Do you know how much protein you consume in one day? Or rather, how much protein should you eat in one day? The vast majority of us do not measure out our food portions – and you don’t have to! Here we will help you determine how much you should eat on average and basically what that looks like!
Why protein is important
While there might be a lot of debate in the nutrition space around fat and carbs, there is a lot of agreement around protein intake. It’s essential to eat enough protein because of the following reasons:
- Protein forms the building blocks of all muscle! Protein helps to build strength and increase muscle mass.
- Protein helps to maintain weight-loss and prevent late-night snacking and cravings.
- Long-term studies indicate that protein is essential for good bone health.
- High protein intake has been shown to boost metabolism.
- Protein helps your body repair itself after injury.
How much protein should I eat in one day?
It’s important to remember that while each of our bodies are different and we have different needs, we have a basic minimum requirement for protein intake. This changes based on how much exercise we do, how much we weigh and our gender.
The basic RDA for protein intake for a sedentary person is 0.8g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. So if you’re a 65kg woman, you should eat 52 grams of protein per day. If you’re a 80kg man, you should be looking at 64 grams of protein per day.
However, if you’re an active person, you will need to up that intake to between 1.2g to 2g of protein per kilogram, depending on your training schedule and performance (you can discuss this and get a tailor-made programme from a dietician). This would mean that as an active 65kg woman, you’re looking at consuming at least 78g of protein per day and as an active 80kg man, you’re looking at 96g of protein.
In theory, we should have at least 20g of protein per meal and additional protein as snacks.
How to get your 20g of protein per meal
Remember to check the packaging of the specific product you buy as protein amounts may vary slightly. Here is a quick guide to protein numbers!
- 100g of roasted chicken breast = 30g of protein.
- 100g of tinned tuna = 20g of protein.
- 100g of tinned lentils or chickpeas = 5.5-6g of protein.
- 100g of edamame = 11g of protein.
- 100g of steamed broccoli = 4g of protein.
- 100g of greek yoghurt = 10g protein
- 100g of cooked brown rice = 2g of protein
- 100g of cooked quinoa = 5g protein
- 3 XL eggs = 21g of protein