We all need protein. Whether we work out or not, prоtеіn is an essential diet mасrоnutrіеnt thаt іѕ еѕѕеntіаl tо buіldіng muѕсlе mаѕѕ and helping our muscles recover from strenuous activity. Once consumed, protein acts as an enzyme, maintaining the structure of cells and creating important biochemical reactions in the body. But how much protein should we have in a day?
Consuming protein properly and responsibly is equally as important as consuming it in the first place, so we’re here to help ensure you’re getting the correct amount of protein per day to suit your lifestyle and workout routines.
How much protein do I need?
While there is no one-size-fits-all amount here, there is a basic rule of thumb you can follow. The amount of protein your body needs in a day will depend on your weight and how active you are. According to the National Institute of Health, the average person should be consuming an absolute minimum of 0.8kg of protein per day for every kg of body weight, but this is purely just to avoid a deficiency and doesn’t take into account your age, height, lifestyle and fitness goals. Once these are factored in, this amount can increase to between 1kg and 4kg of protein for every kg of body weight, though this top end is intended only for competitive bodybuilding.
Based on this information, a professional sportsperson may need to consume up to 2.5kg of protein per day per kg of body weight, while a moderate-to-highly active adult would need to consume roughly between 1.6 and 2kg, in order to maintain skeletal-muscle strength and repair.
Want specifics? Use this handy Macro Calculator to work out exactly how much protein you need in your diet based on your measurements and lifestyle.
How much protein is in a protein shake?
This varies from brand to brand, but a Kinetica Sports whey protein powder shake contains 23g of protein per serving, along with 5.7g of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids). Together these help support and maintain muscle growth before, during and after exercise.
So, how many protein shakes should I have a day?
Depending on how many grams of protein you typically consume as part of your existing balanced diet, the optimum number of protein shakes per day is 1 to 2, for an adult with moderate to intensive exercise regimes. This will give you fast and direct hits of protein supplement to support your muscles when they need it the most (before, during or after exercise).
It is important to only consume the amount of protein your body needs, and no more. While there is no conclusive scientific proof that over-consumption of protein supplements could be harmful to a healthy adult, it is always better to check the facts. Consult your fitness nutritionist or your doctor if you’re unsure exactly how much protein you should be consuming based on your health, body type and activity levels, as some medical conditions could affect safe levels of protein intake.
Now you know how many protein shakes you should have in a day, you can find the perfect balance of workouts and protein intake.