You’ve probably heard it before, proteins are the building blocks of life. They’re made up of amino acids that are crucial to your body’s functioning. Protein helps worn out cells, transports various substances throughout the body and assists in growth and repair. Depending on your needs, your protein intake varies. For example, a pregnant woman has different needs than a bodybuilder. Also, depending on your fitness goals, from weight loss to muscle building, your protein intake changes. But how much protein do you really need and how much protein is too much?
Minimum protein Intake
The Institute of Medicine suggests that adult women need 46 grams, men require 56 grams, and pregnant women need 71 grams of protein daily. These amounts are considered protein recommended dietary allowances, or RDAs, and should be treated as minimum requirements. These numbers help ensure that you’re not protein deficient, however they’re not necessarily optimal.
Protein for weight loss
Protein is often effective for weight loss because it boosts satiety, making it easier to cut calories. To shed pounds, aim to eat 500 to 1,000 fewer calories than you normally eat in a day. The Institute of Medicine says it’s okay to consume up to 35 percent of your calories from protein. This means you can eat up to 105 grams of protein if you’re following a 1,200-calorie weight-loss plan, and as many as 140 grams of protein for a 1,600-calorie plan. One scoop of BPI Sports' ISO HD™ contains a whopping 25 grams of protein, but just 130 calories, which can help you shed pounds fast. ISO HD™ is an ultra pure protein formula made up of rapidly digesting 100% whey isolates and hydrolysates. It’s high in calcium, low in sodium and ideal for lean muscle growth and muscle recovery. ISO HD™ comes in delicious flavors from chocolate brownie, to S’mores, to Cookies and Cream and more
Protein for Athletes
Athletes need extra protein to build and maintain lean body mass. The position stand of the International Society of Sports Nutrition is that getting 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram (0.64 to 0.91 grams of protein per pound) of body weight daily is safe and can improve training. This equates to 128 to 182 grams of protein for a 200-pound athlete. A review published in 2015 in Sports Medicine found that male bodybuilders typically consume 1.9 to 4.3 grams of protein per kilogram (0.86 to 1.95 grams per pound) each day.
How much protein is too much protein?
Getting extra protein is often beneficial, but more is not always better. Excess protein takes a toll in your kidneys and can cause nausea or diarrhea, according to a 2014 issue of Today’s Dietitian. No tolerable upper intake has been set for protein, making it difficult to know how much is too much. Today’s Dietitian suggests that 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram (1.14 grams per pound) appears to be a maximum safe amount. However, a 2015 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that weightlifters effectively burned body fat, without negative side effects, by eating 3.4 grams of protein per kilogram (1.5 grams per pound) of body weight.