It’s a key question for athletes and in recent years, it’s also being asked by regular people: How much protein should people ideally consume?
There is no single answer. Current science does tell us, however, that optimal protein consumption patterns are likely to depend on a number of factors, with the key ones identified thus far being age, physical activity, protein sources and meal amount. In any case, the condition of skeletal muscle is a vital issue for people at all stages and from all walks of life.
Let’s examine the likely protein needs of each life stage – based on research findings over the past few decades. And while we’re doing that, let’s also take a critical look at current Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) used in the US and many other countries, and how well these reflect or do not reflect such findings.