Protein – How much do you need?

You don’t have to be into fitness to know that protein is important for your body. They’re the

building blocks of our system and are used  by our bodies as regulators, helps to build muscle

and bone, as well as produce energy, enzymes and hormones.  

The big question is how much do you need?

According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), we need 0.8 gms of protein per

kilogram of body weight. This is the minimum amount required to meet your body’s basic 

needs to keep you from getting sick. This amount also increases depending on your level of 

physical activity, for instance if you are doing intense workouts, your age, and if you’re 

pregnant or breastfeeding.  

Studies recommend:  

●1.0 g of protein per kg of body weight with minimal activity levels 

●1.3 g of protein per kg of body weight with moderate activity levels 

●1.6 g of protein per kg of body weight with intense activity levels 

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is as follows: 

Life Stage & Gender RDA in grams per day 
Infants & Children  
0 – 5 months 9.1 
6 – 12 months 11.0 
1 – 3 years 13.0 
4 – 8 years 19.0 
9 -13 years 34.0 
14 – 18 years 52.0 
19 -70 years and older 56.0 
9 -13 years 34.0 
14 – 70 years and older 46.0 
Pregnant or breastfeeding  
Life Stage & Gender RDA in grams per day 
All Ages 71.0 

 So how much protein do you eat?  

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 – 2025 suggests that in adults over 19 years old, 

10 – 35% of their daily calories needs to be protein while children between 4 – 18 need 10 – 

30% of protein daily.  

Breaking this down, one gram of protein contains approximately 4 calories. So on a 2000 

calorie diet you will need 50 – 150 gms of protein in your diet or 200 – 600 calories.  

Breaking it down further,  

– Figure out how many calories you’re likely to consume in a day. Eg: 2000 calories 

-Choose the percentage of protein in your diet. Eg: 20% 

-Multiply the total calories by the percentage: Eg 20% x 2000 = 400 calories 

-Divide this by 4 to get the total grams Eg: 400 / 4 = 100 gms 

That’s a lot of math, is there an easier way to calculate this??? 

Funny you should ask, of course there is! You can always use an online calculator like this 

one – DRI Calculator  

Here’s also a little cheat sheet to help you figure out the amount of protein in your food. This

is on average, reading the labels is always recommended.  

Food Protein Amount 
Milk (1 cup / 226 gms) 8 gms 
Eggs (1 large / 50 gms) 6 gms 
Meat (1 slice / 56 gms) 14 gms 
Seafood (56 gms) 16 gms 
Bread (1 slice / 64 gms) 8 gms 
Corn (1 cup / 166 gms) 16 gms 
Rice (1 cup / 195 gms) 5 gms 
Dry Bean (1 cup / 92 gms) 16 gms 
Nuts (1 cup / 92 gms) 20 gms 
Fruits / Vegetables (1 cup ) 0 – 1 gm 
Pizza (1 slice / 107 gms) 12 gms 

However, it is also important to keep a check on the type of protein you consume. Too much 

red meat, for instance, can lead to cholesterol, fat, high blood pressure and heart issues. One 

way to make sure you’re getting adequate clean protein, while measuring the quantity 

required is through protein powder.  There are several great sources of protein powder in the 

market, and they come in a range of flavours as well as unflavoured. You can also go with 

brands like Origin Nutrition that have the added benefit of being vegetarian and vegan.