How Much Protein do we Need?

Remember protein is only used for building your body if you have a healthy diet. Protein is not needed as an energy source and should not be treated as one. That being said the question of how much protein you should eat is not really that easy to answer.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, athletes need between 1.2 and 2 grams per kilogram of body weight each day.  Okay, that tells you nothing. I mean how many of us really know how much we weigh in Kilograms? (I know kg are mass and Newtons are weight but lets not get technical.) You can take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2 and find out or use an online protein calculator, or I can make it easy for you by doing the math for you. If you are an elite athlete you need 0.9 grams of protein per pound you weigh, but if you are an elite athlete then you probably have a dietitian. Where does that leave the rest of us?

Most normal people either should calculate 0.35g per pound if you are under age 50 and 0.45g per pound if you are over 50. That’s about 80g for a 175 pound person.

The other way to calculate protein intake is 10%-35% of your daily calories. For a 2000 calorie diet that would be 200-700 calories of protein or 50-175g of protein.

I know most of you love math less than I do so let’s make this simple. If you are an average person eat about 90g of protein each day. Make sure to break it down throughout the day. It is very important to get protein in your breakfast. My recommendation is 30g breakfast, 30g lunch, 30g dinner. If you are going to eat more at dinner you can skip some at lunch but the breakfast 30 is important. If you are aiming toward the high end of the protein recommendations you could go up to 150g and divide it 50,50,50 if you like: however, be aware that high protein consumption can cause bone loss. (1)



Massey, Linda, and Susan Whiting. “Excess Dietary Protein and Bone Health.” Nutritional Aspects of Bone Health (n.d.): 213-28. Web