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How Much Protein Is Right For You?

How much protein do you eat, or should you eat, for your body and health goals?  Here are a few tips for understanding how much protein you might want to consume that best suits you!

Several different variations of protein exist for inclusion in your diet, of which all come with different amino acid compounds to serve your body.  

A few things to note about protein, anabolism, and catabolism:

1) Protein is a macronutrient that follows a ratio of 4 calories per gram.  Therefore, 20g of protein is equal to 80 calories. 

2) Protein creates more of an anabolic state in the body (usage of energy) versus exercise and fasting which create catabolic states (expenditure of energy). 

On a spectrum of serving your body for muscle building (more anabolic and thermogenic) down to less anabolic, here is a simple breakdown:

1) Red meat (high anabolic)

2) Poultry

3) Eggs

4) Fish

5) Plant (low anabolic)

There are 3 primary approaches for consumption of proteins and how much.  Consider what your current health goals are and how these approaches fit in with your lifestyle.

Approach 1 Body Building: 

Eating protein for bodybuilding and transformation might consider eating 1g of protein per lb of IDEAL body weight.  

+ This will help increase IGF1 and mTOR for growth within the body

– Conversely, it inhibits AMPK, fasting, and autophagy, which are more catabolic

– Studied to lower anti-aging and longevity in the body

Approach 2 Lean & Longevity:

Eating 10-20% of your total body weight.  Less than 10% animal based proteins.

+ Lowers IGF1 and mTOR

+ Increases AMPK, fasting, and mTOR

– Less muscle

– Lower athletic performance

– Less strong

Approach 3 Combination of Growth & Longevity:

Eating 20% of macros in protein, approximately 50% of your total calories, with the inclusion of intermittent fasting.

+ Balance of growth (IGF1 and mTOR) and fasting (AMPK and fasting)

It is important to know your specific body type and lifestyle to help make the right choices around protein consumption.  

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to you, and your health!

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