NPR

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

Protein snacks and supplements are popular, but unless you're an extreme athlete or recovering from an injury, you may already get enough protein in your diet. Here's how to tell how much you need.
Unless you're an extreme athlete, recovering from an injury, or over 60, you probably only need 50 to 60 grams of protein a day. And you probably already get that in your food without adding pills, bars, or powders. Source: Madeleine Cook and Heather Kim/NPR

The marketing is enticing: Get stronger muscles and healthier bodies with minimal effort by adding protein powder to your morning shake or juice drink. Or grab a protein bar at lunch or for a quick snack. Today, you can find protein supplements everywhere — online, at the pharmacy, grocery store, or health food store. They come in powders, pills, and bars.

With more than $12 billion in sales this year, the industry is booming and, according to the market research company, Grand View Research, is on track to sell billions more by 2025. But do we really need all this supplemental protein? It depends. There are pros, cons and some ho-hums to consider.

For starters, protein is critical for every cell in our body. It with Johns Hopkins McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine.

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