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How much protein do you need? Bodybuilders and athletes have an increased lean body mass, and they therefore burn extra calories when they work out. Due to this, they need more it than less active people or those who have a more sedentary lifestyle. How much protein do you need? Like carbohydrates and fats, the human body needs to consume a lot of it and use it for fuel. In this article, you’ll learn how much protein do you need?

What is Protein?

It is a macronutrient essential to building body mass. As one of the building blocks of body tissue, it is by far one of the most complicated molecules in the human body; indeed, it can contain anywhere from 50 to 2,000 amino acids, including the standard 20. Currently, there are about 10,000 different types of proteins identified in the human genome alone. Scientists believe that there are about a trillion variation of it on earth across different species.  

Proteins have been on earth for billions of years; they are the building blocks of many life-forms, not just humans. Even the simplest bacteria rely on proteins to exist. A regular human being has around 24 pounds of it; nearly half of it forms the skeletal muscles and the others manifest as skin, blood, bones, and organs.

How Does Our Body Use Protein?

The human body uses protein in practically every function. It is essential in circulation as protein transports oxygen throughout the body. It helps in regeneration as it builds and repairs tissues. And this also helps create and produce enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. And as stated before, protein is a fundamental building block that forms our bones, cartilage, tendons, organs, skin, blood, hair, and nails.

Even our immune system relies heavily on proteins; our antibodies are made of it, allowing us to fight off disease and infection. The enzymes that read the genetic information in our DNA are also made of protein; these enzymes allow the body to make new molecules. Simply put, proteins are essential for virtually every facet of the human body.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Opinions on how much people need vastly differ. Official nutrition organization recommend a fairly modest intake. This amounts to 56 grams per day for the average male with a sedentary lifestyle and 46 grams per day for the average female. This is a very moderate estimation, just enough to prevent being deficient. However, studies show that a greater amount is needed for the body to be able to perform at its peak condition with maximum efficiency.

The requirement varies from person to person, and it depends on a lot of factors. The activity level, age, muscle mass, and current health status are just some of the considerations to keep in mind.

Protein for Bodybuilders

If you want to build your body mass, you are going to need a significantly higher amount of it in your diet. Bodybuilders have, after all, more lean body mass, and they burn more calories when they work out.

According to the Institute of Medicine, around 10 to 15 percent of the daily calorie intake should come from proteins. This amounts to 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Very active athletes are recommended to consume up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram.

What does “grams of protein” mean? Many people make the mistake of equating the recommended grams of protein with the grams of actual protein-containing food, like eggs or lean meat. In truth, it means to the grams of the macronutrient present in the food. For instance, a hundred-gram of regular meat contains around 26 grams.

Where Can You Get Your Protein?

There are lots of foods that contain protein. All meat, poultry and eggs, seafood, peas, beans, nuts, and seeds fall under the protein group. Here are some food sources that can help increase your intake.

Chicken Breasts

These are among the most consumed high-protein foods. The breast is the leanest part of a chicken; 85 grams of skinless roasted chicken breast can provide around 27 grams. Of course, the amount of content depends on the chicken’s nutrient profile too. Pasture-raised chickens have more omega-3 content as well as antioxidants.

Turkey Breasts

Just like in chickens, the leanest part of a turkey is the breast. Turkey meat also has lower fat content but with around the same content as chicken meat. For every 85 grams of skinless roasted turkey breast, you can get around 26 grams.

Egg Whites

Eggs are a great source of amino acids and proteins. Around 60% of its protein content is found in its white part. A 243-gram serving of egg whites can provide around27 grams of protein.


Tuna is almost a purely protein food, with its extremely low fat and calorie content. An 85-gram serving of tuna can give you about 25 grams and only 110 calories.

Aside from these high-protein foods, you can also take supplements.

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