Protein Dietary Needs & Hot topics

Updated: Jun 11, 2020



The total daily protein requirement depends largely on the body size, activity level or sport, and body composition goals of the individual. Therefore, it is best to recommend total daily protein intakes on a gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight basis. In general, individuals need between 0.8 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. Inactive persons require less protein than active persons, and those exercising with greater duration or intensity will require more protein than those exercising with less duration or intensity. Additionally, more protein is required to recover from strength training than from cardiovascular training.


The recommendation of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram body weight is a daily minimumneedthat may be as high as 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight in non-exercising persons based on new evidence. Exceeding the proposed dietary protein need poses few, if any, negative consequences. Consuming up to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is an acceptable goal, even for sedentary persons, and it is likely that a greater percentage of calories coming from protein will facilitate health goals (Pencharz et al., 2016).


Moreover, research on the effects of very high protein intake (3.0 to 4.4 grams per kilogram) on body composition indicate that individuals overeating protein will not experience an increase in body fat mass over time (Antonio et al., 2015;Antonio et al., 2014;Claesson et al., 2009). Therefore, it is typically more prudent to make general recommendations of consuming more protein than to recommend less protein within the specified ranges, particularly when the client desires to increase lean muscle mass or maintain muscle mass while decreasing fat mass.


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