How Much Protein Do You Need If You Workout?

How much protein do you need if you workout? It depends on your goals. If you’re trying to build muscle, you need more protein than if you’re just trying to maintain your current muscle mass.


Being physically active is essential for our overall health, from maintaining an optimal weight to reducing the risk of disease. Adequate protein intake can help you reach your physical goals by providing the energy and assistance needed to build muscle and strength. But how much protein do you need if you work out? The answer lies in your individual goals, body composition and activity level.

In general, if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle, consuming 1-1.2g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is recommended. If you’re generally more active or aiming for physical performance improvements (i.e., resistance training), then increasing your protein intake to 1.6-2g/kg is recommended.

Your performance goals and activity level — rather than a “one size fits all” approach — will heavily influence how much protein your body requires during exercise sessions; however, it’s still important to remember that overeating isn’t beneficial either, as excess dietary proteins will be converted into fat storage over time.

The Basics of Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build and repair tissues throughout the body. It is essential for muscle growth and recovery after workouts. Protein can be found in both animal and plant sources, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Knowing how much protein you need when you work out can help you maximize the results of your workouts. Let’s explore the basics of protein and how much you need for a successful workout.

What is Protein?

Protein is an essential macronutrient and a very important part of a balanced diet. It’s made up of essential amino acids that are key to the growth, maintenance and repair of cells throughout the body. The average adult needs to eat or drink an adequate amount of protein daily in order to maintain good health — this amount will depend on your lifestyle, activity level and weight.

Protein is found in many foods such as meat, fish, dairy products and nuts, but it can also be obtained through plant-based sources such as beans and lentils. Protein intake can be increased by eating items like tofu and tempeh (fermented soy products), whole grain breads and cereals, or adding protein powder into smoothies or oatmeal.

For those who regularly engage in physical activity and exercise for health, protein is especially important for muscle growth and repair. When engaging in resistance training or high intensity exercise, athletes require higher amounts of protein intake from various sources such as egg whites, canned tuna or peanut butter. Calculating your exact needs may require trial-and-error at first; however a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can help properly determine your personalized needs if needed.

What Does Protein Do?

Protein plays an important role in many bodily functions and is an essential part of any healthy diet, especially if you workout regularly. Protein provides the body with the necessary building blocks to create bones, muscles and hormones. It also helps in the formation of enzymes and other chemicals that are necessary for normal physiological functions such as digestion, metabolism, transport and even energy production. Not getting enough protein in your diet can lead to muscle wasting or a lack of development of healthy tissue.

The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (2.2 lbs.) for adults — this breaks down to about 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women daily. People who exercise or engage in sports activities often require more protein than the average adult; however, extreme increases should NOT be made without consulting a healthcare professional first.

For those who get their protein from foods such as meat, dairy products, eggs or fish these amounts may be easier to reach than someone drinking only plant-based sources like nuts and tofu due to reduced absorption by the body. With all sources of protein it is important to remember that moderation is key — too much can strain your kidneys while not enough can lead to muscle wasting or other health issues over time.

Protein Needs for Exercise

Protein is an essential macro-nutrient that is necessary for muscle gain and repairing post-exercise. Studies have shown that consuming adequate amounts of protein in your diet is important for athletes and those engaging in physical activity. In this article, we will discuss the recommended protein needs for exercise so you can make sure you are providing your body with the fuel it needs to perform.

Factors That Affect Protein Needs

Exercise has a range of important health benefits and can be a great way to improve physical health and wellness. However, if you exercise it is important to make sure your body is getting the nutrition it needs in order to maximize the exercise’s effectiveness. One of the key nutrients for successful exercising and improved performance is protein. Even if you take part in regular exercise, proper protein intake may be crucial for maintaining muscle mass, as well as for facilitating muscle recovery and preventing injuries.

You may need more protein on days when you exercise than on days when you do not, but determining how much exactly can be confusing since there are several factors that determine your exact protein needs. These include your gender, general activity level, body type, age, goals in terms of strength building or weight loss and finally the intensity of your workouts.

For example, men usually require more protein than women due to higher retention rates during periods of rest as well as during times of physical exertion like workouts or running. Athletes who specialize in activities involving strength training or heavy lifting also typically need more protein than those who perform activities designed primarily to improve fitness levels such as running on a regular basis. Additionally, older individuals may also require more protein to maintain muscle mass and gain strength when exercising over time compared to their younger counterparts with greater levels of hormones conducive for muscular development such as testosterone or growth hormone..
By taking into account all the possible factors that affect an individual’s overall protein needs due to physical activity it will help one properly quantify their exact daily requirements for optimal results from their exercise routine

Adequate protein intake is essential for any exercise program, and the amount of protein you need to consume depends on your goals. It is important to distinguish between general physical activity and high-intensity exercise. If you just engage in general physical activities, like walking or biking, your protein needs aren’t greatly increased when compared to other individuals.

However, if you participate in hard training — strength conditioning, anaerobic or aerobic exercises — your body will be broken down more than usual and will require extra nutrients for recovery. In this case, it is recommended that you consume approximately 0.5–0.75 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day (1–1.6 g/kg).

For individuals who do not want to gain muscle mass or increase lean muscle volume, 0.8–1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight could be sufficient (1.8–2 g/kg). For those who want to build muscle mass while exercising with weights or weight machines and looking to increase their lean mass should aim for 1–1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight (2–2.4 g/kg).
If you are over 65 years old, experts suggest seeking the advice of a nutritionist before increasing your dietary protein intake significantly due to the potential risks associated with aging and health issues like kidney function complications that can occur with higher intakes of dietary protein at this age range .

Sources of Protein

Protein is essential for muscle repair and development after training and is an important part of any workout regime. Protein can be found in various sources, from plants to animals, so it’s important to know the best sources for your individual needs. In this article, we’ll cover the different sources of protein that can be used to help you reach your fitness goals.

Animal Sources

Animal sources of protein are widely available and are a key component to any diet that includes exercising. These include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Animal proteins tend to be complete proteins, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids needed for the body’s protein synthesis processes.

Meats such as beef, lamb, pork and chicken are all good sources of complete proteins. Other animal-based proteins include fish such as salmon and tuna; dairy products like milk and yogurt; eggs from organically raised chickens; and seafood like mussels, oysters , shrimp , crab and lobster . It is important that animal-based foods come from humanely raised animals with minimal use of antibiotics or hormones.

When possible try to opt for leaner cuts of meats such as skinless chicken breasts or fish fillets instead of fattier cuts such as ground beef or ribeye steaks. Additionally look for nonfat or low-fat versions of dairy products in order to reduce the fat content in your meals while still getting the nutritional benefits associated with them. By selecting these sources you will ensure that you get adequate amounts of protein while limiting unhealthy fats in your diet.

Plant Sources

Plant sources of protein offer many health benefits, are low in fat, and contain complex carbohydrates. It’s important to enjoy a variety of plant proteins on a regular basis to ensure you’re getting adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. Here is a list of popular plant proteins:

-Lentils: Lentils are one of the most versatile and nutritious plant proteins. They are a great source of fiber, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
-Tempeh: Tempeh is made from cooked and fermented soybeans that have been pressed into cakes. It is a rich source of protein, fiber, B-vitamins and minerals such as iron and calcium.
-Quinoa: Quinoa is technically not a grain but actually comes from the seeds of an edible flowering plant related to spinach. It’s high in protein with all eight essential amino acids along with other mineral such as phosphorus and manganese.
-Nuts & Seeds: Nuts (e.g., almonds) as well as seeds (e.g., pumpkin) offer quality sources of phytonutrients and trace minerals that help promote overall health alongside protein content for muscle building or maintenance purposes
-Beans & Legumes: Beans (e.g., black beans or kidney beans) and legumes (e.g., chickpeas) provide excellent sourcesof both soluble and insoluble fibers while also containing antioxidants, phytonutrients along with plant compounds beneficial to your health

Protein Supplements

One of the most important nutrients you need in order to build muscle and aid in recovery is protein. While you can get adequate amounts of protein from a healthy diet, taking a protein supplement can help ensure you are getting enough protein to reach your fitness goals. Let’s look at the different types of protein supplements, how much protein you should be taking, and the benefits and drawbacks of taking protein supplements.

When to Use Protein Supplements

If you’re engaging in intense physical activity, such as weightlifting, running or cycling, your body may require more protein than usual. However, it is important to meet your body’s protein needs through diet before relying on supplements.

You should only take protein supplements if you are unable to meet your needs through food alone. It is best to aim for whole sources of plant and animal proteins when possible. If you choose to supplement with whey or plant-based proteins, the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) recommends aiming for 0.14-0.23 grams per pound of body weight per day if you are an athlete in training.

It is important to keep in mind that while protein supplements may be used to supplement a balanced diet, they are not meant to replace meals. In addition, there can be potential health risks associated with consuming high doses of protein above what is considered safe and when using multiple forms of supplemental proteins at one time. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider your nutrition needs prior to physically exercising and consult a licensed healthcare provider about any specific dietary requirements or concerns you might have about taking dietary supplements for improved exercise performance and recovery post-workout .

Types of Protein Supplements

Protein supplements can be beneficial for those looking to increase their daily protein intake, especially during times of high-intensity exercise or physical activity. Protein supplements come in different varieties and forms, allowing you to find the right one for your individual needs and goals.

The three main types of protein supplement are Whey Protein, Casein Protein and Soy Protein. Whey protein is a type of complete protein and is most commonly used due to its relatively fast absorption rate, making it suitable for post-workout consumption. Casein is also a complete protein but it is digested more slowly than whey so can be beneficial prior to bedtime or longer periods of inactivity as it provides a more sustained release of amino acids, giving continued muscle-building support throughout the night. Finally soy protein has been widely studied as having comparable effects to animal proteins in terms of muscle growth and maintenance due to its being derived from plant material & containing all 9 essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle repair & growth. Its slower digestion rate can also be beneficial pre-workout as providing sustained energy & preventing post-workout fatigue & burnout.

Thus whatever your individual needs there are types of protein supplements available that suit them perfectly; whether you wish to increase recovery time, maintain an ideal physique or enhance performance; understanding which type suits you best will help you reach your goals succinctly & efficiently.


To recap, the amount of protein you need if you are regularly engaging in a workout program depends on the type, intensity and duration of your workouts, as well as your muscle mass, body composition and existing nutrition habits. Consuming an adequate amount of protein is essential for preserving and building muscle; however, make sure to also eat enough carbohydrates and healthy fats as part of your balanced diet. Therefore, it is important to see a registered dietician for individualized advice.

Checkout this video:

Similar Posts