Protein is essential for building, and rebuilding, the body. But while too little can be a bad thing, so can too much. The trick is finding the right amount for you.
Protein is one of the three macronutrients (the others being carbohydrates and fat) that make up the bulk of your daily diet. Protein can be found in every cell in your body including bone, blood, hair, skin, nails and muscles and is used by the body to build and repair tissue. Notably, protein is recruited by the body to help repair muscles after they’re broken down during exercise.
Obviously extra protein is needed in the diet to help foster this repair. However, the amount isn’t as much as some would have you believe. Even if you’re an extremely avid trainer who gets to the gym 5-6 days per week you don’t need more than one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight; less if your exercise intensity is low to moderate.
To figure how much you need start with a baseline of 1/2 gram per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of bodyweight. If you exercise moderately 2-3 days per week increase that amount by 25%. If you’re a hard, regular trainer add 50% and and you should have more than enough protein to keep your body running stocked with the nutrient it needs to continuing its never ending cycle of growth and repair.