When I first wanted to know how much this daily recommended protein amount in my case, I ended up with two different stories: My doctor’s and the bodybuilders’.
My doctors says “this is BS and dangerous! You will damage your kidneys. Forget it! Period! Do some Yoga”.
On the flip side, bodybuilders of my gym, I mean the Superhero ones, you know, those who don’t even fit the machines anymore, they would go “Man, if you want to hit 220lbs (100kg) at the bench, you’d better start eating two chickens a day. Myself I do all kinds of powder…”.
I knew they were in their matrix, praising whatever fits their conviction. But I was wondering is how much is a good amount for me and my goal! And even is protein?
Daily recommended protein intakes, ok! But what is protein?
Protein is a source of energy
Protein is basically a macro-nutrient as are fat and carbs. Protein can be transformed into energy. And, as such, it will deliver 4 Cal every 1 gram. So, that is why a protein-only diet is possible, because in such case, protein act as a substitute of carbs.
Protein is a material
Protein is a molecule group that breaks down to amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks that make up every tissue in the body, including muscle.
If you don’t provide your body with enough amino acids – notably the essential ones, meaning those the body can’t create itself – through your diet, your body won’t have what it needs to maintain health and support the maintenance of bone and muscle tissue, among other things.
Cell synthesis or renewal of any kind of tissue. So, in other words, protein is involved in the structure of a whole lot of tissues like:
- Muscle composed of proteins called actin, myosin and myoglobin.
- Hair, nails, skin made of a protein called keratin.
- Bones composed of proteins called osteopontin, osteonectin and osteocalcin.
- Tendons composed of a protein called collagen.
- Red blood cells composed of a protein called hemoglobin.
- Plasma composed of proteins called lipoproteins and albumin.
So, as you can read, the organism uses protein in many different ways. Then, let’s have a glance at how protein works for our muscles.
How does protein work?
Unlike fat and carbohydrate, the human body cannot store extra protein for use later. Even worse, the organism can not generate some of the amino acids that make up body proteins.
To make available all the essential amino acids the body needs each day, It must continually be supplied through the diet.
Protein synthesis is the process of assembling amino acids and building tissues, like muscle. It’s kind of like using bricks to build a wall, with bricks being the “amino acids” and the wall being “the protein”.
At the same time as the body is building up proteins and tissues, it also breaks them down.
When the rate of protein synthesis is greater than protein breakdown, the body produces a net increase in lean body mass; this is the anabolism.
When protein breakdown exceeds synthesis, the body loses lean body mass; this is catabolism.
This whole process combining anabolism and catabolism is called metabolism.
Ok, so, now that we have the fundamentals of protein, let’s take at what what the officials say about the recommended daily protein intakes.
How much protein are recommended daily?
The recommended daily protein intakes depend on multiple factors such as:
- the nature of the protein (animal / plant),
- the level of intestinal and then cell absorption of the type of protein you eat,
- if those protein foods you swallow contain all the amino acids required and in good proportion.
Some other factors also have to be taken into account. Indeed, they may interfere with the level absorption of the protein. They are factors like:
- the presence / absence of fibers.
- the oil in fried food.
Then, depending on a lot of physiological factors, the needs in protein differ. Just down below a big picture of what your daily protein intakes may look like regarding some of those physiological factors:
- Healthy adults: 0.83g / kg / day as to maintain a basic metabolism healthy.
- Pregnant women (yeah, pregnancy does not prevent working out, you actually can keep training!): 0.82 to 1g / kg / day.
- Seniors: 1g / kg / day.
- Teen: 0.8 to 0.9g / Kg / day. Yeah, it’s a little more than adult cause, don’t forget, teens are in full puberty-related growth.
For an athlete:
- doing endurance sports: 1.2 to 1.4g / Kg / day.
- doing force sports:
- 1.3 to 1.5 g / kg / day to maintain lean mass.
- 2 to 2.5g / kg / day – not exceeding 6 months – to gain lean body mass.
There are two main sources of protein:
- Food of animal origin: milk and its derivatives, meat, fish and equivalents.
- Food of plant origin: cereals and derivatives, pulses.
In a nutshell
Daily Protein intakes for mass gain
- Ectomorph - Body weight X 2.2 – 2.5 grams
- Mesomorph - Body weight X 2 – 2.2 grams
- Endomorph - Body weight X 1.8 – 2 grams
Daily Protein intakes for weight loss
- Ectomorph - Body weight X 1.6 – 1.8 grams
- Mesomorph - Body weight X 1.4 – 1.6 grams
- Endomorph - Body weight X 1.2 – 1.4 grams
Top 5 Protein Foods:
I’ve ranked those protein foods based on the Biological value (BV) – meaning the closer to 100, the more complete they are in terms of amino acids – and protein proportion in the food in question.
You want vary proteins sources as well:
For the vegans out there, here’s a list meat and fish alternatives:
Both my doctor and the Bodybuilders of my gym were right, in a sense. Too much protein is pointless as the body can’t store them. So, the only thing you would eating too much of it is fatigue your kidneys which may potentially lead to kidney disease.
But not eating enough protein either won’t give you the right amount of material to build more muscle. So, you have to find the right balance.
I would say start on the low end of the spectrum, and if you feel like after two days, the muscles you worked two days prior haven’t recovered yet, then you should think of increasing the quantity of protein you take in.
If you want a in-depth analysis of daily recommended intakes, read this article by examine.com: “How much protein do you need per day“
Hope it helps, if you have any question feel free to ask in the comment section down below. Don’t forget to follow me on socials!