Protein Calculator

The Protein Calculator estimates the daily amount of dietary protein adults require to remain healthy. Children, those who are highly physically active, and pregnant and nursing women typically require more protein. The calculator is also useful for monitoring protein intake for those with kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, or other conditions in which protein intake is a factor.

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RelatedCalorie Calculator | Carbohydrate Calculator | Fat Intake Calculator

Essential Amino Acids

Proteins are one of three primary macronutrients that provide energy to human body, along with fats and carbohydrates. They are comprised of a number of amino acids that are essential to proper body function, and serve as building blocks of body tissue.

There are 20 different amino acids in total. While some of these can be synthesized in the body, there are 9 amino acids that humans can only obtain from dietary sources (insufficient amounts of which can result in death), termed essential amino acids. Foods that provide all of the essential amino acids are called complete protein sources, and include both animal (meat, dairy, eggs, fish) as well as plant-based sources (soy, quinoa, buckwheat). Many common foods are not complete proteins. However, there are a number of these incomplete proteins that when consumed together constitute complete proteins, including bread and peanut butter, hummus and pita, and rice and beans. Different foods are rich in different amino acids, and consuming a variety of foods can provide a person with their necessary daily nutrients.

Daily Protein Requirements

The amount of protein that the human body requires daily is dependent on many conditions including overall energy intake, growth of the individual, and physical activity level. It is often estimated based on body weight (0.8-1.8 grams/kg of body weight), as a percentage of total caloric intake (10-35%), or based on age alone. Below is the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein, based on age, as well as a table listing the amounts of protein in some common foods.

 Protein Needed (grams/day)
Age 1 - 313
Age 4 - 819
Age 9 - 1334
Age 14 - 18 (Girls)46
Age 14 - 18 (Boys)52
Age 19 - 70+ (Women)46
Age 19 - 70+ (Men)56

Amount of Protein in Common Food

 Protein Amount
Milk (1 cup/8 oz)8 g
Egg (1 large/50 g)6 g
Meat (1 slice / 2 oz)14 g
Seafood (2 oz)16 g
Bread (1 slice/64 g)8 g
Corn (1 cup/166 g)16 g
Rice (1 cup/195 g)5 g
Dry Bean (1 cup/92 g)16 g
Nuts (1 cup/92 g)20 g
Fruits and Vegetables (1 cup)0-1 g
Pizza (1 slice/107 g)12 g
Hamburger (McDonald Medium)20 g

Extra Protein Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation

 Safe Intake
(grams / day)
Additional Energy
Protein : energy
Pregnancy trimester 113750.04
Pregnancy trimester 2101,2000.11
Pregnancy trimester 3311,9500.23
Lactation First 6 months192,8000.11
Lactation After 6 months131,9250.11