How much Protein should I eat?

The word protein is derived from the Greek work “proteis” meaning “of prime importance”.  Second to water, protein makes up the largest percentage of material in the human body — about 45%.

Proteins are made up of of 21 different amino acids.  The human body is capable of producing 12 non-essential amino acids. The remaining 9 essential amino acids must be obtained from diet.

High quality protein contains all 9 essential amino acids, and includes eggs, meat, fish, milk, yogurt and cheese.  Low quality protein is missing one or more of the essential amino acids & includes food like grains, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds.  You can combine incomplete proteins in one meal to create a complete protein — IE. pita and hummus.

I’m often asked often how much protein should be ingested in one day.  Generally speaking you should get 1-2 grams of protein per kilograms of body weight.    (To convert pounds to kilos divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.).  Women need 1.0-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and men need 1.5 – 2.0 grams/kg.   I recommend that 30% of  your calories come from protein, to a maximum amount of 35%.

Pregnant women, adolescents, older adults and athletes need more protein.

Dr Oz suggests that within 30 minutes of waking up, you should eat 30 grams of protein. This absolutely works for me!  I have more energy and feel full longer when I get up and have my shake.

This is the homemade protein shake I prepare in the morning:

  • Ice
  • 3/4 c of soy milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Flax
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
  • 1 Scoop of Whey Protein Isolate

Mix it all in a magic bullet & Ta-Da – instant breakfast! Approximately 400 calories.  I drink 1/2 before my morning workout & finish after the training session.