Are you tracking your macros? Or on a diet? Or just curious how much protein you’re eating in a day? You’ll need khổng lồ know how many calories are in a gram of protein! This quiông xã guide breaks down everything you know about calculating your protein intake.


Today I’m putting on my nutritionist hat to talk all things protein! There is a growing trover khổng lồ measure macros (short for macronutrients) instead of calories. Macros simply refers to lớn the grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat you consume.

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The advantage lớn this technique is that it is not only an effective sầu means of tracking energy consumption but also a way of ensuring you balance your daily intake of each of these three macros (carbs, protein, & fats) lớn ensure a proper balance.

How many calories are in a gram?

So how many calories are in a gram of each macronutrient?

1 gram of protein provides 4 calories

Are all grams of Protein the same?

The short answer to this is a definitive no. While protein grams contain 4 calories, they are not all of equal nutritional value because their amino acid makeup varies.

There are 20 amino acids comtháng to all life forms. Nine of the amino acids cannot be synthesized by us humans và are therefore called the essential amino acids (because it’s essential that we get them from dietary sources).

The essential amino acids are: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, & histidine.

Don’t worry, we won’t have a quiz on these! What is important to lớn know is that different food sources contain different amounts of these nine essential amino acids.

What are complete proteins?

When a protein source contains all nine essential amino acids is called “complete”.

Animal proteins are complete. These include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, & dairy.

Some plant-based sources are complete lớn include quinoa, hempseed, và soybeans.Most other plant-based proteins are incomplete, so variety in a vegetarian or vegan diet is critical to lớn supplying all nine essential amino acids in your diet. (Here are our favorite high protein vegetarian ingredients!)


How much protein do you need?

There is a lot of “bro science” on this topic. Gym discussions often revolve about consuming 1 gram or more per pound of toàn thân weight.In the body-building circuit one often hears as much as 2 grams per pound of toàn thân weight. There aren’t many credible nutrition studies that will support these high amounts. Let’s look at some credible sources:

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that to increase muscle mass a person that lifts weights regularly or is training for a running or cycling event eat a range of 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of toàn thân weight per day, this equates to 0.5 lớn 0.8 grams per pound of toàn thân weight.Read the full article here (acsm.org).

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The Mayo Clinic suggests similar protein intakes stating that very active sầu people should eat 1.2 lớn 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight which corresponds lớn .55 to lớn .90 grams per pound of body toàn thân weight, a good bit less than you will hear in the locker room at your local gym.This suggests that an active sầu 150-pound person should eat 82 lớn 136 grams of protein each day. People who aren’t active should eat less protein aiming for only .8 grams per kilogram (.36 grams per pound). You can access the Mayo Clinic recommendations here: Nutrition rules that will fuel your workout (Mayo Clinic).

What if I am a competing body-builder or extreme athlete?The National Center for Biotechnical Information (NCBI) recommends that bodybuilders should consume 1.6 lớn 2.2 grams/kilogram of bodyweight during the off season, often called the “bulking phase” for bodybuilders. This corresponds to no more than 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative nhận xét (nih.gov) .


Should I time protein intake with my workouts?

It is generally accepted that one should eat some protein within one hour after a workout khổng lồ ensure your body toàn thân has the protein needed lớn repair muscle fibers after a workout. The science on this is not completely settled, so if you want to study this further here is another study from the NCBI (hey they are the experts and it is better than getting the bro science from that guy in the gym). The effect of protein timing on muscle strength và hypertrophy: a meta-analysis – PMC (nih.gov)

Can I get enough protein with a Vegan or Vegetarian diet?

Definitely! Just keep in mind that vegetable sources of protein are often incomplete as they vì not contain all 9 essential amino acids. Eat a variety of vegetables & grains khổng lồ ensure you are covered. (Here are our favorite vegetarian high protein recipes!)