Did you know that protein is the most popular macronutrient? Well it is true! Protein has been a hot discussion when it comes to muscle growth and weight loss for years now. Protein is comprised of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids and there are 9 amino acids that are body cannot produce. Let’s dive into daily recommendations of protein, types of protein, and function of protein in the body to learn more about protein.


The recommended daily allowance for protein currently is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight for the average American. This means if someone weighs 150 pounds they would need 55 grams of protein per day (150/2.2= 68.18 x 0.8= 55g). The average Americans exceeds their daily recommendations for protein at least 60% of the time. Your protein needs do can change throughout life due to some factors. For example, an athletes need will be different from the average American. Another thing to note is not all athletes require the same amount of protein. Depending on the sport you compete in your protein needs will vary. Also, your needs change if you had surgery or if you have certain medical conditions like cancer. Working with a Registered Dietitian can help pin point your exact protein needs. Click Here to work with me today!

Types of Protein

Complete Protein: Contain the 9 essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) our body cannot produce on its own. Complete proteins are from animal sources like chicken, beef, pork, fish, dairy products, and eggs just to name a few. Other complete proteins are soy products, quinoa, and buckwheat.

Incomplete Protein: Are missing at least one of the 9 essential amino acids. These are foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables. Did you know that you can combine two incomplete proteins to make a complete protein? You can! This is how people live on a plant based diet. For example, you can take rice and beans to make a complete protein. Just know that research has shown plant protein is 10-20% less likely to digest properly than animal products.

Functions of Protein

Protein in the body helps aid in muscle growth, strengthening bones, hormone regulation, aids in healing, supports lean muscle mass, suppress appetite, cell structure, and protects immune system. Protein also helps in hair, skin and nail growth. One thing that protein does not do well is form energy. Unlike carbohydrates, protein requires investment of energy to produce energy. This means that you actually lose out on some energy when protein is your main source of production of energy.

Overall, protein is essential in daily living. It is important to meet your daily requirements of protein. Hope today you learned a little more about protein. If you are interested in working with me on your protein requirements click here now.

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