In order to function as animals we must consume some protein. Proteins literally are the building blocks needed for all physical parts of our bodies. This ranges from skin, hair, nails, nerves, enzymes, antibodies, blood, muscle....everything.
For a normal person to function in the world who lives a sedentary life you need 0.8g/kg body mass per day. This means that a 75kg person who doesn't really exercise needs to consume 60g daily. This doesn't really sound like much and can be quite easily eaten in a normal diet. This could be two tins of tuna per day and that would cover your requirements.
What if you're not normal? Athletes, elderly, injured, obese, physical workers.... All of these sub-categories will require more protein, but why? It usually comes down to how hard your body is working. If you stress your systems, your protein turnover will increase, this means you're now breaking more protein and therefore need to make more, obviously this means you need to consume more. Elderly populations should look to consume 1.2g/kg BM. This is because their bodies are less sensitive to protein so you need more to stimulate new growth. Athletes often require higher levels of muscle mass to be effective. This can mean levels of 1.6-2g/kg BM are required to support a bigger body that gets worked hard. Bodybuilders are forever driven by pure muscle mass, this means gruelling workouts that constantly break muscle tissue down to be rebuilt bigger. Consuming protein at 2-3.5g/kg BM could be more appropriate for these individuals. A 90kg bodybuilder could be consuming over 300g of protein per day!
Therefore, in order to know if you're eating enough protein you need to assess your age, body weight, physical work load, your job, and your ultimate goal. With these bits of information you can now accurately calculate the right amount of protein needed for you.
Click here to calculate your protein intake