The recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.8 g/kg/day – But is it right for you? In today’s post I am going to give you a simple and easy to read guide to answer the question: How much protein do I need?
The problem is that this RDA is based on sedentary individuals – people who are inactive and sit far too much – and is an amount is just aimed to prevent any loss and prevent deficiency.
So what does this mean? A recommended amount that is just enough to maintain muscle mass in an inactive person, could mean that as an active person – you are not getting enough protein to keep up your muscle mass and could:
- Be losing mass
- Wasting a lot of time and effort exercising
If you are going to go to all that great time and effort to exercise – you need the right fuel in your body to keep you going, help you recover AND help improve.
If you are an active person, this RDA is definitely NOT enough for you.
Note: 0.8 g/kg/day means grams of protein taken in per kilogram of body weight, per day. So if you are 80 kg – Your RDA is 64 grams per day (0.8 grams x 80 kilos).
So how much should an active person be consuming?
Multiple scientific bodies estimate that the requirement is double your recommended allowance(1). And whats more if you are new to working out – you need more than someone who has been doing it for years.
One study showed that novice body builders require an intake of 1.6-1.7 g/kg/day – Now I know you may not be a body builder, but if you are working out regularly and particularly if you are doing resistance training at the gym – this gives a good guide.
In those of you who are well trained and work-out regularly, the amount is actually a bit lower – at 1.4 g/kg/day
So: If you are sedentary and don’t exercise much at all – stick to the RDA, BUT if you workout regularly, you should be taking around 1.4 grams per kg of your body weight and if you are new to resistance training maybe bump it up a gram or two . If you exercise moderately for fitness and health, aim for 1-1.2 g/kg/day – Otherwise you are not fueling your body right, which leads to you not maximizing your effort.
One other interesting finding from new research that debunks some common myths is this:
The window for protein consumption would appear to be greater than one-hour before and after a resistance training session. Positive effects were actually due to increased protein intake, and not the timing of when it is taken. This throws the common belief that you need to consume protein within a hour of exercise into the spotlight – What do you think?
Keep fit and healthy,