CALCULATING PROTEIN REQUIREMENTS
Unfortunately when it comes to various nutrients, the one size fits all approach doesn’t always work. For example, a sedentary individual’s protein requirements will vary significantly from a high level athlete. So how do we find the correct amount of protein for individuals of different activity and fitness levels? According to the RDA, we need .8 grams of protein per kg of body weight (a kg is 2.2 pounds). However this number is often too low. Especially for those engaged in a strenuous exercise program. So before calculating the exact number of protein grams, it’s important to look at the individuals activity level, intensity training level, and goals.
- If you are sedentary and not looking to change body composition much, a daily target of 0.8g/kg bodyweight (0.36g/lb of bodyweight) or slightly higher would suffice.
- Athletes/highly active individuals attempting to lose body fat while maintaining or slightly increasing lean muscle mass, a daily intake of 1.6-2.2g/kg bodyweight would be encouraged.
- Athletes/highly active or individuals who are attempting to lose body fat while preserving lean mass, a daily intake of 1.0-1.5g/kg bodyweight.