A protein calculator is essential for everybody seeking to know the exact amount of protein they need to eat daily.
This is important because sufficient daily protein intake is crucial for maintaining your body's normal functions and lean muscle mass. Proteins are nutrients that build and recover our muscles and are extremely important for a healthy and all-around diet.
Keep reading below to learn everything you need about protein calculators, how to use them, and more.
- A protein calculator is a tool used for estimating your daily protein needs.
- Taking a sufficient amount of protein is essential for maintaining lean muscle mass and the proper functioning of your body.
- To calculate your daily protein intake, you must consider your activity level, weight, and age.
What Is a Protein Calculator?
A protein calculator is a piece of software that estimates the daily dietary protein amount your body needs to remain healthy. Ingesting less than a sufficient amount of protein can decrease your muscle mass.
In addition, taking more protein combined with the proper exercise regime can further boost your muscle-building effects, make hypertrophy more effective, and help you recover faster.
Also, people who are more physically active, nursing and pregnant women, usually need more daily protein.
Furthermore, a protein calculator is extremely useful for monitoring your protein intake if you happen to have kidney disease, diabetes, or liver disease. Lastly, it can help the rest of the conditions in which protein intake is a factor.
What Are Proteins?
Proteins are primary macronutrients that are responsible for providing energy to the human body.
In addition, they are one of three primary micronutrients alongside fats and carbohydrates.
Proteins are macronutrients responsible for the majority of work done in our cells. In fact, they are necessary for the function and proper structure of our tissues and organs and also act as a regulator.
Furthermore, they are composed of numerous amino acids, which are essential for the proper functioning of our bodies.
They also serve as a building block of the body tissue. In total, there are 20 different amino acids. The sequence of amino acids is the one determining the protein's function and structure.
Specific amino acids can be synthesized in the body, but 9 amino acids can only be obtained through dietary sources. In fact, insufficient amounts of these amino acids can result in death.
These amino acids are called essential amino acids and are necessary for the proper functioning of our body. Complete protein sources are the second name for food, providing all essential amino acids.
Those include animal(dairy, meat, eggs, fish) and plant-based sources (quinoa, soy, buckwheat).
All proteins can be categorized based on their function in the body. Here are some types of proteins:
- Enzymes - they help form new molecules and perform chemical reactions occurring throughout the body.
- Antibodies - these proteins protect the body from foreign particles. Some of them include bacteria and viruses.
- Structural component - these proteins act as a building block for cells responsible for moving the body.
- Messenger - proteins that are responsible for transmitting signals throughout our body to maintain body processes.
- Storage/transport - these proteins move molecules throughout the body
How Much Protein Do I Need?
How much protein you need will largely depend on your energy intake, weight, and physical activity level.
Many conditions determine the daily protein intake of a particular individual. Some of those conditions include the growth of the individual, overall energy intake, physical activity level, etc.
Also, daily protein intake is often based on body weight as a percentage of total caloric intake, which is usually between 10% and 30%.
However, it can be based on age alone too. The common and most widely accepted amount of protein that should be ingested daily is 0.8g/kg of body weight.
This is the minimum recommended value for maintaining basic nutritional requirements.
Consuming more protein may be beneficial in some scenarios, but that depends on the source of the protein too. In addition, the recommended range of protein intake is between 0.8 g/kg and 1.8 g/kg of body weight.
People who are on the more active side of the spectrum or simply wish to build more muscle should consume more protein.
If you're wondering how much protein to gain muscle? some sources suggest consuming up to 2g/kg for those who are even more active. However, to this date, the amount of protein a person should consume is not an exact science.
The best option is to consult with a specialist, dietician, doctor, personal trainer, or similar.
Foods High in Protein
There is much protein-rich food that an individual can eat to meet their daily protein intake. For most people, the biggest amount of protein comes from dairy and meat. However, it is possible to get enough protein while being on certain dietary restrictions.
It is generally easier to meet your recommended dietary allowance by consuming dairy and meat. However, an excess of meat and dairy can negatively impact your current health.
There are numerous options regarding plant-based proteins, but they usually contain less protein in a single serving.
It would be ideal if a person would consume a mixture of dairy, meat, and plant-based foods to meet their recommended dietary allowance while also having a balanced diet with nutrients. Generally, consuming a variety of complete proteins in a single diet is recommended.
A protein containing a good amount of each of the nine essential amino acids is called a complete protein.
Examples of complete protein means and foods include:
Examples of vegan or plant-based complete proteins include:
Nuts, seeds, legumes and similar are considered incomplete proteins. While there is nothing wrong with consuming incomplete proteins, consuming a large amount of them will be necessary.
It isn't necessary to just eat complete protein foods. In fact, red meat, which is a source of complete protein, can be unhealthy.
Here are some examples of high proteins foods which are not complete proteins:
You can consume and combine both complete and incomplete protein sources to achieve the best results.
How Do I Calculate the Protein in My Food?
You can calculate the protein in your food by using labels. In addition, you can weigh out your food on a food scale and use one of the many nutritional bases online.
However, if you are unsure or don't trust yourself to complete this task on your own, you should consult an expert. Dieticians, personal trainers, and doctors all come into consideration.
To calculate how much protein you need, you must know your activity status and weight. The recommended protein range is from 0.8 grams to 2 grams per kg of body weight, meaning the more active and muscular you are, the more protein you need.
You need at least 0.8 grams of protein per kg. This amount of weight ensures your body remains stable and properly functions without experiencing any side effects.
It depends on your weight if 2 eggs give enough protein. Generally, two eggs will give you 12 grams of hunger/satisfying protein, which may not be enough for more active or heavier people.
Why Should You Use Protein Calculator?
You should use a protein calculator to make sure you are ingesting the right amount of protein daily.
Consuming the right amount of protein is essential for maintaining lean muscle mass.
Lastly, always make sure to include a proper balance between complete and incomplete protein sources for a superb diet.