Protein Intake Calculator

Protein is an important nutrient for bodily functions. This calculator helps to determine your total protein intake as per your calorie requirement, age, and physical activity which is important to meet the demand and help to regulate satiety level.

System

Gender

What Are Proteins?

Proteins are the building blocks and are made up of amino acids. Our muscles, skin, bones, tendons, enzymes, digestive juices all are made of protein. Besides supporting growth and development, proteins also provide 4 calories of energy (through oxidation of 1 g of protein).

How Much Protein Do We Need?

The amount of protein required depends on the age, sex, and physical activity of the person. The current International Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 g/kg body weight, irrespective of age (1). This is subject to change based on physical activity and needs to be distributed as nearly 25-30 g of high-quality protein in every meal (considering 3 meals) (1).

As per the American Dietetic Association, the protein requirement depends on the age and physical activity of a person.

  • No Exercise to Low Exercise: 0.8-1 g/body weight
  • Little to Moderate Exercise: 1-1.8 g/body weight
  • Heavy to Extra Exercise (athletes or sportspersons): 2g/kg body weight

How To Calculate Protein Intake

  1. The protein requirement depends on the age and activity level of a person.
  2. Calculate your body weight on a digital weighing machine. For conversion from pounds to kg, multiply pounds by 2.2 ( pounds*2.2= weight in kg).
  3. Analyze your physical activity. If you are involved in 10 hours of desk exercise with no physical activity, multiply 0.8 g with your body weight to understand how much protein is required per kg of your body weight to maintain muscle mass.

Recommended Dietary Allowances Of Protein

The RDA changes with age and is given in the following table (2):

Age Protein Requirement (g/day)
Child Male Female
1-3 years 13 - -
4-8 years - 19 19
9-13 years - 34 34
14-18 years - 46 52
19-30 years - 46 56
31-50 years - 46 56
51+ years - 46 56

Pregnancy and lactation are anabolic phases that require extra protein intake.

Extra Protein Requirements For Pregnancy And Lactation As Per Revised ICMR, 2010

Safe Intake(grams / day) Additional Energy Requirement(kj/day)
Pregnancy trimester 1 1 375
Pregnancy trimester 2 10 1200
Pregnancy trimester 3 31 1,950
Lactation First 6 months 19 2,800
Lactation After 6 months 13 1,925

What Is The Best Source Of Protein?

Proteins are of plant and animal origin. Animal proteins contain all the essential amino acids needed to support growth, while plant proteins lack one or two essential amino acids that can be complemented if mixed with cereal proteins.

Some of the protein sources are (3):

  • Lean meat, poultry, and fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Beans and legumes (such as lentils and chickpeas)
  • Soy products like tofu
  • Some grains and cereal-based products are also sources of protein but generally not as high in protein as meat and meat products.

Is Too Much Protein Bad?

Excess protein intake may have toxic effects on the body. Ammonia is the by-product of protein metabolism. Protein intake beyond RDA produces more ammonia, which is converted to urea. Excess urea production burdens the kidneys (3).

Should I Increase My Protein Intake To Lose Weight?

Protein can help you lose weight when combined with other macronutrients in a balanced manner. Adequate protein intake as per the weight and physical activity increases satiety, has a thermic effect that is more when compared to carbs and fat, and boosts the metabolic rate (4).

Sources

  1. Protein for Life: Review of Optimal Protein Intake, Sustainable Dietary Sources and the Effect on Appetite in Ageing Adults, Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872778/

  2. Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations.

    https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-7/

  3. Protein, Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government.

    https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/protein

  4. Protein intake and energy balance, Regulatory Peptides, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18448177

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