top of page

Protein Dietary Needs

Both athletes and non-athletes must obtain an adequate amount of protein. For non-athletes protein is required for lots of basic health functions, but for active exercisers and athletes, additional protein intake is required for the repair and recovery of muscle tissue. The amount of protein needed depends on the goals of the active individual. The dietary reference intakes (DRI) are established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein for women id 46 grams per day and 56 grams for men. Exceeding the proposed dietary protein need poses few, if any, negative consequences.

Total Daily Protein Requirements

Since total protein requirements depend largely on the body size, activity level, and body composition goals of an individual it is best to intake based on a gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight basis. Individuals need between 0.8 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. Inactive persons will require less protein intake than those exercising with greater intensity, Additionally, more protein is required to recover from strength training than from cardiovascular training.

Protein Quality

The next most important factor to keep in mind in meeting protein requirements is the type of protein consumed. Protein quality refers to the number of essential amino acids contained within, and the digestibility of, a protein-containing food. It also refers to the completeness of a protein. A complete protein is a food that contains all of the essential amino acids. In general, animal proteins are complete proteins and plant proteins are incomplete , with the exception of soy. Vegetarians will often need to consume mixed proteins. An example of a mixed protein would be rice and beans. Rice proteins are a poor source of lysine, but rich in cysteine and methionine. Beans have enough lysine, but they are poor sources of methionine and cysteine. Thus, they can be combined to form a complete protein in a single meal. These are called complementary proteins. Complementary proteins can be simply consumed across meals throughout the day over a 24 hour period. Other examples of complementary proteins include:

  1. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

  2. Send this concept to someone to help them on their fitness journey!

  3. Like the post!


Was this post helpful?

  • Yes

  • NO

  • Eh...

20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page