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How much protein should I be consuming and why is it important?

Jan 23, 2018

Question: "How much protein should I be consuming and why is it important?"

Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS

The amount of protein consumed depends on your activity level during the day, whether you are highly active or sedentary. The RDA or Recommended Dietary Allowance is the amount of nutrients you need throughout the day to meet your body’s basic nutrient requirements. When it comes to protein, the RDA recommends 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight or 35 grams per pound. For a sedentary man this comes out to be about 56 grams per day and for a sedentary woman about 46 grams. As you work out more you will need to indulge more protein as well, so like everything else it all depends on your daily physical activity.

Protein is one of the three macronutrients necessary for a proper diet. It is an important building block of bones, muscle, cartilage and skin. Your body does not store protein so it must be consumed through food or liquids. After a workout you use protein as a way to build and repair tissues.

Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT

Protein is important because it helps to build and repair muscle tissue. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage and skin. Protein is also important in building lean muscle mass. Because protein is broken down into essential amino acids, these amino acids are used in the process of building and repairing muscle.

The amount of protein you should be consuming will vary for every individual. Many factors will play into the exact amount of protein you need on a daily basis. However the RDA recommends a minimum of 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day. This equals to about 46 grams for an adult woman and around 56 grams for an adult male. These are just the basic health standards for someone who isn’t extremely active. For those who live an active lifestyle and are looking to gain muscle, the protein requirement will be much greater. Those individuals will be looking to consume closer to 1-1.5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day.


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