Protein Intake calculator – allows you to calculate your recommended daily allowance for protein intake.

During digestion in the stomach, proteins are broken down into smaller polypeptides by an enzyme known as proteases; the purpose is to provide amino acids for the body. Protein consists of 16.8 kilojoules or 4 calories per gram. These are important especially for children growing up and during their development, during the pregnancy period of the woman or while breastfeeding, and more importantly for men who want to enhance their physical activities, muscular mass as well as body fitness.

protein intake calculator

It is said that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein intake is at least 0.8grams per 1kilogram of body weight. And 97.5% of the majority population meets the RDA’s requirements.

If you are keen on finding out how much protein you have to take for example to improve your body weight or muscle mass based on your lifestyle, then use our protein intake calculator below. This protein intake calculator will compute and give you the RDA of the nutrient you’ll need to consume each day.

Protein Intake Calculator – How to

Protein Intake Calculator

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You should take ...... of protein per day

To use this calculator:

  • Select which of the units you want to measure with – metric or Standard units.
  • Enter your age
  • Select your sex – male or female
  • Enter your height in the appropriate unit (Centimeters or Meters)
  • Enter your weight in the appropriate unit (Pounds or kilogram)
  • Next select your goal which includes – Fat loss, Maintenance, or Muscle gain.
  • Then select your activity level or lifestyle whether you exercise mainly in endurance training, power training, even in weight training or you simply don’t do any physical activity.

Click the calculate button to get your result which would indicate how much protein you should be taking on a daily basis according to the RDA.

To break this down using a simple example, a 30-year-old male bodybuilder weighing 280lbs or 127kgs with a height of 180cm or 5’9″ wants to find out how much protein he needs to intake on a daily basis. So he uses the calculator to figure out the answer. First, he enters his age and selects his sex. Then enters both his weight and height values accordingly. Next, he chooses his goal which would be either maintaining his current weight or gain more muscle mass. Next, he selects which activity level is at. For bodybuilders, this would typically be either moderately active or very active. The result shows 279.40, which is the advisable protein consumption he needs every day.

What is Protein?

Protein is one of the key nutrients needed by the body. It has been called the “building block of the body” since it is present in all our body cells and fluids, except bile and urine. Protein constitutes 75% of the solid material of the body or 16% of our weight. It is found in our skin, bones, muscle, glands, and major organs. Special proteins called enzymes also participate in chemical reactions that give life to cells.

Proteins are essential to the production of new cells. They are indispensable to a person’s healthy growth and development from the womb to adolescence. Without proteins, wound healing and recovery from sickness would be impossible since proteins are needed to repair damaged cells.

Like carbohydrates and fats, proteins also provide energy for the body. A gram of protein contains 17 kilojoules of energy.

What is the Composition of Protein?

Protein is an organic compound and a “polypeptide”. A polypeptide is a linear chain of amino acids linked together by a peptide bond. All proteins essentially have 20 standard amino acids. Each amino acid has a central carbon atom which is joined to a hydrogen atom, a carboxyl group, and an amino group. This unique side chain of amino acid determines its chemical properties and distinguishes it from other amino acids.

Essential and Non-Essential Amino Acids

Of the 20 amino acids of proteins, there are two kinds: “non-essential” and “essential”. Non-essential amino acids can be produced by our bodies while essential amino acids can only be obtained from the food we eat. Of the 20 fundamental amino acids, 9 to 12 are non-essential and the remaining 8 to 11 are essential.

Complete and Incomplete Proteins

Proteins differ in the amount of essential amino acids they contain. Some proteins have all the essential amino acids required by the body in adequate amounts. These are called “complete” proteins. Other proteins lack one or several essential amino acids and are called “incomplete” or “partial” proteins.

So what is a protein containing all the essential amino acids but not in the correct proportions? It’s still incomplete!

Does Protein Really Help in Losing Weight and Building Muscle?

Protein does help to lose weight, particularly in combination with reduced carbohydrate consumption. Protein increases metabolic rate, a capability attributed to the branch chain amino acids, particularly leucine. A leucine-rich breakfast activates the liver and results in a 30% increase in metabolic rate that lasts for half a day. This is similar to the kilo joule-burning effect of a 4.5-kilometer jog!

Leucine further decreases the level of fats in the blood, which allows the hormone leptin to easily reach the brain causing a quick feeling of satiety. Leptin signals the brain that there is enough fat in the body. Without leptin, our brains will think that our bodies need more fat and we will feel that we have to eat more. Protein also reduces weight by contributing to the formation of HDL Cholesterol. HDL helps in eliminating harmful LDL Cholesterol.

When it comes to muscle gain, protein is vital. No living cell, like the muscle cell, can grow, reproduce, or regenerate without the amino acids in a protein. If we eat high-protein foods during exercise or while undergoing a weight loss program, muscle loss is also prevented since leucine signals the muscle to preserve muscle mass. Protein further maintains the shape of our muscle cells by providing components that give structure to the cells.

What Foods are Rich in Protein?

No doubt, we need an ample intake of protein every day to stay alive and to function well. Fortunately, there are a lot of protein-rich foods available.

Meat and Fish

Meat and fish are the best sources of protein not only because they have the highest protein content but also because they contain complete proteins. This is no surprise considering that animals are also mostly made of protein. Beef has the most protein but it also contains lots of fat. Skinless poultry and fish may have slightly lower protein content but have lesser fat.

Legumes and Nuts

Peas, beans, lentils, muesli, seeds, peanuts, almonds, and other nuts are also excellent protein foods, as well as soya products like tofu. Most plant proteins are incomplete proteins but they can be mixed with other protein foods like milk to provide our bodies with all the essential amino acids. Legumes and nuts are the perfect protein source for vegetarians.

Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt

Dairy foods are filled with protein but it is important to pick the milk products with lesser fat such as skim milk instead of whole milk and fat-free cheese over regular hard cheese.

Other foods that we can get ample amounts of protein from are eggs, corn, seafood, grain, protein powders, and protein bars. Knowledge of these protein foods also enables us to prepare protein snacks that are healthier than carbohydrate or fat-filled munchies. Examples of protein snacks are cottage cheese sticks, tuna salad, egg whites, and beef jerky.

How Much Protein Should We Eat Daily?

Based on the U.S. & Canadian Dietary Reference Intake guidelines, men who are 19 years old and above require 56 grams of protein per day while women aged 19 and older need 46 grams of protein daily. In terms of weight, nutritionists recommend that a person weighing 68kg should have 55 grams of protein every day while a 91kg person needs 74 grams. We can estimate our daily protein requirement by multiplying our weight in kilograms by 0.8. If the weight is in pounds, the multiplier is 0.37.

We should also consider that physically active individuals like athletes and sick people need more protein. On the other hand, those who are overweight and have sedentary lifestyles require less protein. There are many different theories about the amount of protein required according to how active, old, or what kind of exercise a person is engaged in.

Health Effects of Excessive and Inadequate Protein Intake?

Calcium Deficiency

As they say, anything excessive is harmful. Too much protein in the diet may overwork the kidneys especially if the kidneys are already compromised. This is because more protein in the body results in the generation of more wastes like urea. Wastes like this are filtered and released by the kidneys. Calcium deficiency may also occur with high protein intake since elevated amounts of calcium are excreted if we eat protein foods excessively.

Kidney Stones

Another health risk posed by over-consumption of protein is the formation of kidney stones from calcium residues in the blood vessels of the kidneys.

Bad Breath

Those on high-protein or low-carb diets may also tend to have bad breath. This is caused by “ketones” produced from the breakdown of fats that happens frequently in the absence of carbohydrates.

Protein Deficiency

Deficiency in protein is equally detrimental and if severe can lead to death. Children in developing countries are particularly prone to protein deficiency because of poverty, famine, natural disasters, and war. A child with inadequate protein in his or her diet will suffer from “kwashiorkor”, a condition characterized by fluid imbalance, weakened resistance against diseases, flaky skin, diarrhoea, fatty liver, and swollen belly.

Inadequate dietary protein also stunts growth and mental development. It may also lead to muscle wasting, anaemia, anxiety, thinning of hair, weakness, and reproductive problems, among many others.

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