We all know the importance of eating protein. It’s an essential nutrient as it’s made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our tendons, muscles, blood vessels, skin, hair and nails. It also plays a significant role in the production of enzymes and hormones.
How much protein we need to consume per day in a healthy diet is a rather controversial subject at the moment as some people believe more is better. It’s become a hyper-focus part of our diet between athletes, and non-athletes.
But is more better? And is it possible to eat too much?
How Much Protein Do I need?
The recommended daily allowance for most people is about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This brings it to about 46 grams for women about 56 grams for men. Contrary to what most people think, bodybuilders don’t require that much more than the normal recommended amount.
If you’re worried about whether you’re getting enough protein in your diet don’t, as most people in America have no problem getting enough of this macronutrient.
In fact, research has shown that most Americans eat as much as 100 grams of protein per day, which is roughly around twice the recommended amount. Vegan or vegetarians can get to about 60 to 80 grams on a simple plant-based diet.
6 Animal Protein Sources
- Grass-fed beef contains 28 grams of protein per 4 oz. serving
- 1 Chicken breast contains 53 grams of protein
- Turkey breast contains 24 grams of protein per 85 grams
- 1 cup of Tuna contains 39 grams of protein
- Salmon contains 19 grams of protein per 85 grams
- Eggs contain 6.4 grams of protein per 1 large egg
6 Plant Protein Sources
- 1 cup of Quinoa contains 8 grams of protein
- 1 Tbsp. of Hemp Seeds contains 5.3 grams of protein
- ½ cup of oats contains 13 grams of protein
- Pumpkin seeds contain 5 grams of protein per 28 grams
- 1 cup of broccoli contains 6.8 grams of protein
- 1 cup of spinach contains .9 grams of protein
Eating Too Much
Depending on your activity level, consuming a large chicken in one single meal doesn’t mean that your body is going to absorb it all. In fact, research shows that overconsumption of protein can actually lead to weight-gain as the body stores the excess/unused into fat.
Very few people don’t get enough protein in their diet and are unaware of the long-term risks of consuming too much, such as kidney damage, elevated blood sugar, loss of bone minerals (etc.)
It’s best to just have a well-balanced diet adding small amounts of protein with each meal. I have put together incredible meal plans where your macros (protein, fat, carbs) are calculated for you according to your stats and your goals!