How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

Fresh butcher cut meat assortment garnished with Salad and fresh rosemaryOfficial dietary guidelines generally recommend that everyone should get between 10-20% of their daily energy from protein, and some health authorities even argue that high protein diets (>20%) have adverse effects on health. Even though people who are very physically active have higher protein needs, the recommendations still apply as these individuals usually consume more total calories. However, if we look at the human dietary patterns throughout our evolutionary history, it’s clear that the average protein intake in most countries today is on the low side. While this doesn’t mean that high protein diets are necessary optimal, the mismatch between the typical protein intake in the western diet and the average protein intake in ancestral diets, in combination with the scientific evidence showing the benefits of “high” protein diets for weight loss, muscle growth, and prevention of several types of chronic diseases, suggests that the official recommendations are lower than optimal for many people. This is especially true for strength trainees and other physically active people who want to maximize protein synthesis and gain muscle and strength.

Read more from my guest post at BretContreras.com

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