How Much Protein Should We Eat?

We even learned what carbohydrates, proteins and fats are. But today we are going to focus a little bit more on proteins, shall we? 

How Much Protein Should We Eat?

The daily recommendation is 0.8g per kg of body weight  (PHILLIPS, 2012), but this number is based only on preventing disabilities and disease. Therefore, eating only this amount will not necessarily be effective for hypertrophy (lean mass gain) or recovery after intense physical activity.

Protein works as Lego blocks, it is used not only to build muscle mass, tendons, organs, skin, as well as in the synthesis of hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes and various molecules that have important functions in our body.

For athletes, bodybuilders and crossfitters, who are interested in increasing muscle mass and performance, some studies show that an intake of more than 1.8g / kg is wasteful, others suggest that something around 2.2g / kg is ideal.

While there is no exact number for how much each of us should ingest, 2g / kg remains a great goal for anyone who is active or aiming to increase muscle mass.

For individuals interested in fat loss, a greater amount of protein, around 3g / kg seems to be effective due to the thermogenic effect caused by protein digestion, increased satiety and greater availability of amino acids needed to avoid muscle catabolism during caloric intake restriction. (WEIGLE et al., 2005)

And regarding to what you may have heard about the risks of overeating protein, literature shows evidence that protein restriction is only helpful when individuals are already dealing with pre-existing kidney disease, but there is no evidence that high protein intake is bad for our health (probably to our wallets, as any surplus goes down the toilet). (POORTMANS et al., 1999)

Below you will find the average protein content of foods that you are probably using here and there. In order to compare how much there is in each item, we take as a base 150g (about 5oz) of each food:

150g chicken (the palm of your hand) 30g Protein

150g  steak 35g of Protein

150g egg white 125g Protein

150g tilapia 27g Protein

150g whey concentrate 120g Protein

Vegan Options:

150g beans 14g Protein

150g broccoli 5g Protein

150g quinoa 20g Protein

150g peanut butter 30g Protein

As a trainer, I do suggest that you focus not only on achieving your ideal protein intake as well as all the other nutrients intake, including carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is definitely a smart choice looking for a nutritionist to help you with your goals.

Keep Strong. And Eat Less Junk Food.