How much Protein do I need?

What does protein do for the body?

Protein is made up of amino acids, some of which your body can make (nonessential” amino acids), and some which you must obtain from food (essential amino acids). Protein is the principal component of every cell in the body and is needed to build and repair tissues. It provides the building blocks for important hormones and digestive enzymes. Your body uses protein to carry oxygen in the blood and is needed for a healthy immune system. Protein is also important for blood sugar control and keeping you feeling fuller for longer periods of time. That’s why we recommend that every meal and snack contain some form of protein. American Council of Exercise)

How much protein does the body need?

There's a lot of different answers out there about how much protein your body needs. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) states that you need 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight, for the general population. So, for example, a 145-pound person (65.9 kg) would need 52.7 grams of protein a day. The joint American College of Sports Medicine and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics position statement calls for 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg for strength athletes and 1.2 to 1.4 g/kg for endurance athletes as the minimum to prevent deficiency, and nitrogen balance. Studies have shown repeatedly that there is a higher need for athletes, regardless of their sport.  (American Council of Exercise)

Animal–derived Proteins

Animal protein foods include fish, chicken, turkey, meat (examples: cow, lamb or goat), milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs. These are considered complete proteins because they contain all of the essential amino acids. 

Plant-based Proteins

Most plant-based proteins are miss at least one essential amino acid and are therefore “incomplete” proteins. Exceptions include soy, amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat which contain all of the essential amino acids. Some plant-based proteins like vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, when combined during the same day (example: beans and rice) all the essential amino acids are available to the body.  See example below:

Protein-rich Meals

Every meal should contain a protein, a healthy carb, vegetables and a healthy fat. Here are some of our favorite combinations that are easy to prepare and delicious!  ()

1) 2/3 cup cooked black beans, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa and topped with salsa and guacamole 2) 4 to 5 oz. wild Alaskan salmon, sautéed asparagus and wild rice, with slivered almonds 3) 2 poached eggs served on top of 2 slices whole-grain bread and 1/2 smashed avocado

4) 8 oz. plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup berries, 1 Tbsp. each of chia, hemp, ground flax seeds

5) 1 banana spread with 2 Tbsp. all-natural almond butter and topped with 1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Nutritional Coaching

Our Nutritional Coaching Programs will give you a list of the top recommended Macro nutrients (including variety of protein sources you can choose from depending of whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or have a standard diet.)


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