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How Much Protein Do You Need In A Day?

Updated: May 13, 2020

Protein Intake – How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day?

What it is and why should you care?

Proteins are the primary building blocks of your body that used to build muscles, tendons, enzymes, organs and skin, as well as hormones, neurotransmitters and other cells required for all bodily functions. The human body is made up of around 100 trillion cells. Each cell has thousands of different proteins. Together, these cause each cell to do its job. The proteins are like tiny machines inside the cell.

Without protein, life as you know it would not be possible.

As protein is essential for bodily functions, adequate dietary intake of protein is particularly important during growing period or increased demand, such as childhood, adolescence, pregnancy as well as breastfeeding.

Amino acids and proteins

Protein consists of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Our body needs dietary protein to supply amino acids for the growth and maintenance of our cells and tissues. There are 20 amino acids that can be arranged in millions of ways to create millions of different types of proteins, each with a specific bodily function.

The amino acids that the body uses to produce different types of proteins are: Alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and valine.

Daily Recommended Intake for Protein

Protein as a matter of fact is the least concern that you should be worrying about as majority of the Australian adults are consuming way too much protein that is required for general health and wellbeing.

Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Angeline Stania says The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends 15–25% of your total energy intake should come from protein. The amount of protein you need in your diet depends on your weight, age and health.

As a rough guide, the recommended dietary intake (RDI) for protein (measured in grams per kilogram of bodyweight) is:

  • 0.75 g/kg for adult women

  • 0.84 g/kg for adult men

  • Around 1 g/kg for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and for men and women over 70 years.

Cheat Sheet For Daily Protein Needs

For example, a 75 kg adult male would need 63 g of protein per day. It is recommended that 15 to 25 percent of total energy intake per day is from protein sources. The human body can’t store protein and will excrete any excess. Therefore, the most effective way of using the daily protein requirement is to eat small amounts at every meal. Using the example of the 75 kg male above, this would require that he eats approximately 21 g of protein at three meals each day.

The needs of children and adolescents also vary according to their age and weight. 

If you are unsure about whether you are getting enough nutrients from your current diet and need help to optimise your health and improve your chronic conditions, you can request for a food diary analysis and personalised meal plan that are carefully analysed and assessed by BBDiet dietitians to meet your personal dietary and medical needs.

To read more on how to obtain adequate protein from plant sources, go to

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