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The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is .8 grams per kilogram of body weight., or .36 grams per pound. In order to meet that guideline, a female weighing in at 130 pounds needs about 47 grams, while a 200 pound male requires 72 grams.

Up until recently, many so called experts have failed to take into account the fact that physical activity increases your need for protein. Research by P.W. Lemon suggests that weight lifters may require up to double the RDA for protein, while those who partake in endurance activities regularly need 1.5 times the RDA.

This chart illustrates the grams of protein that may be required for varying body weights dependent upon the volume and type of physical activity.

Body Weight 1.5 x the RDA 2 x the RDA

130 70 grams 94 grams

150 81 grams 108 grams

175 95 grams 126 grams

200 108 grams 144 grams

Here is the protein content in some common foods. Do you think you are you getting enough?

Food Item - Protein

3 oz lean meat, fish, or chicken - 20 grams 2 slices cheese pizza - 15 grams ½ cup cottage cheese - 14 grams 8 oz yogurt - 12 grams ½ cup tofu - 10 grams 1 cup skim milk - 8 grams 1 oz peanuts - 7 grams ½ cup pinto beans - 7 grams 1 egg - 6 grams 2 slices whole wheat bread - 5 grams 1 cup rice - 4 grams 5' piece of cooked broccoli - 4 grams 1 med baked potato - 3 grams

Most experts agree that your intake of protein should come from a variety of sources in order to ensure a balance of amino acids.Saturated fat is often packaged with protein, so be careful! Beans, nuts, low fat dairy, even supplement drinks are great sources to supplement protein staples such as chicken, fish, and meat sources.My preferred recovery drink following long runs is Slim Fast, which contains 10 grams of protein.

Adding a little protein to your post-workout diet may have a dramatic affect on your ability to recover following a hard effort. According to Dr. John Ivy, author of Nutrient Timing and The Performance Zone, protein helps to minimize tissue damage and speeds muscle recovery when taken with carbohydrate shortly after difficult workouts. It's worth a try!

Disclaimer: This article is informational only and should not replace advice from a licensed medical provider.

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