Protein Requirement

- POSTED ON: Jun 04, 2011


Many people appear to be confused about
the amount of protein that is actually needed by the body,
and eat far more than their daily requirement.

Protein eaten beyond the amount needed by the body
triggers the process of gluconeogeneses,
which means one’s body turns that extra protein into glucose.
This glucose triggers insulin release and the body handles that glucose
the same way it handles the glucose generated from eating carbohydrates.

 So how much protein do we really need?

To find out the body’s protein requirement,
first we need to fix upon a number that we call our ideal weight
because our extra weight from fat doesn’t create a need for additional protein.

The simple formula for an active person is to take one’s
Ideal Weight number and divide it by 2.2 (lbs to kilos).
Next, take that resulting sum and multiply it by 1.2.
This result is the approximate amount of protein grams required.
If one is Sedentary, the multiplication number is 1 instead of 1.2.

Using this simple formula, and setting my ideal weight as 115 lbs,
with my activity status as Sedentary, results in a protein requirement
of about 52 grams daily. Increasing this to active results in a protein
requirement of 62. This shows my ideal daily protein intake
to be between 52-62 grams daily.

Protein has a role in everyone's nutrition plan,
and is an essential nutrient that is important for building and repairing muscles.

For the purpose of building muscle mass many respected bodybuilding experts think the goal should be a general recommendation of 70-120 grams of protein per day, and this should be an average intake. As long as one averages around 70-120 grams per day (number depending on individual ideal weight) one could be lower on some days and slightly higher on others, but muscle growth will still occur.

Even if one isn’t interested in bodybuilding. It probably makes sense to try and consume SLIGHTLY ABOVE the recommended amounts, with the general population aiming for around 70-120 grams of protein per day, depending on one’s body weight and current calorie intake. Women to aim for the lower end of this scale, and bigger men to aim for the upper end of this scale.

Below are some detailed formulas:

One of these detailed formulas is:

A standard method used by nutritionists to estimate our minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply the ideal body weight in kilograms by .8, or weight in pounds by .37. This is the number of grams of protein that should be the daily minimum. According to this method, a person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should get 74 grams, and a 250-pound person, 92 grams.

Another detailed formula is as follows:
Step 1  One way is to find out what percentage of your body weight is fat. 
The rest of it is lean body mass

So if you weigh 122 lbs, and your body fat percentage is 19%, that is 23 lbs.
That means your lean body mass is 122 minus 23, which is 99 lbs.

Lean Body Weight Formula,

After determining lean body mass one can use Sears’ formula, in which the pounds
of lean body mass are to be multiplied by the following, depending on activity level,
to get the daily protein requirement in grams:

• Sedentary - multiply lbs of lean body mass by .5
• Light activity (e.g. walking) - multiply by .6
• Moderate (30 minutes of vigorous activity 3 days per week) .7
• Active (1 hour per day 5 days per week) - .8
• Very Active (10 hours of vigorous activity per week - .9
• Athlete - multiply by 1.0

OR we can use simply use

Woman's ideal body weight:
US measure: 100 pounds for 60 inches in height
+ 5 pounds for each additional inch over 60 inches
Metric: 45 kilograms for 150 centimeters in height
+ 0.85 kilograms for each additional centimeter in height

Men's ideal body weight:
US measure: 106 pounds for 60 inches in height
+ 6 pounds for each additional inch over 60 inches
Metric: 48 kilograms for 150 centimeters in height
+ 1 kilogram for each additional centimeter in height

Step 2 - Use your ideal weight to determine your daily protein requirement.

The World Health Organization established a daily protein requirement less than the
UK Department of Health and Social Security, and the United States RDA.
Using the high and low recommendations together provides an acceptable range
for daily protein requirement.

Men and women protein intake range based on ideal body weight:

Minimum Daily Protein Requirement: W.H.O. recommends 0.45 grams of protein
per kilogram of ideal body weight per day.

Maximum Daily Protein Requirement: US RDA recommends 0.8 grams of protein
per kilogram of ideal body weight per day. The UK Department of Health and Social
Security is approximately the same. 

  Applying the above formula on myself using:

Calculations for Ideal Weight :
US – 100 lbs + 5 lbs per inch,
Metric – 45 kilograms + 0.85 k per centimeter

Phyllis Collins : Female: 5 ft 0 in, or 152 centimeters 

Ideal Weight: 100 lbs (US) or 45 kilograms (Metric).
Protein Requirement (World Health Organization):
         weight 45 kilograms x 0.45 = 20 grams
Protein Requirement (United States RDA):
         weight 45 kilograms x 0.8 = 36 grams

Therefore based on this formula,
my Protein daily requirement is between 20 and 36 grams.

So, depending on what my ideal weight actually is,
all of these formulas place my daily protein requirement
between 20 grams and 62 grams

1 protein gram = 4 calories.
Therefore the calories of my body’s daily protein requirement is:
somewhere between 80 and 248 calories of pure protein.

Like the majority of people who look into this subject,
I am often am very surprised to see how little protein
that my body actually requires for ongoing good health.

Note, that there are only two other nutrients used by the body.
These are fat and carbohydrates, and major research studies show
that the only one of the three nutrients that are NOT ESSENTIAL
for the body’s health is carbohydrates, and.
this is one of the major reasons that the body processes
prioritize burning carbs for energy before using the other two nutrients.

Please don’t misunderstand me here.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t eat carbohydrates.
  I do eat them.
I’m saying they aren’t an essential requirement. 

Leave me a comment.

Please Login to comment on this blog.

Existing Comments:

On Jun 04, 2011 jhwalk57 wrote:
Fruits and vegetables are full of carbs... right? I am confused. If carbs are non-essential and by my math ... I am getting too many grams of protein -- what is left to eat? I love fruits and vegetables! I could eat lots and lots of them. Yet it sounds like carb overload would result. I weight 144. According to your blog my ideal weight at 5' 8" is 154. However, I have a small frame and some weight charts show men with small frames at my height may be comfortable at .... ready for this .... 141! DietPower tells me every day that I am "far above target" on my protein. My budgeted calories is around 1500 a day. Carbs; fat; and protein .... I am running out of options. Mmmm?

On Jun 05, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             jhwalk - This is a very interesting issue. Look at the Summary posts in the BOOKTALK section for a more in-depth discussion about it. Here, I'm talking about the actual amount of Protein REQUIRED for the body to maintain or build its muscles and function in a healthy manner. There is a lot of misinformation around about this. If one has more Protein than the body requires, the body simply turns it into Glucose either to be burned as fuel or stored as fat, Carbs initially become Glucose, and the body handles Glucose the same way whether the source of that Glucose is protein or carbs. Glucose raises blood-sugar which triggers insulin release which works to put circulating fat into fat cells, burning some of the glucose and putting the remainder into fat cells in order to clear sugar (glucose) from the blood. When insulin is high, it blocks the fat cells from releasing energy to be burned, because circulating glucose must be burned first in order to keep the body's blood sugar low enough for safety. The only one of the three nutrients that never raises insulin is fat. There are studies that show the body requires protein and fat to survive, but it can survive without carbs. All vitamins and minerals required by the body, except for Vitamin C, exist in protein AND in much higher amounts. There is also evidence that the body has a much higher requirement FOR Vitamin C when carbs are eaten, so w/o carbs, protein and fat alone can provide all the material needed for a healthy body. SO...that said...that doesn't mean that the body CANNOT use carbs to stay healthy, it just means the body doesn't HAVE to do so. I'd say the practicalities of life, including food availability and marketing and econominal issues are the reason for the wide misunderstanding of these physical facts. **** We have a great deal of choice over the nutrients we eat. We don't HAVE to have massive amounts of protein, AND we don't HAVE to have ANY carbohydrates, AND ... absent the presence of glucose, the body will effeciently burn fat as fuel .... dietary fat as well as stored fat. ***************** We MUST have a small amount of protein and fat ... but once that basic health requirement is satisfied, we have the individual option to eat any of the 3 nutrients in whatever porportion we choose. ***************** Traditional beliefs to the contrary result from MARKETING propaganda and practical marketing issues which arose centuries ago.

On Dec 03, 2012 jethro wrote:
This article is worth its weight in gold. My diet has become easier. All I have to do is plan on eating my required protein within my appropriate range and use the rest of my calories on things I enjoy.

On Dec 03, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks, Jethro. That's how I do it too, except at times when I'm Experimenting with Diets that have specific micronutrient requirements.

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