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Let’s say you’ve had eggs with breakfast, a yogurt smoothie for lunch, and a chicken cutlet at dinnertime. You probably think you are getting enough protein for the day. Not necessarily. The fact is, many people are not getting an optimal amount of protein in their diet.

How much protein per day do you need?

One reason you may not be getting enough protein may be because you don’t know how much protein you require each day. A recent survey showed that 75% of adults over the age of 50 thought they needed less than 35 grams of protein per day.1 That’s about 20 grams less protein per day than the amount required for most healthy adults.

Okay, I might need to eat more protein foods. But how much?

The current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein for adults 19 years and older is set at 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, but that is a minimum amount.2 How much protein you need depends on your age, height, weight, gender, physical activity level and health status. You can use the BOOST® Protein Calculator Tool* to get your estimated protein recommendation.*

How much protein per day do you need?

*This protein calculator is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. This tool is intended for adults who are healthy and is not appropriate for children, pregnant or nursing women, competitive athletes or people with specific diseases or medical conditions.

Some of us need higher levels of protein per day compared to others

Protein requirements vary and are based on factors such as age, body weight, health status and level of physical activity. For example, adults over 65 years of age, regardless of health, should eat more protein foods than younger people.3,4 “As we get older, muscle mass, function and strength naturally decline, and therefore it’s really important to get adequate nutrition, including enough protein to maintain muscle and bone,” says Karen Lundgren, Head of Medical Affairs, US Consumer Care Business for Nestlé Health Science and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

For example, consider Elizabeth, aged 65. She requires up to 50% more protein per day than Kate, aged 35.

How much protein per day do you need?

What if I work out a lot?

People who work out have different protein requirements, depending on their level of physical activity and how hard they train.4 To help their bodies with recovery from exercise and aid in optimal physical performance, it is recommended that athletes consume anywhere between 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day. Athletes should work with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) to determine optimal protein needs.

Any other reasons for adding more protein per day?

In addition to healthy adults over the age of 65, certain individuals benefit from getting additional protein in their diet. For example, individuals who are:

Anyone with the above conditions should work with a RDN to determine their daily protein needs.

Getting enough protein each day can be a challenge

BOOST® Nutritional Drinks can help achieve optimal protein intake to support long-term health and achieve dietary goals. “With a range of 10-22 grams of high-quality protein per serving, BOOST® Nutritional Drinks can help people get the protein they need for healthy living,” says Lundgren.

How much protein per day do you need?


How much protein per day do you need?


  1. Nestlé Protein Usage Study, March 2017.
  2. DRIs for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). (2005) National Academy of Sciences. Institute of Medicine.
  3. Bauer J et al. JAMDA. 2013;14:542-59.
  4. Deutz NEP et al. Clinical Nutrition. 2014;33:929-936.