Everyone needs it. It’s not just meatheads.
*Insert Meathead Joke Here*
Okay okay, can we get serious please?
So, what is protein?
Well, proteins are the main building blocks of our body, and therefore our muscle.
They’re used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin.
But, that’s just me speaking, so let’s take a quote from some smarter people over at LiveScience (plus, I like their definition):
“Protein is a macronutrient that is essential to building muscle mass. It is commonly found in animal products, though is also present in other sources, such as nuts and legumes.”
And, while we’re speaking of our macro nutrients (being able to count them will help in the future), I’ll go ahead all let you know that the other macros are carbs and fats. Proteins and carbs are worth 4 calories per 1g and fats are worth 9.
Remember that for calorie counting purposes!
Alright, so protein sounds pretty important. I guess if I was..hm..trying to look like Ryan Reynolds, or Henry Cavill, or Dwayne Johnson or something, I should probably get a decent amount of them, eh?
Well, actually some sources say much different than others.
The Low-End of Recommended Daily Protein
WebMD tells us this:
Adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get 10% to 35% of their day’s calories from protein foods. That’s about 46 grams of protein for women, and 56 grams of protein for men.
And in regards to those numbers they say this:
Most Americans get more than enough protein each day, and may be getting too much of this nutrient from animal sources, like meat, poultry, and eggs.
Although important in the diet, extra protein will not help you build more muscle or make you stronger. When you’re consuming too much of it, you’re probably taking in more calories and fat than your body needs.
Which is drastically different than many other sources will tell you when it comes to lifting weights and working out.
This very well could be because the average adult in the U.S. isn’t automatically considering one that is going to be actively looking to gain muscle or strength.
The Opposing High-End of Recommended Daily Protein
Before we even hit the Bodybuilding.com spectrum of recommended daily protein intake, we’ll take a look at what Mens Fitness has to say:
If you’re aiming for the low end of what’s typically recommended which is .8 grams/kg of bodyweight. For a 180-pound guy that works out to a mere 66 grams of protein a day. Up that to 1 gram/kg (which is more in line with recommendations for fit guys) and you get about 82 grams of protein a day.
And they go on to speak of their protein study by saying:
That’s still not enough, according to the study. The data confirmed that higher protein diets help with weight-loss efforts, finding that subjects saw the best results with a diet of about 25% protein. They suggest 25-35 grams of protein per meal, which works out to 75-105 grams in a day—before any snacks.
I mean hell, if protein is going to not only help me gain muscle but also lose weight/fat…I’m with Arnold on this one!
RELATED: Cyclical Ketosis and Carb Reloading
Bodybuilding.com’s Input for MY Daily Protein Requirements
I figured we could have some fun here.
I obviously never hold back any stats from you guys, so I decided to go to Bodybuilding.com’s Daily Protein Intake Calculator and see what they told me.
SPOILER ALERT: The Results were HIGH!!!
Let’s take a look at two of my result pictures:
On this first one I put in all my stats and listed my goal as MUSCLE GAINZ….ROAR!
Bodybuilding.com told me that my recommended daily protein intake was 237 grams.
Don’t worry, it goes down…..a little….kinda…
Here’s the second pic when I chose “FatLoss” instead:
Okay, so same stats (for myself), including keeping myself at very active, the only thing that changed was my goal.
This time my daily protein intake is recommended at 213 grams!
Where do we stand on the spectrum? How much protein do you need each day?
As you can tell for yourself, the recommended amount of protein that you need each day is quite varied. This is for multiple reasons, and obviously every single person is going to be different.
Now, that being said, I’m not going to go on the low-end, but I’m also not on the crazy high-end either. I’m right there in that medium range (which I actually referred to as the high-end if you’re going by my headings).
For that reason, I recommend you intake .8-1g of protein per bodyweight each day.
Shoot for the stars, eh?
What does that number look like?
Well, let’s take a look at my own daily intake as an example (based on my recommendation).
I weigh 185 lbs., as you’ve seen in the above pictures.
.8g per day would leave us around 148 (but we’re going to round up to 150g) and 1g would be the obvious 185.
So, each day I need to have 150-185g of protein.
What foods have the most protein?
Well, the easy way would be to just tell you to look at the picture, but I’ll list out some of the obvious for you:
You can also consider utilizing things like cheese and milk, which are also high in protein, but beware of the dairy intake because often times a slight intolerance can lead to a world of trouble in the weight-loss category.
I personally love me some cottage cheese as well.
What’s your favorite protein dish?
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