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How much protein do you really need?

How much protein do you really need?

The oldest question in the history of body building and in life of an athlete is always the same, how much protein should I eat in a day? There is no straight forward answer to this and it cannot be as generalised with relation to ones weight. It depends on many factors such as:-

  • Age:- As we age the natural protein synthesis reduces hence protein is required in a more digestible form.
  • Muscle Mass:- More muscle mass means more protein is required to maintain it.
  • Goal:- To build more muscle you need more carbohydrates and proteins. 

Type of Sport:- High intensity and endurance sports require more carbohydrate and protein rich diets.

Modern diets focus on protein as the main fuel for building muscle, endurance and stamina, but professional athletes know the truth is far from this. For endurance athletes carbohydrates and micronutrients play a major role to improve their performance this is true for professional bodybuilders and daily gym goers. A diet which lacks in micronutrients and carbohydrates, destabilises the body, micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals help in protein synthesis, absorption and utilisation,  moreover healthy carbohydrates such as fruits, starchy vegetables such as sweets potato, potato, yam, etc, and whole grains are a necessity for a prolonged healthy sustainable lifestyle. Carbohydrates and the main source of energy for the brain and the body.

Now coming down to how much protein you need, for high intensity athletes the least amount of protein showed by 2 times their body weight in kilograms, but more than that carbohydrates should by at least 3 times their body weight. As a total nutrient profile, the percentage of protein to fats to carbohydrates should be 25% to 15% to 60% respectively. A balanced diet of all these three macronutrients is important to maintain the harmony of the body. Micronutrients add up and ensure that all these macronutrients are utilised, prevent inflammation, reduce ageing rate and improve hormone synthesis.



Wu G. (2016). Dietary protein intake and human health. Food & function, 7(3), 1251–1265. https://doi.org/10.1039/c5fo01530h

Baum, J. I., Kim, I. Y., & Wolfe, R. R. (2016). Protein Consumption and the Elderly: What Is the Optimal Level of Intake?. Nutrients, 8(6), 359. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8060359.

Houston, M. E. (1999). Gaining weight: the scientific basis of increasing skeletal muscle mass. Canadian journal of applied physiology, 24(4), 305-316


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