How To Eat 100 Grams Of Protein A Day

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How To Eat 100 Grams Of Protein A Day

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Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a huge role in many of our body’s processes. You’ve likely heard of protein before, and maybe you were even told how much to eat. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation circulating in the media about this valuable nutrient and how to get the right amount of it.

Many users may aim to get around 100 grams or so of this nutrient. But, the question remains, how do you ensure your body gets that much?

For those looking to eat 100 grams of protein daily, less or more, this article is for you. Let’s take a deeper look at protein, good protein sources and supplements, and how to incorporate them into your diet so you can learn how to eat 100 grams of protein a day.

What is Protein?

Protein is one of the three main macronutrients humans require in the diet, along with carbohydrates and fats. Protein is most well-known for its role in building muscle mass; however, it plays numerous different roles in the functioning of the human body. In fact, you can find protein in your muscle tissue, skin, nails, hair, and almost everywhere else in between. 

protein diet meal

Protein is made up of a collection of individual amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks required to form a protein and include 20 different kinds. Out of those 20 amino acids, 9 are essential. This means our body is unable to make them on its own, and we require them in the diet to survive. The other 11 amino acids can be synthesized by our body as needed.

A protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids is considered a “complete” protein source. These are typically your animal products, such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs. Some protein sources are missing one or more of these essential amino acids, which makes them more difficult for our body to use. This includes most plant sources of protein, such as beans, legumes, and grains.

Why Do We Need Protein?

Because of its many functions in the human body, protein is required for life. Any time your body is growing or repairing, it is diligently utilizing protein. Aside from tissue repair, growth, and maintenance, protein is required for shuttling other essential nutrients throughout the body, such as vitamins, minerals, and oxygen throughout our bloodstream. Protein is also an essential component in fighting infections, blood clotting, and keeping our body’s fluid in balance. 

Now that we know how important protein is, what happens if we don’t get enough of it in our diet? A diet lacking in protein can result in muscle loss, anemia, brittle hair and nails, poor wound healing, increased risk of infection, and more. This is not a nutrient that you want to neglect in the diet.

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How Much Protein Do We Need Every Day?

Since protein is so essential, we must consume adequate amounts of it daily but, how do we know how much protein we need every day? The amount of protein we need depends on many factors, including age, gender, and activity level. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, adults should aim to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about .35 grams per pound. This means a 150-pound (68 kilograms) adult should be consuming roughly 55 grams of protein per day minimum.

protein scale

If you are an athlete or working hard in the gym to build up your physique, you likely want to consume more than the standard amount of protein per day. According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, athletes should be increasing their protein intake to 1.2-2 grams per kilogram of body weight.

Aside from building muscle, many studies have found protein can help maintain a healthy body weight and is believed to be effective in weight loss as well. Protein has been shown to help suppress appetite for longer periods after a meal than other macronutrients. This is because it helps to reduce the hormone Ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone.

Protein Sources

When you think of high-protein foods, the first thing that comes to mind is typically meat. But don’t worry, there are many other protein sources to choose from aside from just that. Let’s look at some good sources of protein.

Good Sources of Protein 

  • Meat – beef, lamb, goat, pork
  • Poultry – chicken, turkey, quail, duck
  • Fish and seafood – salmon, tuna, cod, shrimp, mackerel, lobster, catfish, crab
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products – yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, milk
  • Soy – edamame, tofu, tempeh 
  • Nuts and seeds – walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts
  • Legumes – beans, peas, lentils

If you are a carnivore, your choices for protein foods are relatively widespread; however, for those looking to avoid meat or animal products in general, you may need to be a bit more strategic with your protein choices. 

For those following a vegetarian diet, meaning no meats, your best sources of protein will include eggs, dairy products, soy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds. If you are following a vegan diet and avoiding all animal products, you are limited to soy, legumes, nuts, and seeds. 

As mentioned earlier, some of these protein sources are not considered complete on their own, specifically legumes. Being sure to include a variety of foods in your diet and choosing protein foods throughout the day can help to ensure your body is getting enough and using it efficiently. 

For those who struggle with dietary restrictions or preferences that limit protein foods available to them, consider adding in a protein supplement to make sure you are meeting your protein needs. Most common protein supplements include whey protein, soy protein, and pea protein. You can find these supplements in the form of powders, bars, shakes, and more, and they can be a helpful way to fill in nutritional gaps.

Some top protein supplements worth considering include:

How to Eat 100 Grams of Protein a Day – Diet Examples

Now that you know a little more about protein, its importance, and how much you need, how can you incorporate this into your diet?

Protein Meal

One thing to keep in mind is making sure you are spreading out your protein foods throughout the day. Be sure to consume a protein source at every meal and snack. Consider the meal options below, for example.

Carnivore

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, ½ cup of strawberries, and ¾ cup of Greek yogurt

Snack: One handful of almonds 

Lunch: Tuna salad on whole grain bread with carrot sticks

Dinner: Garden salad with grilled chicken 

Vegetarian

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, ½ cup of strawberries, and ¾ cup of Greek yogurt

Snack: One handful of almonds 

Lunch: peanut butter and low sugar jelly sandwich with carrot and celery sticks

Dinner: Garden salad with tofu 

Vegan

Breakfast: ½ cup of strawberries and ¾ cup of soy-based yogurt

Snack: One handful of almonds 

Lunch: Tempeh tacos with brown rice and black beans

Dinner: Garden salad with tofu and sunflower seeds

Other Considerations

Although this article is about how to eat 100 grams of protein a day, make sure to choose the amount of protein that is right for you. Whether you are the average 0.8 grams per kilogram or are an athlete requiring 1.2-2 grams per kilogram, that number will be unique to you. 

Be sure to choose high-quality protein sources. This means for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet, don’t limit yourself to only legumes for your protein source. Look into different high-protein plant-based foods such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, nuts, and seeds. If you are still struggling to get enough protein in, consider adding a protein supplement. 

If you are easily able to meet your protein needs with diet alone, don’t reach for a supplement. You will get the most from your protein when it is consumed as a whole food.

Lastly, don’t forget to include a protein source at all meals and snacks throughout the day. This will help your body to better absorb this essential nutrient. Trying to cram in 100 grams of protein at one will not be ideal. In fact, it will likely be uncomfortable as well.

Conclusion: Eating 100 Grams of Protein Daily

Protein is essential for bodies to thrive. You can find it in most abundance in animal products; however, it is also widely available in many plants. Your individual protein needs will depend on many factors, but the general recommendation is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day or 0.35 grams per pound of body weight.

Protein Rich Foods

Some high protein diets have been shown to help improve satiety and even help aid in weight loss. Be sure to choose a protein-rich food for every meal and snack and spread it out across the day. If you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, don’t be afraid to reach for a protein supplement to make sure you meet your needs.

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