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Corporate Wellness

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need Each Day?

There are so many popular diets that are defined by the ratios of macros, such as the high protein-Keto diet or the low carb/high fat diet, that addressing the amount of protein you need is important. You can get too much protein, just like you can get too little. The question is not how much weight you can lose, but how healthy the diet actually is. Whether your goal is weight loss, building muscle tissue or simply healthy living, the amount of protein you need varies from individual to individual.

Your protein requirement is based on physical activity.

The more active you are, the more protein you need. A person with a sedentary lifestyle requires a gram of protein for every 2.2 pounds of weight. If that person engages in moderate exercise, the gram increases to 1.3 grams. For someone with a high intensity level of activity, the amount is even higher at 1.6 grams per 2.2 pounds of weight. An inactive person weighing 110 pounds would need 50 grams, but if they entered a tough workout program, their need would increase to 80 grams a day.

You have to consider gender, age and special circumstances, such as breast feeding or pregnancy.

The very young and very old need a bit more protein. The very young need it because they’re growing and older people need more because they don’t process protein as well and more protein can aid in prevent muscle loss. Men need more protein than women do, since men tend to have more muscle mass to maintain. Pregnant or lactating women require extra protein for the baby’s needs.

You can eat too much protein, but it’s hard to do.

Studies show that if you ate as much as 2 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of weight over a long period of time, you’d still be in safe territory. While it’s double the recommended amount, it won’t create a health issue. If you surpass that amount, you might risk health issues. It can cause digestive problems, dehydration, nausea, exhaustion, diarrhea, headache and irritability. Long term consumption of too much protein can lead to liver disease, seizures, kidney disease, liver disease, disorders of blood vessels, cardiovascular disease and death. There are links to osteopenia, osteoporosis, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

  • Don’t worry too much about eating too much protein. If you weighed 110 pounds and ate a pound of steak a day, but no other protein, you’d still be under the 2.2 grams and on the safe side.
  • Most of the danger of too much protein doesn’t come from what you eat, but taking protein supplements. A healthy diet is the best way to ensure adequate intake, unless there are special circumstances that don’t allow you to eat that much.
  • Protein is the building block for skin, bones, muscles, cartilage and blood. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating protein helps. It makes you feel full longer.
  • One side effect of eating more protein than you need or larger amounts of protein, is bad breath that you can’t get rid of by flossing or brushing your teeth, no matter how hard you try.

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