How Much Protein Should I Eat?

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Ever asked yourself the question 'how much protein should I eat?'

A lot of us are concerned with this question because the basic building blocks of protein, amino acids, play important functional roles in the human body, including tissue growth - e.g. muscle building!

The general population consumes more than enough protein from their diet, given an adequate intake of overall energy (i.e. calories / kilojoules) - which shouldn't be an issue given the overwhleming rates of overweight and obesity in the world. Even athletes, both recreational and competitive, who require slightly higher amounts of protein than non-athletes (due to the added stress and demands placed on their bodies) are consuming adequate amounts of protein and energy.

This all sounds great, but 'how much protein should I eat?' The following table outlines the estimated protein requirements for athletes:

Group Protein Intake (grams/kilogram/day)
Sedentary men and women 0.80 - 1.00
Elite male endurance athletes 1.60
Moderate intensity endurance athletes (exercising approx. 4-5 times/week for 45-60 mins) 1.20
Recreational endurance athletes (exercising 4-5 times/week for 30 min) 0.80 - 1.00
Football, power sports 1.40 - 1.70
Resistance athletes (early training) 1.50 - 1.70
Resistance athletes (steady state) 1.00 - 1.20
Female athletes 10 - 20% lower than male athletes

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So, as an example, if I am not involved in sport and am quite sedentary (i.e. inactive), then my protein intake should be around 0.80 - 1.00 grams per kilogram per day. So, if I weighed 80 kilograms, that would be 64 - 80 grams of protein per day. If I was involved in football or power sports, then my protein intake should be about 1.40 - 1.70 grams per kilogram per day. So again, if I weighed 80 kilograms, that would be about 112 - 136 grams of protein per kilogram per day.

If you consider that a 95-gram can of tuna (costing about $1) contains about 20 grams of protein in it, meeting these protein recommendations, to me, doesn't seem difficult. Type and timing of protein intake however, is another story, and something to talk about next time.

So, hopefully that has answered the question "how much protein should I eat?' If not, feel free to write a message below and I'd be more than happy to talk more about it.

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