You’ll notice we’ve provided you with a suggested macronutrient split on your app home screen. We’ve generated these numbers using a standardised method called the Mifflin St-Jeor equation, as well as factoring in some variables like your training split and training goal.
We need to remember that these figures are not concrete. They are there to be used as a ballpark number to get us on the right track. Think of this number as a start point, and from there, we can begin to adjust if needed through some guided self-experimentation and feedback.
So if you’re interested, here’s how we landed on your magic protein requirement number. To make it easier to understand, we are going to show you the same process we used for your guidelines on our old friend Joseph Blogovich as an example using some arbitrary data:
Using the Mifflin St Jeor equation, we know Jo’s BMR is 1,845 Kcal.
We then calculate Jo’s maintenance calories by attaching the unique number (1.375) to his training split, which he told us was three days/week. We then use this to multiply his BMI.
1,845kcal (BMI) x 1.375 = 2,536kcal (maintenance calories)
We then need to account for Jo’s training goal which is Hybrid athlete. The priority for this goal is preparation and recovery from intense training sessions. We are not necessarily looking to stack on muscle mass or cut body fat, so there is really no need for a calorie surplus or deficit. We can stay at our maintenance calories of 2,536kcal.
30% protein – 50% carbohydrate – 20% fats.
We then take Jo’s maintenance calorie intake (2,536) and times that by 0.30 (the percentage of calories we allocated to protein in the above step) to establish how many actual calories of protein we want to consume.
2,536 x 0.30 = 760kcal of protein
Finally – we now know that Jo needs 760kcal/day of protein to help support his health and performance goals. To get that into grams we need to divide 760/4 (the amount of kcals in a single gram of protein)
This gives us a magic number of 190g of protein/day.
Just to throw a spanner in the works, you will normally see protein requirements displayed as grams per kilogram of body weight (g/kg). This is slightly different from the calculation we have just performed, which is based on calorie intake.
For individuals with a healthy weight consuming between 2-2.5g / kg BW of protein per day has been shown to support fat loss whilst protecting muscle mass.
If we apply this to our old friend Joseph who is 90kg, we would be looking at a minimum intake of 135g / day and an upper limit of 180g /day.
For individuals that are obese or overweight, consuming between 1.5-2g / kg BW of protein per day may be a more realistic target as we need to consider greater total body weight.