The Scoop on Protein: A Visual Guide to How Much You Need Each Day (2024)

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Getting enough protein to meet your health needs can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. Use this usual guide to help.

The Scoop on Protein: A Visual Guide to How Much You Need Each Day (4)
The Scoop on Protein: A Visual Guide to How Much You Need Each Day (5)

Giselle Castro-Sloboda Fitness and Nutrition Writer

I'm a Fitness & Nutrition writer for CNET who enjoys reviewing the latest fitness gadgets, testing out activewear and sneakers, as well as debunking wellness myths. On my spare time I enjoy cooking new recipes, going for a scenic run, hitting the weight room, or binge-watching many TV shows at once. I am a former personal trainer and still enjoy learning and brushing up on my training knowledge from time to time. I've had my wellness and lifestyle content published in various online publications such as: Women's Health, Shape, Healthline, Popsugar and more.

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Amanda Capritto


Giselle Castro-Sloboda

3 min read

Protein is having its moment in the health world right now, and for good reason. Protein helps regulate hormones, transports molecules, acts as an enzyme for chemical reactions and more. That’s why it’s important that you meet the daily recommended amount. If you're unsure how much protein you eat daily, it's a good idea to start tracking your intake so you don’t fall short.

A good way to determine how much protein you need daily is first by understanding what a serving of protein looks like. Overall, everyone has different dietary requirements, but for the average person, 100 grams of protein daily is ideal. Keep in mind that if you're active, you may need more protein in your diet.

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This visual guide shows what 100 grams of protein look like whether you follow a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore diet.

The grams were calculated by taking the information from the nutrition facts label on packaged items and weighing them when necessary. The gram amounts listed in this guide are specific to the products used for this experiment, so your numbers may vary if you look at a different brand of bread or yogurt.

Use this visual guide to better understand what 100 grams of protein looks like on a plate.

100 grams of protein for omnivores

The Scoop on Protein: A Visual Guide to How Much You Need Each Day (7)

If you don't have any dietary restrictions, eating 100 grams of protein per day should be pretty easy. Here's one way to do it:

  • Greek yogurt (15 grams of protein)
  • Beef sausage (14 grams)
  • 1 ounce of mixed nuts (5 grams)
  • Two eggs (12 grams)
  • Snack cheese (5 grams)
  • Four slices (2 ounces) of deli ham (10 grams)
  • Two slices of rye bread (10 grams)
  • ½ cup of rolled oats (5 grams)
  • One can of tuna (27 grams)

Everything pictured above comes to 103 grams, which puts you slightly over the 100-gram goal.

100 grams of animal protein

The Scoop on Protein: A Visual Guide to How Much You Need Each Day (8)

As you can see, getting 100 grams of protein from animal products doesn't take much. This photo shows:

  • Four eggs (24 grams of protein)
  • Three beef meatballs (15 grams)
  • Two slices (2 ounces) of turkey bacon (10 grams)
  • 3 ounces of turkey breast (24 grams)
  • One can of tuna (27 grams)

This amounts to a perfect 100. If you ate all of this in a day, plus bread and other nonanimal products, you would easily surpass 100 grams of protein in a day.

100 grams of protein for vegetarians

The Scoop on Protein: A Visual Guide to How Much You Need Each Day (9)

For vegetarians, 100 grams of protein might look like:

  • Four eggs (24 grams of protein)
  • ½ cup of rolled oats (5 grams)
  • Two tablespoons of peanut butter (7 grams)
  • One tablespoon of hemp seeds (4 grams)
  • ¼ cup of protein granola (10 grams)
  • One scoop of plant-based protein powder (20 grams)
  • Two snack cheeses (10 grams)
  • A single-serve Greek yogurt (15 grams)

This actually comes out to 99 grams of protein, which is pretty close and still a great number to hit for a day.

100 grams of vegan protein

The Scoop on Protein: A Visual Guide to How Much You Need Each Day (10)

What you see isn't totally what you get with this photo. In the photo, you see:

  • ¼ cup of protein granola (10 grams of protein)
  • One scoop of plant-based protein powder (20 grams)
  • 1 ounce of nuts (5 grams)
  • Two tablespoons of peanut butter (7 grams)
  • Two tablespoons of chia seeds (about 10 grams)
  • One tablespoon of hemp seeds (4 grams)
  • Two slices of rye bread (10 grams)
  • A protein granola bar (8 grams)
  • ½ cup of rolled oats (5 grams)

This amounts to 79 grams of protein. If we double up on the mixed nuts, chia seeds and hemp seeds, this brings us to 93 grams of protein. You could add an extra tablespoon of peanut butter or eat a full cup of oats, instead of half a cup, to come closer to that 100-gram goal.

Also, this plate doesn't include any high-protein vegan meat substitutes, such as tofu, tempeh or plant-based meats like the Impossible Burger. Those food sources can make it much easier to get 100 grams of protein than someone who eats a vegan diet.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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The Scoop on Protein: A Visual Guide to How Much You Need Each Day (2024)


How much scoop of protein per day? ›

The number of scoops of protein powder you should take to gain muscle depends on your needs and goals. As a general guideline, it's recommended to consume 1-2 scoops of protein powder per day, combined with a balanced diet and exercise program, to support muscle growth and recovery.

How much protein powder should I take per day? ›

Most active people drink one protein shake per day, which contains a single scoop of protein, meaning that you are receiving nearly half of your daily recommended protein intake from this shake. It's recommended that you try to only consume somewhere between 25 to 50 grams of protein from protein powder each day.

How much protein should you aim to consume each day? ›

Most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day (for the average woman, this is 45g, or 55g for men). That's about two portions of meat, fish, nuts or tofu per day. As a guide, a protein portion should fit into the palm of your hand.

How much protein do I need a day chart? ›

The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults get about 0.8 grams of protein a day for every kilogram they weigh. That's about 7 grams for every 20 pounds. It suggests babies and children get a bit more, ranging from 1.2 grams per kilogram for infants to 0.85 grams per kilogram for teens.

What is 1 scoop of protein? ›

Notably, the amount of protein in one scoop of protein powder is typically between 25-30 grams.

Will I lose weight if I drink 3 protein shakes a day? ›

It's possible that you can lose weight while drinking three protein shakes a day, but it will depend on your overall calorie intake and energy expenditure. Protein shakes aren't a magic bullet for losing weight—being in an energy deficit is still required, where you burn more calories than you take in.

How do you calculate protein per scoop? ›

For example, if the nutritional information on the container indicates it contains 24 g protein per 31 g scoop, you would divide 25 by 30 = 0.83 x 100 = 83%.

Can too much protein be bad? ›

Extra protein intake also can lead to elevated blood lipids and heart disease because many high-protein foods you eat are high in total and saturated fat. Extra protein intake, which can tax the kidneys, poses an additional risk to people predisposed to kidney disease.

Is protein powder good or bad for you? ›

Yes, if it is a good quality, third-party-tested product with minimal sugar and void of harmful additives. Protein powders can fit into most eating patterns and help you meet your health goals. Just remember—protein powder is a dietary supplement. This means it enhances your diet.

Is protein powder good for your heart? ›

8. Whey protein may have beneficial effects on blood fats. High cholesterol, especially LDL (bad) cholesterol, is a risk factor for heart disease. In one study in overweight individuals, 65 grams of whey protein per day, for 12 weeks, led to a significant reduction in total and LDL cholesterol (17).

What is the best protein intake? ›

For most people, a daily dose of around 0.8-1g of protein per 1kg of body weight is recommended. For weightlifters and strength athletes, 1.4 – 2g of protein per kg of body weight is recommended per day, with a recommendation of 1.2-1.6g of protein per kg of body weight per day for endurance athletes.

How do I calculate my daily protein intake? ›

The average adult needs a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.2 One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so a person who weighs 165 pounds, or 75 kg, would need about 60 grams of protein per day.

What are three examples of 1 ounce servings of protein? ›

In general, 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish; 1/4 cup cooked beans, peas or lentils; 1 egg; 1 tablespoon of peanut butter; or 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1 ounce-equivalent from the Protein Foods Group.

How much protein is needed per day for weight loss? ›

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 , adult males should get at least 56 grams (g) of protein and adult females at least 46 g daily. However, some research suggests that eating more than this amount may help you lose body weight and fat while retaining or even building muscle mass.

How many grams of protein per day for a woman? ›

In general, it's recommended that most adults get at least 10% to 35% of their daily calories from protein. For men, this may be about 56 grams (g) of protein a day, and for women, this may be about 46 g a day.

How much protein should a 120 lb woman eat to gain muscle? ›

Many fitness enthusiasts recommend about one gram of protein per pound of body weight for building muscle, but this high protein intake likely isn't a perfect approach for everyone and the research varies on this topic depending on age, fitness level, and overall body composition goals (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9).


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