Health tip Tuesday! How much protein do I need in a day?
By: Tricia Stefankiewicz
What is it? Protein is an essential macronutrient, which means you need to eat protein every day in order to get the amount your body needs. Like carbohydrates and fats, protein is used to fuel you body. But protein has many important functions including?
• Works as the “building blocks for muscle
• Source of energy to Fuels cells
• Needed for building, repair, and maintenance of bones, muscles, skin, tissue, hair
• Required for hormone regulation
• Enzymes for important processes to occur
• Necessary for most cells to function
• Helps increase muscle mass
• Required for immune health
• Help maintains stable blood sugar in someone with diabetes
• Helps with post exercise and recovery of muscles
• Aids in weight loss and weight maintenance by helping curve cravings, proving satiety, and maintaining lean body mass
How much protein required each day depends on several variables such as
age, sex, body weight, activity level, and if a health condition is present.
How much protein is typically required?
The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 – 1 gram per kg of body weight.
• A woman who weighs 140lbs may need about 50 g protein/day
• A woman who weights 170lbs many need 60 g protein/day
• A woman who weighs 200lbs may need about 70 g protein/day
• A woman who weighs 250 lbs. may need about 90 g protein/day
**Note this is an estimate but will vary according to individual **
Who may need More: Heavy work, heavy lifter, athlete, pregnancy, breast feeding
Who may need Less: those with kidney of liver dysfunction?
Where foods are protein?
Animal sources: include lean meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, pork, dairy, eggs, and egg whites
Plant-based sources: include soy (like tofu, seitan), lentils, beans, roasted chick-peas, nuts, nut butters, seeds, nutritional yeast, whole grains
One last thing: People utilizing a high protein diet, require an increase in water intake. Pay attention to signs of dehydration including dark colored urine and a sense of feeling thirsty.