How to Calculate How Much Protein Powder You Need Daily

A protein shake helps build and repair muscles.

A protein shake helps build and repair muscles.

Consuming protein powder as a beverage is an efficient way to get to your recommended daily amount. The RDA for protein depends on your weight, exercise goals and level of physical activity. Protein helps build and repair muscle tissue, therefore a bodybuilder will require more protein than a track runner because weight training breaks down more muscle fibers. Several factors such as your exercise regimen and diet will help determine how much protein powder you require daily.

Determine your daily protein needs based on your level of physical activity. According to “Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook,” sedentary adults require 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight, while physically active adults should have 0.4 to 0.6 grams and growing athletes need between 0.6 to 0.9 grams. If you are bodybuilding, you need 0.6 to 0.9 grams of protein. Multiply your recommended protein intake by your body weight. For example, a 186-pound sedentary adult will require 75 grams of protein daily.

Calculate how much of your daily protein intake comes from food sources using an online calorie counter. Keep a food journal and input all the foods you consume into the calorie counter. Add up your protein intake and subtract the number from your daily protein needs. The result is the amount of protein you need from a powdered source. For instance, if the 186-pound sedentary adult consumed a container of plain yogurt and a 2-ounce serving of chicken breast for the day, he would have consumed 21 grams of protein. Therefore, he will need an additional 54 grams of protein from a powdered source.

Read the protein powder label to determine the amount of protein per scoop. Pick a protein powder such as whey protein, which is highly digestible. Check the label for the amount of protein per scoop. Have one or two scoops at a time until you reach your RDA. Have a protein shake with your meals or before or after a workout.

Tip

  • Get most of your protein from food sources. Protein-dense foods include fish, chicken, turkey and beans.

Warning

  • Protein shakes may cause stomach upset and bloating. Use a soy-based protein if this occurs or if you have an allergy.
 

About the Author

Jason Eaton has been a writer since 2010, and has contributed to several magazines and clinical journals. He has worked as a pediatric dietitian and clinical researcher in the United Kingdom. Eaton holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics, as well as a Master of Science in human nutrition.

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