How much protein do I need to eat each day?

Protein is used by the body to build and repair new tissues. Hair, skin, nails and muscles are all built with proteins. When you workout, you cause damage to your muscles. If you eat an adequate amount of protein, your body will fix the damage you caused making your muscles stronger and bigger.

Body Weight

Protein recommendations vary with body weight, exercise and calorie intake. The minimum amount of protein you should take in is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight). If you weigh 200 pounds, you should eat at least 72 grams of protein per day (200 pounds multiplied by 0.36) to maintain your muscle.

Gain Muscle

If you are trying to gain muscle, you need more protein to build more muscle. In this case about 20% of your calorie intake should come from protein. If you eat 2,500 calories per day, 500 calories should come from protein (2,500 multiplied by 0.20). Since protein contains 4 calories per gram, 500 protein calories equal 125 grams (500 divided by 4).

Example

  • Minimum amount of protein:
    • multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.36, or:
    • multiply your body weight in kilograms by 0.8
      • 200 pounds multiplied by 0.36 = 72 grams of protein per day
      • 91 kilograms multiplied by 0.8 = 72 grams of protein per day
  • If you are trying to gain muscle:
    • take the amount of calories you eat per day and multiply it by 20% (0.20)
      • 2,500 calories multiplied by 20% = 500 calories of protein
      • 500 protein calories divided by 4 = 125 grams of protein per day