How Much Protein Should I Consume Per Day?
To begin with, you can throw the standard recommended daily protein requirements out the out the window. For example, the Daily Reference Value (DRV) standard proposed by the FDA is based on a protein evaluation as a percentage of calories consumed -- with no consideration as to whether or not the calories being consumed are appropriate for the particular person consuming them. On average, the DRV for protein works out to about 50 grams per adult on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, regardless of age or sex.
The older RDA standard, on the other hand, is based on age and sex with a vague acknowledgement that special periods such as pregnancy and injury require higher levels of protein -- but no consideration for athletes or seniors, and no consideration of overall calories consumed. On the other hand, if you go to most protein supplement sites, you will find there protein supplement recommendations based on body weight ranging from 0.8 grams protein per kg of bodyweight to 1.2-1.8 g/kg. For a 70 kg adult (154 lbs) that works out to over 100 grams of protein a day -- and according to some recommendations, as much as 300 grams a day. But can a 150 lb adult who weighs 300 lbs because they are obese really need the same amount of protein as a 300 lb football linebacker -- even if they both theoretically "work out" every day?
Food consumption surveys show an average protein intake of approximately 100 grams per day (regardless of body type, sex, or exercise levels), with about 70% of that from high fat animal products. Most people could do with significantly less protein per day (about 45-55 grams per day is adequate for most). The real key is not how much protein you consume per day, but if you are getting a clean source of daily protein such as from an all natural, vegan protein source.
Then again, people with special needs such as performance athletes, active adults, senior citizens, and people recovering from illness or injury may have requirements that run up to as much as 70-100 grams a day. Beyond that, we're talking about bodybuilders looking to build as much muscle mass as is humanly possible. And when it comes to building maximum muscle mass and enhancing performance, each bodybuilder knows their own requirements.
The table below shows the amount of protein one should consume based on gender and age.