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How much protein do I need?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
Protein should comprise 10 to 20 percent of total caloric intake. On a 2000 calorie per day diet, this would be 50 to 100 grams. Eat more vegetable protein, especially from beans, soybeans and nuts, and eat less animal protein, with the exception of fish and reduced-fat dairy products. Recommended protein intake also depends upon your level of activity and may need to be increased if you exercise more.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

One in five people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or other functional bowel disorders. As a result, irritable bowel syndrome is the second leading cause of worker absenteeism. This...

It is recommended that your daily protein intake should be around 10% to 30% of your total daily calories. Protein is one of the three macronutrients that is required on a daily basis for proper body function and should be consumed at every meal, along with carbohydrates. Eating high-quality sources of protein that contain the full spectrum of amino acids have many health benefits. Amino acids (protein) help the body in the following way:

  • repairs body cells
  • build and repair muscles, bones, skin, nails and hair
  • support immune function
  • helps to develop and maintain organ function
  • aids in the control many of the important processes in the body related to metabolism.
Our protein needs depend on our age, size, and activity level. The standard method used by nutritionists to estimate our minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply the body weight in kilograms by .8, or weight in pounds by .37. This is the number of grams of protein that should be the daily minimum. According to this method, a person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should get 74 grams, and a 250-pound person should eat 92 grams.
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
Our protein needs vary based upon many factors such as age, gender, activity level, etc. In general, an adult woman needs ~46g protein/day and an adult man needs ~56g/day. 
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Here's how to calculate your daily protein needs. Assuming you are fairly active, bump up your basic protein requirement to 0.5 grams per pound. For a 150-pound person, that's 75 grams of protein a day.

Getting more protein than that will just be turned to fat and make you pee a lot. Consuming too much protein can stress your kidneys. Too much animal protein can lead to kidney stones, which are excruciating. Otherwise, serious problems are rare. But why risk them?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.