How much protein do I need per day in my diet?

Cuánta proteína necesito al día en mi alimentación

Proteins are the nutrient with the greatest presence in your body and it is convenient that you know how much protein you should consume, since they are a fundamental part of your development and physical well-being.

Don't leave them aside, because they are an important component for the formation of your muscles, your brain and your vital organs. Additionally, it helps your immune system function properly.

I invite you to learn everything about proteins and why it is important that you include them in your diet every day.

What is protein?

It is one of the three main macronutrients that make up the foods you eat every day. The other two are fats and carbohydrates (I'll tell you about them later).

Protein itself is made up of amino acids, these are the building blocks of your body's proteins. They are like pieces that can be disassembled and reassembled in different ways.

Unlike extra fat, extra amino acids are not stored. And it is no secret that fat accumulates in various parts of your body.

Proteins are always used, recycled, and sometimes excreted.

If you don't get enough protein, your body will start plundering it from wherever it is to where you need it. Like for example your muscles.

Therefore, it is essential that you constantly replenish protein (you can eat it or drink it). But you must take into account how much protein you need to consume daily.

What are amino acids?

The protein in your food is made up of different basic components or amino acids.

Many people focus on the recommended daily amount of total protein, but don't think about how much of each amino acid they might need.

If your diet is not varied enough, you may be eating enough total protein, but not enough of a specific essential amino acid.

Every day, you need this amount of these essential amino acids:

Of course, you shouldn't spend hours in your kitchen carefully calibrating your intake of these amino acids. Simply eat a variety of protein-rich foods and let nature do the rest.

Indicator of amino acid oxidation (IAAO)

When you do not have enough of a particular essential amino acid, then all other amino acids, including the essential one, will be oxidized. That is, they will essentially be wasted rather than used to repair tissue.

It's like soccer: you can't play without the goalkeeper, even if everyone is a great player, they will have to be sitting on the bench.

But if you get enough of that particular amino acid, you won't see all that oxidation. Finally, you have the goalkeeper and the rest of the players on the field.

The IAAO method appears to be a very useful way to judge the metabolic availability of amino acids from different protein-containing foods and to determine total protein requirements for all types of people.

New testing techniques like IAAO are giving a more accurate idea of ​​protein usage, meaning you can tell how much protein you need.

Most likely, based on these recent findings, the RDA for protein will increase, meaning doctors may tell you to eat more of it.

Complete and incomplete proteins

In the past, scientists used to talk about "complete" and "incomplete" proteins.

If you were on a plant-based diet, meaning vegetarian or vegan, it was recommended that you eat an incomplete protein blend, meaning getting protein from a variety of plants.

Now you should know that this is not true.

As long as you eat a mix of different protein sources, you'll get all the amino acids you need. You don't need to do math to figure out how much protein you should consume at mealtime, just make sure you're getting all your amino acids.

That said, many plant-based sources are less protein dense than animal sources.

So if you choose not to eat animal products, you'll have to work a little harder to get more protein from a wide variety of plant sources to make up the difference and meet your protein needs.

Vegetable proteins vs. animal proteins

Every day it seems like where you get your protein has a big impact on your health.

Vegetable proteins vs animal proteins

If you love eating meat, don't worry, just add a little more plant protein to your diet. Remember, diversity is good.

Protein quality matters

Most people think about how much protein they need, but don't think much about the quality of the protein they consume.

There are enormous differences in the chemical composition of a given protein source and its nutritional value.

The higher the quality, the more easily you can give your body the amino acids it needs to grow, repair and maintain your body.

The two big factors that make a protein high or low quality are:

  • Digestibility: How easy is it to digest? How much do you digest, absorb and use?
  • Amino acid composition: What amino acids is it composed of?

Amino acid composition is more important than digestibility.

A high-quality protein has a good ratio of essential amino acids and allows your body to use them effectively.

You can have a lot more protein than you need, but if the protein you're eating is low in an important amino acid, known as a limiting amino acid, it stops everything else from working or at least slows it down.

High-quality proteins have more limiting amino acids, which means your body can better utilize that protein source.

Protein sources

A new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looks not only at protein intake, but also where people get their protein.

More than 131,000 people were asked how much protein they ate; and if it came from animals or plants.

It turned out that eating more animal protein was associated with a higher risk of death. And if he was also having bad habits like the ones I will mention below, it would be a super risk factor:

  • Smoke.
  • Being overweight.
  • Don't exercise.
  • Drink alcohol.
  • Have a history of high blood pressure.
  • Low intake of whole grains, fiber, fruits and vegetables.

On the contrary, eating more plant protein was found to be associated with a lower risk of premature death.

What does this mean?

At first glance, you might think that you should eat less animal protein, since this study seems to say that animal protein is bad for you.

But this research does not take into account the gigantic difference that exists in the animals' diet:

animal feeding

For this reason, it is really important that you know the source of where the protein comes from and how it is manipulated.

And if you are leading a healthy and active lifestyle, you can consume animal protein, without any problem, just make sure it is of good quality.

Why do you need to consume protein?

Protein is so important that without it you could cease to exist or suffer serious malnutrition.

Everything that is made primarily of protein in your body:

  • Your enzymes and cellular transporters.
  • The carriers of your blood.
  • The scaffolds and structures of your cells.
  • One hundred percent of your hair and nails.
  • Much of your muscles, bones and internal organs.
  • Many hormones.

Therefore, protein enables most of your body's functions. Simply put, you're basically a bunch of protein. Without protein, you are not you.

It is extremely important that you know how much protein your body needs, because if you have a deficiency you run the risk of having this disease:

  • Kwashiorkor: It is a disease caused by a lack of protein in the body and is often seen in people who have suffered from famine or who live on a low-protein diet.

How much protein should I consume?

Short answer for how much daily recommended protein you should eat : it depends.

You should know the right amount of protein you need if you want to lose fat, or gain muscle, or if you want to be in good health.

A 150 lb (68 kg) person would need approximately 54 grams of protein per day.
A 200 lb (91 kg) person would need about 73 grams of protein per day.

These are the recommended daily amounts of protein:

The daily recommended protein is 0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lb); The more you weigh, the more protein you need.

That generally equates to about 10% of your daily calories coming from protein.

The recommended daily amount to survive may be different from what you need to thrive. You should consider:

  • How many calories do you eat or need.
  • Carbohydrate intake.
  • When you eat the protein.
  • Your biological sex.
  • Age.
  • How active are you?
  • What activities do you do.
  • How organic the various protein sources you consume are.

Could I eat MORE protein?

You need protein to grow, maintain and repair your tissues, your hormones and your immune system. But there are times when you need to consume more protein.

You may need more protein if:

You are physically active. Whether through training or your work.
You are injured or sick.
You don't absorb protein normally.
You are pregnant/breastfeeding.
You are younger and growing.
You're older and potentially losing lean mass.

Could I eat LESS protein?

It seems that restricting protein instead of calories is the key to longevity. Did you know that?

Protein is anabolic: it causes your body to grow more tissues and other body parts.

This is great if you want to build muscle. But there appears to be a downside: Eating protein causes the body to release and produce more IGF-1 . In some people, this reduces longevity.

But it's more complicated to say that eating less protein leads to less IGF-1.

In terms of quality of life and functional longevity, higher protein intake is probably even better.

There are people who eat less and can live longer, but probably not better.

Ultimately it's hard to decide if this is a good idea or not. Because despite all the interesting data, more research is needed to say with complete certainty.

What is a high protein diet like?

Many often assume that "high protein" means low carbohydrate. In fact, you can eat more protein without making drastic changes to your diet.

Many types of diets can be considered high in protein. "High protein" is a relative concept; there is no clear rule.

Up to 35% of total calories is a good protein ratio for healthy adults.

And most researchers would say that once you get more than 25% of your total calories from protein, you're in high-protein territory.

The upper tolerable limit (UL) tells you how much you can eat without having health problems. Currently, there is no established tolerable upper limit for protein.

But this doesn't mean you can eat as much protein as you want without side effects.

How much protein to eat? Calculate the daily maximum

About 35% of calories come from protein, and this is safe.

  • If you weigh 165 lb (74.8 kg) and are reasonably active, you need about 2,475 calories per day to maintain your weight.

So if you get 35% of your total energy intake from protein, you would consume approximately 866 calories from protein per day.

I'll make this easier for you: 1 gram of protein has 4 calories. So 866 calories is about 217 grams of protein per day.

That's about 1.3 g per pound or 2.9 g/kg of body weight.

The 3 main macronutrients

The first three macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. And there is a fourth macronutrient: alcohol.

Your body breaks down the macronutrients you eat into compounds that are used to help create energy, build body structures, create chemical reactions, and stimulate the release of hormones.

And this can affect how you feel, your performance and even your behavior.

When you track macros, there is no need to count calories directly. Instead, you record the number of grams of each macronutrient you consume each day.

Each macronutrient provides a certain amount of calories:

• 1 gram of protein = 4 calories.
• 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories.
• 1 gram of fat = 9 calories.
• 1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories.

Tracking all macros means you are automatically tracking all calories. And this way you make sure you know where those calories come from, whether from proteins, carbohydrates, fats or alcohol.

For example:

  • 30% of your calories from protein.
  • 40% of your calories from carbohydrates.
  • 30% of your calories from fat.

Your macronutrient ratio would then be: 30 cp /40 cc /30 cg

By adjusting your macronutrient ratio based on your age, gender, activity levels, goals, and preferences, you can optimize your eating plan.

If you're trying to lose weight, you may want to eat a higher proportion of protein, as it can help you feel fuller longer after meals. Or if you are a very active athlete, you may want a higher proportion of carbohydrates to meet your higher energy demands.

The easiest way to track your calories and macros

Will you wonder how you will do it? Well, very easy. With your hand. Yeah! It is the most accurate way to know how much protein, vegetables, carbohydrates and fats you can consume.

This system allows you to use your own hand as a tool for more personalized portions.

You're not actually measuring your food, but rather using your hand to measure the portion size. It is very effective for tracking food because your hand is proportionate to your body, its size never changes and it is always with you.

That's how it works:

• Your palm determines your protein servings.
• Your fist determines your portions of vegetables.
• Your cupped hand determines your carbohydrate servings.
• Your thumb determines your fat portions.

Is it really effective to take portions by hand?

I know this question is ringing in your head. And the answer is that you don't have to worry.

It is 95% proven that taking portions by hand is more accurate than carefully weighing, measuring and tracking how much protein you should consume.

Plus, it's easier and more practical for you. You need less effort and time involved.

Benefits of consuming protein

Protein to lose fat:

Eating protein helps you lose fat, for several reasons:

  1. When you eat more protein, you tend to feel fuller for longer.

Protein stimulates the release of satiety hormones in the intestine. So when you eat protein, you naturally tend to eat less, without feeling hungry.

  1. Protein makes your body work to digest it.

Not all nutrients require the same energy to be digested. Fats and carbohydrates are fairly easy for your body to digest and absorb, but proteins require more energy to digest and absorb.

  1. Protein also helps you maintain lean mass while losing fat.

When you have a significant energy deficit, that is, you eat less than you burn. Your body tries to get rid of everything (fat, muscle, bones, hormones, etc.), in the amount it needs. It does not tend to only eliminate fat and preserve muscle, unless you eat a lot of protein.

For all that and more, our super protein for weight loss that tastes too good Fit & Slim will help you with your goal of achieving a firm and lean body.

Protein to build muscle:

The more protein there is in your muscles, the bigger and stronger they can become.

There has long been an "anabolic window" after a workout (24 - 48 hours) during which the muscles are especially hungry for amino acids.

Therefore, if you want to build muscle, make sure you eat protein-rich foods a few hours after training.

But if you want to reach your goal faster, the Fit & Strong optimized protein is for you, because it has all the essential amino acids and BCAA's to build muscles for 7 hours straight.

Protein for aging:

As you age, you lose lean mass, both muscle and bone. This affects how long you live, as well as how functional and healthy your life is.

New research shows that a large number of older people, particularly women over 65, need more protein.

Protein for athletes:

Athletes and active people should eat more protein, but it's hard to know how much protein.

Current recommendations range from 1.2 to 2.2 g/kg body weight.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition says that a range of 1.4 - 2.0 g/kg is safe and can help you recover from exercise.

High protein diets can also improve:

  • Glucose regulation.
  • Cholesterol in blood.
  • Other indicators of cardio-metabolic health.

The questions that many ask about protein consumption

Does high protein cause kidney damage?

This concern about high protein and the kidneys began with a misunderstanding of why doctors tell people with poorly functioning kidneys (usually due to pre-existing kidney disease) to eat a low-protein diet.

But there's a big difference between avoiding protein because your kidneys are already damaged and protein actively damaging healthy kidneys.

Proteins have not yet been shown to cause kidney damage.

However, high protein diets result in an increase in metabolic wastes being excreted in the urine, so it is particularly important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Does high protein cause liver damage?

The liver, like the kidneys, is an important processing organ. So it's the same as with the kidneys: people with liver damage (such as cirrhosis) are told to eat less protein.

If you have liver damage or disease, you should eat less protein, but the safe amount for you should be determined by your doctor. But if your liver is healthy, then a high protein diet will not cause liver damage.

There is no evidence that high protein diets (2.2 g/kg body weight) cause liver damage in healthy adults.

Does high protein cause osteoporosis?

Eating more protein without also increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables will increase the amount of calcium you lose when you urinate.

That finding led some people to think that eating more protein will result in osteoporosis because you are losing bone calcium.

But there is no evidence that high protein causes this disease. In fact, it can prevent it.

If anything, not eating enough protein has been shown to cause bone loss. Bones are not just inert rods of minerals; A significant proportion of bone is also protein, mainly collagen-type proteins.

Women ages 55 to 92 who consume more protein have higher bone density. Therefore, eating more protein improves bone density in people at higher risk for osteoporosis.

And if you eat more protein and add resistance training, it's a double gain for your bone density.

Does high protein cause cancer?

Unfortunately, there are still no conclusive studies in humans on the cause of cancer and the role of proteins.

There are studies that asked people how much protein they consumed during their lifetime and then looked at how often people get cancer. Research shows a connection between protein intake and cancer rates.

But these studies do not prove that the protein is the cause of cancers.

In other words, a certain amount of protein cannot be said to cause cancer.

Does high protein cause heart disease?

Daily intake of animal protein is associated with an increased risk of fatal coronary heart disease. While plant-based proteins are not linked to higher rates of heart disease.

This suggests that where you get your protein may be more important than how much protein you eat.

However, like cancer, the link between heart disease and high-protein diets comes from questionnaires rather than a randomized study.

There is limited evidence that the protein causes heart disease.

Proteins are essential for your body. You need them to live.

Now you know how much protein you need per day in your diet and all the tricks you can do to calculate it.

It is recommended that you have a balanced diet, containing proteins, carbohydrates and good fats.

And now? Have you already calculated how much protein you should consume? Comment us.

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