Protein requirements for athletes and people involved in strength training are generally higher than those for the average individual. Researchers Lemon and Tarnopolski* suggest somewhere between .65-0.80g/lb for weight trainers, based on studies of protein balance in humans. Some athletes focusing on hypertrophy (muscle-building) take in even more than this, with very high protein diets of 1g – 1.5g/lb. These amounts are likely excessive for most recreational weight-trainers, as there are a lot of factors that influence protein needs. Specific requirements will vary based on your body-type, metabolsim and total intake of calories.
Note that your body won’t absorb much more than 25 or 30g of protein in one feeding, so you’ll need to spread your protein needs over the day. That’s why it’s a better strategy to simply try and get a good source of lean protein every time you eat. Don’t worry so much about hitting a specific quantity target per day -- rather focus on ensuring there is some good protein in every meal you consume. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and some dairy are good sources, with whey concentrates and isolates (found in protein supplements) having the highest biological value (BV).
On any higher-protein diet, it’s important to drink plenty of water during the day to avoid dehydration. If your diet is based on quality, whole foods, you’ll already be getting calcium, potassium, magnesium and other important minerals, which will keep your body’s electrolytes in balance within the body (electrolytes are electrically charged minerals in your body). Additional electrolyte supplementation may not be necessary unless you’re involved in an endurance sport.
For more information on protein supplements, have a look at our Health Notes here: http://www.wyldeabouthealth.com/healthnotes/us/assets/feature/protein-power-in-powder-and-liquid-form/~default
* Tarnopolsky, M.A. et al. Evaluation of protein requirements for trained strength athletes. J Appl Physiol. 73(5):1986-1995, 1992.