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Eating a balanced diet has many benefits, and it is absolutely essential for living a long and healthy life. Out of all the nutrients that our body requires, proteins are perhaps the most well-known and most consumed of all. Many people feel that only athletes and bodybuilders require a daily intake of proteins, but this is far from the truth. Since they are widely present in a variety of food sources, to consume the right amount is not an insurmountable task.

Advantages of Daily Protein Intake

Proteins are after all the basic building blocks of the human body. There are around 20 different types of amino acids that are present in proteins, and these acids enable proteins to help in the building up of muscles, tissues, hair, skin, nails, and blood. After water, proteins are the most dominant substance present in the human body. This factor makes it absolutely essential for us to follow the daily recommended protein intake.

Out of the 20 amino acids that constitute proteins, 8 are not produced naturally by the body. They require some external supplements and food sources to be created, and as a result, these are known as essential amino acids. Along with the other 12 types of amino acids, these 8 essential ones aid in the process of synthesis of proteins in the body. If these essential amino acids are not supplied to the body, proteins will be unable to build muscle and will aid in the repair of any wear and tear of the body. This makes it necessary for us to maintain the daily recommended intake of proteins.

Calculating Your Recommended Protein Intake

Described below is a fairly simple method. There are primarily two steps involved to carry out this procedure.

Step 1: Calculate your weight in kg. You can do this by finding your weight in pounds and then dividing it by 2.2.
Step 2: Multiply your weight in kg. with a number between 0.8 - 1.8. The resultant figure will give your recommended protein intake in grams.

For example, say a person weighs 160 pounds. This translates to about 72.5 kg (160/2.2). Now, multiplying this number with 1.2, we get 87. What this means is that the daily intake of protein for this person should be 87 grams.

The tricky part is deciding what figure should be chosen between 0.8 and 1.8. If you are in good health and lead a stress-free life, you should choose the lowest number possible, i.e., 0.8, to calculate your daily protein intake. The more stressed out you are, the higher the number you should choose. If you are pregnant, or are training under extreme conditions of weightlifting or endurance, or if you are recovering from an illness, you must choose a higher number for calculating the value.

Sources of Protein

Now that you are aware of how much protein your body will require on a daily basis, you must also know their sources. The following foods are the best sources of these nutrients.
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Soya milk
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Roast beef
  • Roast chicken
  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Corned beef
  • Meat paste
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Mushrooms
  • Bananas
  • Lentils
The following table will provide you with a brief overview about how many grams of proteins are deemed sufficient for children, women, and men of different ages.

ChildrenWomenMen
AgeProtein Intake (grams)AgeProtein Intake (grams)AgeProtein Intake (grams)
1-32311-144611-1445
4-63015-184615-1856
7-103419-224419-2256
Over 2344Over 2356
Pregnant35

It goes without saying that people with special needs of proteins, have a higher amount of recommended intake for one day. Athletes, active adults, weightlifters, senior citizens, and people recovering from an illness or an injury will surely require a higher daily intake of proteins than other people.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.