How Much Protein Do I Need?


Protein is one of the most important elements of any meal, and consists of nutrients from animal sources, such as for instance chicken, meat, and eggs. Protein is critical as it takes part in every key function of the body.

Even though it is vital in the daily diet, additional protein cannot really help develop more muscle nor will it make the body any stronger. In fact, if we consume too much, we are very likely ingesting fat and calories which our bodies don’t really need.

However, one of the facts regarding protein is that it seems we don’t need as much of it as we are consuming.

How Much Of This Nutrient Is Adequate?

Adults are usually urged to obtain from 10 to over 30 percent of their everyday calories from proteins. To be more precise, women need some 45 grams of this nutrient and men require 56 grams.

This roughly would be these quantities of foods, containing a certain amount of protein:

  • A piece of meat with approximately 3 ounces – 21 grams
  • Eight ounces of yogurt in a container – 11 grams
  • A milk cup – 8 grams
  • One cup of beans – 16 grams

Which Groups Of People Have Special Protein Requirements?

There are in total 6 groups which require more attention paid to their protein requirements:

  • Expecting mothers and women who are nursing. It seems that pregnant women require about 10 extra protein grams than before the pregnancy, while women who are nursing require 20 grams more protein per day to boost milk production. This can be obtained by a Greek yogurt or half a cup of cottage cheese. Dairy products which are low in fat are encouraged as vitamin D and of course, calcium are essential for healthy bones of both the mother and the baby.
  • People who are dieting. The point of a diet is usually losing body fat but at the same time maintaining lean muscle mass, which protein can aid, as protein foods are more satiating and can delay hunger.
  • Sportspeople. Most sports activities include the physical breakdown of muscles and their repair after that and thus the protein requirements of athletes depend on the frequency, length and concentration of the workouts. For instance, endurance athletes like marathon runners require 50 percent additional protein than those not in sports.
  • VegetariansIt is important to know which protein foods exist in the diet. As long as vegetarians are consuming a range of nourishing foodstuffs, they will be able to obtain the best quantity of protein from sources which are not meat.
  • Vegans. People who do not ingest any animal products at all consume only whole grains, dried peas and beans, as well as seeds and nuts. They can also satisfy their protein needs, although it takes thorough plotting and might require a greater quantity of food.

What Are The Best Food Sources?

Lean animal sources are red meat, fish, poultry without skin, and non-fat or low-fat dairy products. Also, soy foods, such as tofu, roasted soy nuts, as well as meat substitutes.

How Not To Take In Too Much Protein?

It has been suggested that protein servings of for instance chicken, meat, or fish, ought to be the size and thickness of the palm of the hand – which is approximately a 3-ounce portion. Or, in other words, it is not recommended that any kind of protein foods take up any more than a third of the plate at meals, be this in a drinkable or chewable form. What is also recommended is to include smaller quantities of protein foods at every meal in order to spread the recommended intake consistently throughout the day.



  1. If you consume, let’s say 3000 calories per day, they have t come from somewhere, right? This actually means that you get up to 30% of proteins. I think that if you weigh 190 lbs then you have to take in 190 grams of proteins. If you do the math, you will see that you already get that amount from food.

  2. I have been weight lifting a few weeks ago and I don’t feel well mainly because I don’t get enough proteins. My current weight is 210 pounds. Height 5’7″. I want to lose some weight and tone my body. I usually drink Soy protein shakes. I wanted to ask how much protein do I need to take every day. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

  3. There is one thing you have to know – when you eat carbs together with proteins, the absorption of carbs slows down. As a result your blood sugar won’t go high. This is why I always combine carbs with proteins. It helps me feel fuller for a longer period of time. So, I would like to suggest everyone to try this combination if they want to avoid feeling light headed and tired.

  4. If you consume around 2000 calories a day, then it is not a big problem to take in 10 to 30% of proteins. However, most athletes take much more than 2000 calories per day and in that case it is really difficult to get enough proteins from food. To make things even worse, some of them are vegetarians. What really helps them are protein powders. Having a protein shake every day fulfills their protein requirements and there is no need to consume too much food.

  5. One of the oldest myths present today is that it is not necessary to combine legumes and grains to “complete” proteins. However, I have never tried quinoa. For example, today I ate chicken breasts. I simply felt that way. My body needed that. I also like black beans or brown rice. However, I don’t eat these to complete proteins. I eat this because I like it. I have had problems with high blood pressure before and to be honest nothing has changed although I am a vegetarian for the last 3 months. But the good thing is that I feel lighter and I am not tired anymore.

  6. I avoid eating meat and dairy products. I actually eat them when I have to. So I basically feed on salads, oatmeal, beans, vegetables, soups and similar. I don’t pay too much attention to what I eat. A friend recently asked me in what way do I obtain proteins. I haven’t thought about it really, mainly because I eat eggs almost every day. Should I be worried?

  7. For a grownup man almost 15% of calories consumed during the day have to come from proteins. The percentage is a bit higher in children because they need more proteins because they grow and develop. Accordingly, I believe that athletes need more proteins because of their life style. Taking excessive amounts of proteins can be damaging for the kidneys. So if you eat lots of dairy products and eggs you don’t need to worry about your protein quantities. You definitely get enough proteins. However, if you are a vegan, you have to take care of the amount of proteins you take in daily because the foods you normally eat is very low in proteins.

    If you have to choose between real food and protein supplements, the best option is definitely real food. It has been proven for many times, especially by professionals. However, it is always better to take any kind of protein than not taking proteins at all.

    Probably the best source of proteins which has 0% of fats is the egg white. A good thing when making scrambled eggs is to use one egg yolk and a few egg whites. It will taste better and plus the yolk is full of vitamins and good cholesterol. You can also use tofu, quinoa and others.

  8. I wanted to say that neither animal nor vegetable proteins can be obtained in the isolated form naturally. Hard cheese is probable the best option here. The protein powders available today are made from rice and eggs mainly, with the help of chemical treatments and mechanical processing of the ingredients. The actual processes make me worry about it because they can ruin the protein structure.

    As far as I know, there are no studies performed on people ingesting large quantities of protein isolates. Both bodybuilders and athletes use these products for a very long time and I would like to see what would be the side effects of excessive protein consumption for a longer period of time.

  9. Most of the protein powders you have mentioned don’t have the products you need and are actually a derivation from soya beans, rice, eggs, milk or whey. I usually have a protein shake in the morning since I need some extra proteins because of my eating habits and my efforts to build some muscles. If you are a vegetarian like me, you will have to put some great efforts to get enough proteins from food without eating too much calories.

  10. How much proteins you need depends greatly on your way of life. Athletes need more proteins, while those leading a sedentary lifestyle need much less. You have to take care of your diet to avoid deficiencies. Proteins are really important for your health, but you also need vitamins and minerals.

  11. Our body doesn’t need high protein amounts to function properly. You can get enough proteins if you eat grains and beans, eggs and milk. To get enough proteins you basically have to consume whole, non-processed foods, and you will feel much better. Just take care to get enough proteins, just a little above the recommended daily amount.

  12. When I became a vegetarian I added lots of weight mainly because my diet was containing mainly carbs and grains. I had to make my diet balanced and thanks to that I haven’t experienced any type of deficiency for all these years. But, in case I had some health problem caused by the lack of proteins I would consult my dietitian.

  13. I am a vegetarian for a very long time and I don’t pay too much attention to the amount of proteins I take in. However, I really try to have them in every meal (nuts and legumes mostly). It is important to consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and grains. Also, try to have some real proteins. Don’t just take proteins in the form of protein powder. Nothing can replace real food. Try to keep your diet healthy and balanced.

  14. My total calorie intake per day is 1600. I normally get 80 gr of carbohydrates from fruit and vegetables, 130 gr of proteins, 100 gr of fats per day. It is great for me and I have to say that I am very healthy now. The most important thing here is to take 35% of your total calorie intake from proteins.

  15. I wanted to ask now many proteins a day do vegetarians need? I am a vegetarian, and I take 25grams of protein powder a day, so I am not quite sure if that is enough. I also take multi vitamins and I go to the gym twice a week. Can you give me some tips? Thanks in advance.

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