Protein Calculator


Calculate Your Protein Needs 

Activity Levels, Explained:


People who engage in minimal or no physical activity would be classified as sedentary. Those who get less than 5,000 steps daily with no other purposeful activity would fall into the sedentary category. 


If you get 5,000-8,000 steps daily, and may participate in more daily activities than those in the sedentary category. Activities of daily living that a light fitness level might entail include gardening, housework, using a standing desk, etc. 


Moderate activity level is working hard enough to break a sweat - things like tennis, biking, swimming, light jogging, brisk walking, and hiking, for example. Select moderate for a fitness level if you get 2-3 hours of moderate exercise per week. 


Intense physical activity such as weightlifting, CrossFit, running, aerobics, cycling at least 10 mph, and competitive sports, etc. Your heart rate will significantly increase and lead to harder breathing. Requires you to work at 70-85 percent of your maximum heart rate.

How to use this protein calculator

First, enter your weight at the top of the calculator. Protein needs are estimated in grams per kilogram of body weight. Therefore, someone who weighs more will likely require more protein.

Although there is a spot to choose your gender, it’s important to understand that gender actually doesn’t impact protein needs. The recommended daily allowance, or RDA, for protein for adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (1).

Next, be sure to choose your fitness goals and select your corresponding activity level. Undoubtedly, your nutrition goals and physical activity level will impact your body’s protein requirements.

When interpreting your results from this calculator, keep in mind that results are expressed in a range. This indicates a protein amount that would be appropriate for a given individual. Consuming protein anywhere within this range would be acceptable for your body.


What is protein and why do we need it?

Protein is a macronutrient that is essential to human life. Protein builds and repairs our tissues, such as muscles and skin. It’s also necessary for the structure and function of our organs, bones, hormones, and much more.

Protein is a part of every cell in our body including red blood cells, DNA, and bones. Because our cells are continuously being broken down and rebuilt, protein is always required.

Eating adequate protein is also important because it helps with satiety, which can be particularly helpful for weight management or weight loss. In fact, research suggests that consuming a diet higher in protein can help control appetite and increase feelings of fullness (2).

If you are not getting adequate protein in your diet, your body has to tap into its protein stores for necessary body functions and processes to continue.

One of the first protein stores the body taps into is muscle. Therefore, by not meeting your protein needs, you could potentially lose muscle mass (3).

What’s more, failing to meet your body’s demand for dietary protein can result in fatigue and weakness, a slowed metabolism, cramping, and soreness, for example.

Continue reading to learn about how much protein you need to meet your individual needs.


How much protein do you need?

The recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for healthy adults. This is an estimation based on the average daily intake that meets the needs of about 98% of healthy people.

However, protein needs vary between individuals, and largely depend on body size, activity level, and personal goals. That’s why we created this calculator to help people navigate their specific needs.

To better understand how much protein you need and the reasons behind it, continue reading below.


If your goal is fat loss:

If your goal is fat loss, you likely require higher amounts of protein.

Consuming a higher daily protein intake of about 1.3-2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight, is beneficial for fat loss.

Studies show that adults who consume more protein (1.3-2.0 g/kg/d) have increases in lean body mass and reductions in body fat, when compared to those who have a normal protein intake of about 0.8g/kg/d (4, 5).

What’s more, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that women who consumed 30% of their total calories from protein ended up eating fewer calories and lost more weight compared to those who did not increase their protein intake (6).


If your goal is muscle gain:

If your goal is to gain muscle, you will also have elevated protein needs.

Increasing protein intakes to about 1.4 -2.2 g/kg/d is likely effective for increasing muscle mass, especially in athletes who engage in more rigorous physical activity.

A daily protein intake of about 1.6 g/kg/day or as high as 2.2 g/kg/day, appears to be the most influential factor to consider when aiming to increase muscle mass, especially for athletes or those engaging in strength training exercise.

Achieving this higher daily protein intake could be possible by incorporating sources of high-quality protein throughout the day, along with high-quality protein supplements (7, 8).


If your goal is maintenance:

If you are at a healthy weight and are looking to maintain your current physique and health status, consuming 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is a reasonable estimate.

Although the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, this is a modest amount.

The RDA is the minimum amount you need to meet your nutritional requirements – not necessarily how much you are supposed to eat every day.

Research supports that individuals tend to feel better and have more positive health outcomes with a bit more protein, which is why we estimate and recommend a maintenance value that is slightly higher than the RDA (9).


Table 1: Optimal Protein Needs for Adults Based on Fitness Goals in grams per kilogram of body weight


Protein needs (g/kg)



Fat Loss


Muscle Gain



*For maintenance, multiply body weight x 0.8 g/kg x 1-1.5; for fat loss multiply body weight x 0.8 g/kg x 1.6-2.5; for muscle gain multiply body weight x 0.8 g/kg x 2-2.75


Best sources of dietary protein

When we consume protein, our bodies break down proteins into smaller molecules called amino acids. We then use these amino acids to carry out many physiological processes, which often includes building new proteins.

The best sources of dietary protein are those that contain all nine essential amino acids. There are also other amino acids that our body can produce – these are called non-essential amino acids.

In general, animal protein contains all essential amino acids. Animal products like poultry, beef, fish and shellfish, eggs, and dairy are great sources of protein.

It is also possible to obtain protein from plant-based sources. Some of the best sources of plant-based proteins include soy products like tofu and soy milk, beans, nuts and seeds, and certain grains such as quinoa and oats.

Aim to eat a varied diet with protein from both animal and plant sources for optimal health.


Table 2: Animal and Plant Sources of Dietary Protein


Protein (g)

4 oz lean beef


4 oz chicken


1 egg


6 oz tofu


1 cup black beans


4 oz salmon


½ cup quinoa (cooked)


2 tbsp peanut butter


1 cup Greek yogurt


1 cup soy milk


2 scoops Naked Whey


*The values in the above table were obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Database, called FoodData Central (10).