High protein diets are definitely the fad today. Protein after all is very essential to the body as this is considered our muscles building blocks. With protein, this aids in forming structural tissue, muscle fibers and even keeping our hormones at bay. Because of its due importance, consuming of meat has been considered important. There are even powders like whey protein that one can incorporate in their workout.

Yet, not everyone is body builders and would want to beef up on their protein intake. Majority of the population are the ones that just sit in their desk tables and work. They are usually the ones that live far comfortably instead of going to the gym. Does this mean that they need far less protein than others? Would their protein demand be different from those that hits the gym?

Below are the answers.

An average adult would need around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of their bodyweight every single day. This would roughly be around 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women. This data is based from the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine.

Men who are above 20 years old take an average of 98.9 grams of protein a day. The female counterpart gets to consume around 68 grams according to What We Eat in America 2010 report. According to Alyssa Miller, a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor, “protein is a macronutrient that while having many benefits, also has many downfalls when we overdose on it.”

“The average American diet should consist of a maximum of 35 percent protein. In a 2,000-calorie diet, this would be 175 grams of protein. Exceeding 35 percent of protein in a diet over a long period of time will wreak havoc on your body.”

It is not recommended that you get to bring your protein expenditure to its limits. Protein overload can do harm than good like flooding the kidney and can cause digestive issues and can even damage one’s brain and nervous system. Furthermore, it can lead to long term health issues.

“Protein, when broken down in the body, forms an acidic substance. Anything acidic in the body is a breeding ground for disease,” Miller said. “To maintain the pH balance in the body and make it a healthy body, it needs to be alkaline. This happens through eating vegetables and other things that are not animal products.”

Even if protein is essential to the body, keeping it balance is key. Do not consume a constant flow of meat and carbohydrates. Instead resort to healthier protein sources. A good example would be the Japanese diet. They would usually resort to having 16 grams of protein per cup. Plus, they also get their protein from other sources such as chia seeds, quinoa, yogurt, peanut butter and even chickpeas.