How Much Protein is Enough?

Updated: Oct 7, 2019




According to the USDA, I (a 6'3", 195 pound 'Very Active' male) should get the following:


Carbohydrate: 436 - 630 grams

Protein: 71 grams

Fat: 86 - 151 grams

Water: 3.7 Liters (about 16 cups)


While I'm not mad at the 630 grams of carbs suggested, I think it may be a bit of overkill, and I know from personal experience that 70 grams of protein is going to make me feel like a flaccid, limp bag of protoplasm. I think they almost nailed the water intake. Good job USADA. Whups...USDA. Same thing? One tests for dope, one gives dopey nutrition advice.




Moving on:


"Elevated protein consumption, as high as 1.8-2.0 g · kg(-1) · day(-1) depending on the caloric deficit, may be advantageous in preventing lean mass losses during periods of energy restriction to promote fat loss."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22150425


That sounds closer to the truth for me. Around 150-175g of PRO a day and I recover well, move well and feel alive! If I slip and forget to keep intake up on a training day, I feel it. As I get older, more and more...



Which brings me to:


As we age, the habitual intake of high quality protein in servings of 25-30g at breakfast, lunch and dinner may delay sarcopenia, or the loss of muscle due to aging.

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/101/6/1339S/4564495


So, there it is.


Ingesting enough protein may prevent the onset of sarcopenia.

Simply stated: get enough to feel good. If you train hard 1.8 - 2g per kg of body weight is a safe bet. If you don't train hard, get a little less. As you age, keep getting it and maybe even more. If you train hard, get more to rebuild and recover.


Good sources of protein

Food - Protein (grams)

3 ounces tuna, salmon, haddock, or trout - 21

3 ounces cooked turkey or chicken - 19

6 ounces plain Greek yogurt - 17

½ cup cottage cheese - 14

½ cup cooked beans - 8

1 cup of milk - 8

1 cup cooked pasta - 8

¼ cup or 1 ounce of nuts (all types) - 7

1 egg - 6

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database, 2015