Fuel Your Passion
Protein NeedsREAD MORE
The Recommended Dietary Allowance is a number that is established with careful consideration to meet the needs of 97.5% of the population in the United States, based on evidence from nitrogen balance studies that determine the reference intake for protein consumption. When in doubt about the appropriate allowance, seek an intake recommendation from a physician or dietician who has a holistic understanding of your personal health and lifestyle.
Not Just Energy, but Energy from Protein
A fit and active body must replace spent calories, some of those calories must be provided specifically by protein sources (rather than by the other macronutrients, carbs and fats) when they’re regularly spent on intense and long-lasting exercise. While recommended allowances are associated with good health, more protein is not better, as too much protein can displace the intake of other key macronutrients.
Research shows that endurance exercise (a) fundamentally alters the way in which protein is metabolized; and (b) increases the destructive oxidization of amino acids. Endurance athletes not only drive their bodies into a hypocaloric (calorie-lacking) state, but their body’s synthesis of proteins diminishes. Plus, the protein and amino acids they do have available lose the ability to function as they should.
When it comes to protein, some is good, but more is not better. In fact, there seems to be a “protein ceiling”; that is, the body can’t benefit from consumption beyond a certain amount. Research shows the ceiling to be at about 2.3 grams per kilogram or 1 gram of protein per pound. LESS
Protein in a Balanced Diet
Most Americans eat plenty of protein — too much, in fact, especially from animal sources. Like many other wealthy nations, Americans consume too many calories from protein and other nutrients. Excessive protein intake has been positively associated with cancer, heart disease, and other “diseases of affluence.” READ MORE
The Dietary Reference Intakes establish a range of protein intake. Between 10 and 35 percent of your total calories should come from protein. Based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, this amounts to between 200 and 700 calories a day, or about 50 to 175 grams.
Grams of Food, Pounds of You — What does it all mean?
Following food recommendations can get pretty complicated. To get a handle on the guidelines appropriate to your weight and activity level, you’ll need good information about how many grams of protein are in the foods you eat...not to mention a calculator.
Again, your personal physician or registered dietitian is your most reliable asset, since protein needs can vary based on other variables not covered here. But as a starting point, this chart takes some of the mystery out of the math.
GENERAL GUIDELINES: CONVERSIONS AND DAILY ALLOWANCE
|Your Weight |
(1kg = 2.2 lbs)
|In Kilograms ||In pounds||Sedentary |
@ 0.4g / lb
@ 0.5g / lb
@ 0.65g / lb
|45||100||40 g||50 g||65 g|
|57||125||50 g||62 g||81 g|
|68||150||60 g||75 g||97 g|
|80||175||70 g||87 g||114 g|
|91||200||80 g||100 g||130 g|
|102||225||90 g||112 g||146 g|
|114||250||100 g||125 g||165 g|