According to about.com, protein is described as the building blocks of the body; it’s the essential amino acids that combine in various ways to make muscles, bone, tendons, skin, hair, and other tissues. Definitely a very important part of your diet. But much discussion has been to find out exactly how much protein do you need, and what if you are an athlete, how much more should your intake be?

I was able to locate a few different formulas for calculating how much you need. Livestrong recommends at least 6-7 oz for the average population, and provides this calculation for athletes  – divide your current weight by 2.2, multiply that number by 1.4, the number you come up with is the number of grams of protein you should consume. So if you weighed 130 lbs, the recommendation is 82.7 gms of protein daily. But on another site, Rice.edu I get a totally different figure. They state to figure out your needs, simply multiply your weight in pounds by one of the following:

    • Sedentary adult 0.4
    • Active adult 0.4-0.6
    • Growing athlete 0.6-0.9
    • Adult building muscle mass 0.6-0.9

Using these calculations, for an very active adult, at 130 lbs, the recommended amount using .6, it recommends 78 gms. Not too far off from the other formula.  Lastly, about.com recommends the following

  • The average adult needs 0.8 grams per kilogram (2.2lbs) of body weight per day.
  • Strength training athletes need about 1.4 to 1.8 grams per kilogram (2.2lbs) of body weight per day
  • Endurance athletes need about 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram (2.2lbs) of body weight per day

Using their calculations, I get a significantly higher amount for an average 130 lb adult, at 104 gms. So mainly, it’s a bunch of trial and error until you find the right amount that works for you.

Now that we had an idea of how much protein we need, we need to figure out where to get our protein from. Luckily, there are a multitude of sources, satisfying all kinds of eaters.  Here’s a guideline that you can follow from rice.edu of different sources:

  • Meat, poultry and fish 7 grams per ounce *
  • Beans, dried peas, lentils 7 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
  • One large egg 7 grams
  • Milk 8 grams per cup
  • Bread 4 grams per slice
  • Cereal 4 grams per 1/2 cup
  • Vegetables 2 grams per 1/2 cup