HomeAnswersHow much protein should you eat a day?

How much protein should you eat a day?

This question is about Nutrition
Elle Penner, MPH, RD
According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), the average sedentary adult should eat at least 0.8 g of protein/kg of body weight/day, though a growing body of evidence suggests protein intakes need to be at least 1.0 g/kg/day [1, 2]. 
However, active adults may need more protein to support the demands of training and aid in recovery. Organizations like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American College of Sports Medicine and International Society of Sports Nutrition recommend active adults eat between 1.2 – 2.0 g/kg of protein each day to support muscle growth and aid in recovery [3, 4].
Eggs, salmon, chicken, milk and protein powder on a wooden countertop

References:

  1. Panel on Macronutrients; Panel on the Definition of Dietary Fiber; Subcommittee on Upper Reference Levels of Nutrients; Subcommittee on Interpretation and Uses of Dietary Reference Intakes; Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes; Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine. (2005). Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. National Academies. Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://nap.nationalacademies.org/read/10490/chapter/12
  2. Elango, R., Humayun, M. A., Ball, R. O., & Pencharz, P. B. (2010). Evidence that protein requirements have been significantly underestimated. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 13(1), 52–57. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0b013e328332f9b7
  3. Thomas, D. T., Erdman, K. A., & Burke, L. M. (2016). American College of Sports Medicine Joint Position Statement. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 48(3), 543–568. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000852
  4. Jäger, R., Kerksick, C. M., Campbell, B. I., Cribb, P. J., Wells, S. D., Skwiat, T. M., Purpura, M., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Ferrando, A. A., Arent, S. M., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Stout, J. R., Arciero, P. J., Ormsbee, M. J., Taylor, L. W., Wilborn, C. D., Kalman, D. S., Kreider, R. B., Willoughby, D. S., Hoffman, J. R., … Antonio, J. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 20. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8