How Much Protein To Take

When to introduce proteins is a big dilemma for those who go to the gym: before training, does it affect weight loss? Afterward, is it better this way to block workout-induced catabolism? And during? These questions make sense and will be answered in the article, but they are still secondary questions compared to “How much protein a day should you take?”. The daily protein requirement has primary importance compared to the timing: once you have established “how much” and “how” to reach it, you can add the detail of the “when” (e.g., protein before going to sleep ).

How Much Protein To Take Per Day

From a systemic point of view, the ideal daily amount of protein for any subject varies in a range that goes from 0.8 g/kg of body weight up to 3 g/kg. As you can see, the range is quite wide. To understand what is yours, you need to do skimming based, above all, on the activity you carry out and your goal. Athletes normally have a higher protein requirement than sedentary people, and the range narrows between 1.5 g/kg and 3 g/kg body weight. Thus, a 70 kg subject could consume 105 to 210 g of protein daily.

How Many Grams Of Protein To Consume Per Body Weight

All the weights you find in this article and nutrition texts refer to the grams of protein to be taken about the total body weight and not, as one might expect, based on the lean mass, since amino acids interact primarily with muscle mass. Reference is made to body weight mainly for a practical reason: Body weight is easily measurable by everyone, rather than going to investigate how much weight corresponds to fat mass and how much lean mass, which can be known through body composition measurements but still with a certain percentage of error.

How Much Protein Should A Girl Take?

The basic intake level for a sedentary girl corresponds to 0.8 g of protein/kg of body weight, a value that can also be increased up to 1.8 g/kg in the case of an active woman in a mass loss phase (a slightly lower value than that recommended for humans). In general, in adolescents, pregnant women, and the elderly, the baseline value is slightly higher: in the first two cases as they are growing organisms. In the third case, due to menopause which physiologically leads to a deterioration of the tissue bone, limited thanks to a protein diet.

How Much Protein Should A Man Take?

Generally, the RDA is always 0.8 g protein/kg body, which is considered more valuable to stay within the undisputed reference point. Even for non-athletes, a slight increase in this minimum quota is advisable, given that the technique usually used to calculate the nitrogen balance systematically underestimates the need for protein. 

You can therefore consider a daily intake of 1.2-1.3 g/kg to be modified for weight loss, maintenance, or weight gain. Men normally have a greater requirement than women. Therefore, in the various ranges indicated in the article, the highest values ​​​​correspond (always in general terms!) to those of men. There are a few cases in which it is necessary to resort to a high protein diet (pathological cases).

How Much Protein To Take To Lose Weight?

During slimming, the protein quota corresponds to 1.5-2 g protein/kg body weight/day: the higher the caloric restriction, the better it is to move towards the higher end of the protein range. This guarantees:

  1. Satiety
  2. Maintenance of lean mass and limitation of protein break-down

Once the calories deriving from proteins have been established, identify those from fats and carbohydrates and then distribute them throughout the day and week. Especially for athletes, it is better to set a moderate energy restriction (300-500 kcal) to have a sufficient carbohydrate intake to support the rhythms of training and not have repercussions on health and performance due to an excessive deficit.

How Much Protein To Take In The Definition Phase?

In a period of definition, the caloric input will be low, and it is necessary to create an energy deficit to lose fat and lose weight, but this will also put lean body mass at risk. The body could consider the muscle tissue “useless” in the face of the alarm situation in which it finds itself and “sacrifices” it for energy purposes. To prevent this problem, you need to take two actions:

  1. Training: Training gives a clear signal to the body that muscle tissue is NOT useless.
  2. Increase the proteins to be taken: proteins have strong anabolic power. They give input in terms of activation and maintenance of photosynthesis. This also results in an anti-catabolic power.

It is, therefore, logical that the range of proteins to be taken in a definition period tends to be higher: a quantity that goes from 2.2 g/kg of body weight up to 3 g/kg of body weight – for this purpose, it is useful to resort to the consumption of lean proteins.

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