How Much Protein is Too Much?

  • Article
  • November 14, 2016

Those looking to add more protein to their day may have a few questions about how best to do that (don’t worry we have some answers!) – but they also may wonder “how much is too much protein?” Can you over-enjoy protein?

We reached out to our experts to learn more.

The official guidelines, called the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), indicate how much protein people should get in a day (this is the Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA). For protein, the RDA is 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women. The DRI also gives a range of intake that is linked to reduced risk of chronic diseases while providing adequate nutrient intake called the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR). For protein, the AMDR is 10 to 35 percent of an adult’s total calories, which translates to eating 50 to 175 grams of protein per day for a 2,000 calorie diet. Check out USDA’s MyPlate guidelines to learn more about daily protein recommendations, since these vary depending on your age, gender and activity level.

But what if you get more than what’s recommended? Experts say that your body only needs so much protein, so once you reach that point there’s likely no benefit. Plus, you need to make room for other nutrients from other foods groups like whole grains, vegetables and fruits for a balanced diet.

Some protein nutrition experts recommend enjoying protein at every meal by spreading it out throughout the day to help achieve a higher-protein diet. There are many delicious ways for you to get your recommended amount of protein each day, too – and remember that dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt provide high-quality protein that can help you get the right amount of protein in your day. You can start your day with some of these higher-protein recipes and check out our other recipes for more ideas.


Learn more about how much protein you need in the morning.