How much protein you should get on a daily basis really depends on your age and weight. Infants need more protein than do adults, and pregnant women may benefit from higher protein levels than women who are not pregnant. While there is some debate about how much protein people actually need, there are two fairly standard ways to determine how much you should get.
The average adult can calculate his or her required protein by weight, provided the person's weight is fairly normal for his or her height. This measurement is based on kilograms, but you can also use pounds. Every 2.2 pounds (1 kg) a person weighs translates to a protein need of 0.6 - 0.8 grams. So a man who weighs 220 pounds (100 kg) would need roughly 80 grams of protein a day. This measurement is actually a little high, and a better estimate might be to say that the average adult male should have between 50 - 60 grams of protein a day, and most women need about 40 - 50 grams a day.
Infants need significantly more protein. They should eat approximately 2 grams per 1 pound (0.45 kg) of weight each day, more than double adult intake. Breastfeeding and pregnant women should increase their protein intake by about 10 grams a day. In other words, if a woman is eating about 40 grams normally, she should bump this to 50 grams if she's pregnant.
A better way to determine how much protein you should eat each day is to evaluate your caloric intake. Most medical professionals recommend that you aim for making sure 10 - 30% of your caloric intake is protein, although some recommend a lower 10 - 15%, and others a higher amount. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, you should make sure that at least 200 of those calories come from protein. By choosing lean protein sources like non-fat dairy, lower fat meats, and things like tofu and legumes, you can easily get 50 grams of protein a day without hugely increasingly your calories.
In developed countries, most people don’t really have to measure how much protein they’re getting. The issue becomes more serious in countries where people have poorer food sources or suffer from routine malnourishment. Protein provides humans with certain essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce. Not getting all of these amino acids can have significant health consequences.
Vegetarians have to think about the types of protein they’re getting in addition to determining how much protein they need. Many vegetable proteins are incomplete and need to be paired with others to make them complete (containing all amino acids). This can be accomplished with a little thinking and planning.