Protein Guidelines to Live By
Are you eating the right amount of protein to achieve your goal weight?
How much protein should I eat?
As with anything else related to health and dieting, it depends on you – your weight, goals, activity level, age and everything else that makes you your own person. People can be generally divided into three broad categories, with different protein ranges for each.
If you’re regularly sedentary, but in general good health, and not trying to gain any muscle mass – the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 0.36g protein/lb bodyweight (0.8g/kg) could potentially work for you. If you are active, this is considered to be an extremely low amount of protein.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re more likely either an athlete trying to get stronger and improve constantly, or you’re some amount overweight trying to shed excess pounds and better yourself. With that being said, these protein guidelines won’t work for you.
If you’re a regularly active person or an athlete, you should be consuming more than the RDA. More dietary protein is needed to generate more muscle protein, and the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) stimulate protein synthesis.
Your training regimen, as well as, your regular nutritional intake, also factor into the protein equation. A wide range of protein intakes can support the maintenance of muscle mass, so a definitive number isn’t quite agreed upon.
One 2011 study on optimal protein intake showed that 1.8g protein/kg body weight (.8g/lb of bodyweight) consumed over 3-4 meals will maximize protein synthesis, but higher protein consumption (1.8-2g/kg body weight (.8-.9g protein /lb BW)) may be advantageous in preventing muscle loss during inactivity.
Although there’s still no definitive recommendation, a general consensus agrees on a range of .8-1.0g protein/lb of body weight – which is pretty close to the general meathead-prescribed 1g/1lb rule.
If you’re trying to lose weight, great chances are you’re hoping for your weight loss to come from fat. You’re probably not trying to lose lean muscle mass. Having said that, consuming sufficient protein will help preserve your lean muscle mass and shift the weight loss to fat loss. Another study showed that a high protein diet is beneficial in reducing body weight, fat mass and triglycerides compared to a calorically restricted diet with lower protein.
1.6g protein/kg bodyweight (0.7g protein/lb bodyweight) led to substantially more weight loss and fat loss, and less lean muscle mass lost than a restricted diet with protein intakes of 0.8g/kg BW.
For athletes trying to lose weight: 2.3g protein/kg bodyweight (1.04g protein/lb bodyweight) was shown to increase your retention of lean muscle during the weight loss process.
How much protein do I personally eat?
Although you shouldn’t give too much thought to the numbers we’ve provided, and we all have different body types, we’ll let you in on the thought processes that influence the protein consumption at VPX Sports.
If you weigh 130 lbs, you can strive to eat 130g protein per day. Strive: as in, this would be ideal, this could benefit your goals, but you don’t need to force anything into your mouth or your stomach if you don’t want to consume it.
It depends on your goals.
You can change your goals as you please, but here at VPX Sports our goals are constantly changing, so we follow different protein guidelines. Some days we want to lean out, and other days we want to build more muscle. Following protein guidelines and becoming in tune with what your body wants and needs takes time. We suggest gradually increasing your protein consumption if it’s lower than the recommendations above; however, play around with the different protein guidelines and figure out what works best for you!