Count on This: Our Calculator to Discover Your Optimal Protein and Calorie Intake
Now you can work out how much protein and calories you need to properly fuel your workouts, or to slim down or shape up.
Just about everyone wonders at some point how much protein they should be taking in and the maximum number of calories they should be consuming daily. This is especially true for gym-goers and athletes, who want peak performance and to get the most out of their diet, all without overdoing it and unintentionally putting on weight.
There can also be a somewhat pervasive obsession with protein: What is it? Am I getting enough? How do I even know how much I’m eating? Just thinking about protein can be all-consuming, whether you’re trying to work out the right amount of protein and calorie intake for you or to decipher the nutritional information on food packets and add it up.
Luckily, now you don’t have to, because the hard-working wizards here at Fuel Station have done the legwork for you. We’ve created a Protein and Calorie Calculator that you can use to find the optimal intake for you. Before we get to it, what it measures, and how it works, let’s take a look at the great, big world of protein and its incredible, life-sustaining power.
What Is Protein, and Should You Really Obsess About It?
So what’s all the fuss about protein anyway? Why are so many of us constantly hankering after big, juicy steaks, burgers, and everything else we think we need to survive because it’s full of protein?
It all boils down to organic compounds called amino acids, and when there are enough of them linked in a kind of biological chain, they form proteins. Both are called the building blocks of life, and you can say that the amino acids are the architecture, or scaffolding, of the entire affair.
Proteins are found in every cell in the body, and at the most basic, they’re vital for growth and repairing muscle and other tissues (like when you’re lifting weights and tearing muscle fibers, which then need to grow additional tissue, giving you bigger muscles), but they also have lots of other functions. When you consume protein—in whatever form and from either plants or animals—the body breaks it down, resulting in the amino acids that we need to do all the necessary work of keeping us alive and going. It’s a kind of build-it-up/tear-it-down/rebuild process that’s constantly happening without us knowing about it.
There are three types of amino acids: essential, nonessential, and conditional. The first ones are those that we need to take in from food, the second ones are amino acids that our bodies produce, and the third ones are amino acids that are not always necessary but that the body needs at certain times, such as during stressful periods or bouts of illness. It’s no wonder we’re all so worked up about amino acids and proteins.
Are Plant and Animal Proteins the Same Quality?
As more people than ever are adopting a plant-based diet, some wonder if it’s sufficient to support not only health but also an active lifestyle and frequent workouts. It’s one thing to be concerned about animal welfare and protecting the environment and planet, but does a vegan diet deliver the essential nutrition you need?
It turns out that a plant-based diet can be complete with the kind of high-quality protein the body needs, and it also has a host of health benefits that can far outweigh a diet centered around meat—especially the red variety, which is now known to put people at risk for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. “The evidence is consistent across different studies,” says Dr. Frank Hu, head of the department of nutrition at Harvard University, in an article that claims “you don’t need to eat red meat” to survive and dismisses a study published last year that says it’s fine to consume meat.
Protein-packed plant foods include grains, lentils, nuts, beans, soy, hemp, rice, peas, and avocados. Many fitness enthusiasts are turning to a protein shake diet to boost their protein intake, with shakes either available from milk sources—such as whey and casein—or plant-based options with hemp, soy, and pea. They may also contain vitamins and minerals, and their growing popularity also lies in their convenience, as you can make up shakes and take them to the gym or wherever you’re going.
Lots of people are also relying on protein shakes for weight loss because the high protein and fiber make them feel fuller for longer, and, therefore, less likely to snack throughout the day. Plus, studies now show that it’s possible to lose weight while also preserving and even gaining muscle when using protein shakes for weight loss. That’s because even though you might be consuming fewer calories than usual, you’re still getting the optimal level of protein your body needs to prevent muscle tissue from breaking down.
The Fuel Station Protein Calculator
We created this calculator so that you can work out how much protein you should be consuming based on your personal information and activity level.
Just enter your age, height, and gender, and the Fuel Station calculator will work out your basal metabolic rate using the Mifflin-St Jeor equation, which is believed to be the most accurate way of determining it. This is the number of calories you should be taking in every day to keep your body functioning properly while at rest.
Based on your basal metabolic rate and your level of activity, it also calculates your total daily energy expenditure, which is all the energy (shown in calories) you use in a day. You’ll also see your target daily calories for weight loss and weight gain, as well as target grams of protein per day for weight loss and muscle gain — and if you’re looking to add muscle, you’ll generally need to consume 1gm of protein for every pound of body weight, although this can vary, depending on your fitness goals.
We suggest you bookmark this page so that you can keep coming back to it and using the calculator as your muscle gain or weight loss progresses and you want to move on to something else (e.g., if you want to get totally shredded and need a new calculation or your activity level has changed). You can also share it with your friends and help them along in achieving their health and fitness goals.
Looking for great protein powder to boost your gains and drive your fitness to a whole new level? We’ve got just what you need right here at the Fuel Station online store. Order your protein powder right now and get free and fast shipping!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your medical practitioner before embarking on a diet or fitness program.