How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

Depending on the latest trend in dieting, whether it’s keto or simply healthy eating, the amount of protein necessary varies, but not by much. Higher protein diets keep you feeling fuller longer, so people often have more weight loss on these types of diets. However, you can also get an excess of protein and miss many of the nutrients you’d get from one that is based on healthy eating if you take it too far. Finding the right mix of fats, carbohydrates and protein is important, too.

The amount of protein you need is based on several factors.

Age, physical activity, gender and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding all help in determining the amount of protein you need. The average person needs about 1/3 gram (0.36 grams) per pound of body weight. However, if you’re really active, you need more. For the very active person, the amount increases to 0.5 to 0.9 grams per pound. There are also exceptions. As a person ages, their ability to process protein declines, so they may require more protein to prevent muscle loss. Women who breastfeed or are pregnant require the extra protein for the baby’s needs.

Adequate protein is important, but you can get too much of a good thing.

Just because active people require more, there is a limit. Getting too much protein for a long time can cause health issues. It may start with intestinal problems or indigestion, but lead to exhaustion, dehydration, nausea, diarrhea, headache and irritability. Long term over consumption may cause disorders of the blood vessels, seizures, kidney disease, liver disease, cardiovascular disease and even death. There are also links to cancer, osteopenia and osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. Luckily, you’d have to consume over 2 grams for every 2.2 pounds every day, which is double the recommended amount for a sedentary person, for a long time to see signs of over consumption.

How much is too much?

If you weighed as little as 110 pounds and ate a pound of steak every day, but no other protein, you’d still be safe. That pound of steak would average about 112 grams of protein, which is still under the danger point of 2.2 grams. It’s still good to keep an eye on your protein intake and not overdo it, especially if you’re following a Keto or other high protein diet.

  • A high protein diet may be good for weight loss, because it fills you up and keeps you full longer, but don’t forget, weight loss is still all about calories burned to calories consumed. Any excess calories are still stored as fat.
  • Most of the problem from excess protein isn’t from diet or daily eating. It comes from taking protein supplements. Learning to eat healthy is the best way to ensure you have all the nutrients you need.
  • Protein is necessary. It’s the building block for all the body, skin, muscles, bones, cartilage and blood.
  • One of the biggest problems people find with over consumption of protein is smelly breath that doesn’t seem to disappear with flossing or brushing. It’s a true deterrent to over consumption of protein.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness

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