Protein is life. It’s true! In fact, protein plays so many roles in your body, it’s incredible. It helps create hair, enzymes, connective tissues, blood, and more. Ever wonder how many grams of protein daily you actually need to support all these amazing processes? It’s a great question, one that I will explain in more detail. 

You might think you’re getting enough, but you’d be surprised to know how many people are lacking in this vital nutrient. Trust me, when I say getting enough grams of protein per day is important. 

In this article, I’m bringing you all the information you need to help you understand the different types of protein quality, as well as the best sources of protein. I’ll also share a comprehensive protein guide that tells you exactly how many grams of protein daily you need to enjoy optimal health!

Daily Protein Intake

Determining your daily protein intake depends on many variables. Some people may need more protein than others due to their lifestyle, diet, and current health status. If you’re young and fairly active, you’re going to need more grams of protein per day than someone who sits on the couch all day. You will also need more protein if trying to gain or lose weight. Chronic systemic inflammation may cause your body to need more protein to make up for what’s being lost in the inflammatory response process.1

Certain health conditions can also cause you to need more grams of protein per day. Those following a vegetarian or vegan diet may need more protein. Likewise, those with gut issues or autoimmune conditions need more protein. For women, pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause hormonal fluctuations, affecting protein usage.

Generally speaking, men need more grams of protein per day than women. This is by design, as men typically have more bone and muscle mass. Right now, the current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.2 So, a simple calculation can help determine the current protein intake for men, depending on their age, weight, and lifestyle. For example, a 20-year-old man weighing around 170 pounds would need at least 60 grams of protein per day. Note that this is for a sedentary lifestyle. He would need even more if he exercised regularly!

What about women? Again, it completely depends on your diet, health condition, and lifestyle. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you’re going to need more grams of protein per day to nourish both you and the baby. The daily protein intake for women is the same as for men, 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Protein Quality

Now that we’ve discussed a bit about the different ways protein plays a role in your health, let’s talk about protein quality. You’d be amazed to know there’s quite a variation in protein quality.

When it comes to knowing how many grams of protein daily you need, it’s important to remember that not all proteins are created equal. In fact, there are varying degrees of protein quality that can affect how well you digest and utilize it. Some say you are what you eat, but I always say you are what you digest! That said, let me tell you more about why quality protein matters.

The source of the protein matters, too. For instance, there are plant-based proteins, animal-based proteins, and protein supplements. Low-quality protein often comes in processed packaging, loaded with artificial preservatives and ingredients. A good example of this is many of today’s popular protein bars In contrast, high-quality protein sources can be found in fresh, wholesome foods. Protein powders can also be helpful, but again you want to stick with clean, high-quality ingredients. I recommend only certain types of protein powders, which I’ll get into in a moment.

First, let’s talk about all the ways you can get protein into your diet.

Sources of Protein

As I mentioned earlier, some of the best places to find high-quality protein will come from fresh, wholesome foods. Organic is also better, too. Some of the best include non-GMO, grass-fed meats, nuts, and seeds, as well as some legumes. Here’s how many grams of protein per serving you can expect from each food source, as per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):


  • Chicken, 3.5 ounces = 31.2 grams of protein
  • Beef, 6 ounces = 45 grams of protein
  • Salmon, 3.5 ounces = 23 grams of protein

Dairy Products

  • Milk, full-fat, 8 ounces = 7.7 grams of protein
  • Milk, skim, 8 ounces = 8.1 grams of protein
  • Cheese, 11-54 grams of protein, depending on the cheese
  • Yogurt, plain, 1 cup = 8.5 grams of protein
  • Eggs, 1 egg = 6 grams of protein

Seeds and nuts

  • Hemp seeds, 3 tablespoons = 9 grams of protein
  • Pumpkin seeds, 1 ounce = 8 grams of protein
  • Peanuts, 1 ounce = 7 grams of protein
  • Sunflower, 1 ounce = 6 grams of protein
  • Pistachio, 1 ounce = 6 grams of protein
  • Cashews, 1 ounce = 5 grams of protein
  • Flaxseeds, 1 ounce = 5 grams of protein
  • Hazelnuts, 1 ounce = 4 grams of protein
  • Walnuts, 1 ounce = 4 grams of protein


  • Soybeans, 3.5 ounces = 18 grams of protein
  • Lentils, 1 cup = 18 grams of protein
  • Cannellini Beans, 1/2 cup = 8 grams of protein
  • Kidney Beans, 3.5 ounces = 8.7 grams of protein
  • Black Beans, ½ cup = 7 grams of protein
  • Chickpeas, 1 cup = 10.7 grams of protein

While these are good sources of protein, caution is advised for those following The Myers Way® or other AIP protocols. Specific protein found in dairy, seeds, legumes, or gluten may trigger digestive issues. This can lead to pain, discomfort, and inflammation. This is especially true if you’re dealing with gut issues like leaky gut. In cases of leaky gut, the intestinal lining is worn thin by chronic inflammation. Small separations in the tight junctions of the gut lining appear, allowing toxins into the bloodstream. This is why repairing the gut is of the utmost importance for anyone looking to heal from gut, skin, mood, or many other health-related issues.

How Many Grams of Protein Daily?

We live in a time where convenience is king. Our busy schedules have us rushing off from place to place, and sometimes it’s hard to sit down to have a meal. While I do understand, this often interferes with taking a more conscious approach to our diet and protein intake. Planning nutritious meals can be a challenge, which means you may not be getting all the nutrients your body needs to stay energized, digest food properly, and make necessary tissue repairs.

There are several factors that determine how many grams of protein daily you should eat. To make it simple, I’ve created a protein guide to help you get the most out of your food and truly enjoy optimal health. These numbers are approximates, and should always be discussed with your functional medicine doctor or nutritionist.

How Much Protein Do You Need? - Protein Guide - Amy Myers MD®


  • Age 20-65: 50-60 grams per day
  • Age 65+: 0.45-0.55 gram of protein per pound in body weight, or up to 35% of your daily calorie intake
  • Sedentary activity level: 50 grams per day
  • Moderate exercise: 55 grams per day
  • Rigorous exercise: 60+ grams per day
  • Healthy diet: 55 grams per day
  • Unhealthy diet: 60+ grams per day


  • Age 20-65: 40-50 grams per day
  • Age 65+: 0.45-0.55 gram of protein per pound in body weight, or up to 35% of your daily calorie intake
  • Sedentary activity level: 40 grams per day
  • Moderate exercise: 45 grams per day
  • Rigorous exercise: 50+ grams per day
  • Healthy diet: 45 grams per day
  • Unhealthy diet: 50+ grams per day
  • Pregnant/Breastfeeding: 71+ grams 


  • Carnivore: 40-60 grams per day
  • DASH: 8% total daily calorie intake (2,100 calories per day), can be 2-3 servings of dairy and <6 servings of meat or fish3
  • Keto: 20-30% of total daily calorie intake
  • Low-Fat: 20-25% total daily calorie intake
  • Mediterranean: 30-40 grams per day4
  • Paleo: 10-35% total daily calorie intake
  • Vegan: 54-122 grams per day, depending on activity level
  • Vegetarian: 3.5 ounces per day
  • Whole 30: 10-35% total daily calorie intake

Weight Loss

Both men and women should aim for at least 30 grams of protein per meal to support healthy weight loss. Contrary to popular belief, incorporating more protein into your diet can help you lose weight.5 This is because protein helps maintain muscle strength and bone density . It keeps you satisfied longer and helps curb cravings. 

Autoimmune Conditions

As a general rule, those dealing with autoimmune conditions need to aim for more grams of protein per day to combat the effects of chronic inflammation in the body. That said, avoid dairy, nuts, seeds, and legumes if you’re following The Myers Way® or AIP protocol. Otherwise, opt for clean, high-quality protein sources. 

Paleo Protein

Protein powders are another great way to enjoy all the benefits of protein. Of all the types of protein powder out there, paleo protein is by far one of the cleanest ways to get the recommended grams of protein per day. I’m so grateful to be able to share a clean and high quality Paleo Protein powder that not only contains 21 grams of non-GMO, grass-fed beef collagen protein but also comes hydrolyzed for maximum absorption and usability.

That’s why I’m so excited to be bringing back two of my favorite flavors: Salted Caramel and Strawberries and Cream! Each of these paleo protein powders supports healthy skin, joints, and gut lining. They’re AIP friendly and easy to incorporate into your lifestyle!

This Salted Caramel Frappe recipe is the perfect morning pick-me-up that gives you a boost of protein to jumpstart your day. Feeling something a little more light and fruity? These Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Bites are made with gut-healing ingredients that are both delicious and satisfying!

Final Thoughts on Daily Protein Intake

If you’ve ever felt unsure about whether you’re getting the correct amount of protein, you’re not alone. Knowing how many grams of protein daily is crucial to keeping your body functioning optimally. Between plant-based protein, animal-based protein, and protein supplements, it can be tricky to know which protein source is best for your needs. 

Depending on your age, gender, lifestyle, and health status, you may need more protein than your peers. I’ve created an easy-to-use guide to help you get an idea of how many grams of protein you’ll need. The best part is, there’s a way you can get ample amounts of high-quality protein while keeping up with today’s hectic schedules. 

Both my Salted Caramel Paleo Protein and my Strawberries and Cream Paleo Protein powders make getting protein easy and delicious. Simply mix it into water, dairy-free milk and enjoy! You can even make an iced version for an extra scrumptious experience. 

Article Sources

  1. The Influence of Nutritional Factors on Immunological Outcomes. Evanthia Tourkochristou, Christos Triantos, and Athanasia Mouzaki. Front Immunol. 2021.
  2. How much protein do you need every day?. Howard E. LeWine, M.D. (reviewed). Harvard Health Publishing. 2023.
  3. What Is the DASH Diet?. Colleen Dohourty, M.D. Very Well Health. 2023.
  4. High-Protein Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan. Emily Lauchtrupp, M.S.. Eating Well. 2024.
  5. The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review. Stefan M Pasiakos, Tom M McLellan, Harris R Lieberman. Sports Med. 2015.