ordering and enjoying!

Bon appetit.

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1 Delaware Rd. Kenmore NY, 14217
1785 Military Rd. Niagara Falls NY, 14304

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