Protein is one of the 3 macro nutrients that we get from the food we eat. Macros are building blocks of nutrition and protein is a big part of that. How much protein you need in a typical day depends upon a lot of factors such as your health, body composition, activity level, goal, etc.
The US RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for protein for a healthy individual is 0.8 grams / Kg body weight. But, this is the recommended allowance and not the ideal amount that you should be taking. Simply stated, this is the minimum amount that is suggested in order for the body to function properly & stay healthy.
Let’s dive deeper and see how much protein do you actually need in a day.
Optimal Daily Protein Intake
- If you are a sedentary individual, aim for at least 1.2 grams / Kg body weight in a day. Also note that your body composition will greatly improve if you add a little physical activity involving resistance training along with hitting you protein target for the day.
- If you are an active individual looking to lose weight, aim for 1.6 – 2.4 grams / Kg body weight in a day. Our protein intake increases when we’re trying to lose weight in order to avoid muscle loss. When the body is in the weight loss mode, we want to make sure that we’re losing the weight through fat & not muscle. Protein helps in protecting the muscle mass. Hence, it is suggested to aim for a minimum of 1.6 grams / Kg body weight.
- If you are an active individual looking to gain weight, aim for 1.4 – 2.2 grams / Kg body weight in a day. When the body is in the gaining mode, you will be putting on some muscle mass (Given the fact that you are incorporating resistance training in your fitness routine). Hence, anywhere between 1.4 – 2.2 grams / Kg body weight is suggested. Protein is the building block of muscle tissue. So make sure to complete your protein target for the day.
- If you are an active individual looking to maintain your weight, aim for anywhere between 1.4 – 1.6 grams / Kg body weight.
There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to protein intake for the day. Depending upon your current lifestyle & your goal, pick a starting point from the range given above & see how it goes for a while.