Here’s How Much Protein You Really Need

Your muscles are made of protein, so if you’re building muscle you need to eat up. But how much protein do you really need? More than a couch potato, but less than the protein-crazy gym bros would have you believe. Here’s how to quickly calculate the real answer.

First, know that there are two factors to consider: how big you are, and how active you are. If you know you carry a lot of fat, you can calculate based on your ideal body weight instead of your actual body weight. We have the full details in our guide to protein, but here’s the short answer:

If you’re sedentary or lightly active and maintaining your weight

Most of us will do fine on the RDA of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of total body weight—but consider that a minimum. That means:

  • If you weigh 100 pounds, eat at least 36 grams of protein each day.
  • If you weigh 150 pounds, eat at least 54 grams of protein each day.
  • If you weigh 200 pounds, eat at least 72 grams of protein each day.
  • If you weigh 250 pounds, eat at least 90 grams of protein each day.

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