The amount of protein we need is much less than we have been conditioned to believe.
Studies have shown that endurance athletes need about .88g of protein per pound of lean body weight. That means, if a professional marathoner weighs 136 lbs, with 117 lbs of muscle, they would need about 103g of protein per day. If you are not an endurance athlete, much less protein is needed. Most official nutrition organizations recommend a fairly modest protein intake. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. This amounts to: 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man. Babies and the elderly do require the most protein needs for development and to prevent muscle wasting, respectively.
If you’d like to know how much protein you need, check out this protein calculator.
It’s important to understand that when protein is consumed, the body breaks it down into amino acids. It uses them according to what it needs, when it needs them. All foods contain amino acids and are therefore very easy to get enough of. (Protein deficiency does not exist and the ‘complete protein’ concept is a myth.)
When you consume enough calories and eat an abundance of foods, you will always get sufficient protein for normal bodily function and muscle tissue growth. No need to supplement with amino acids or protein powder either. There are many vegan athletes who don’t even focus on protein, and instead, train consistently and eat enough food to support their energy requirements.
Below is a chart of some of the foods that contain protein! Check out our recipes section for more vegan meal ideas ideas!