Proteins perform a myriad of functions in the human body and are a vital nutrient to sustain life. In fact, proteins are the second-most plentiful substance in the body after water. Proteins are essential for proper functioning of the immune and digestive systems; DNA replication; promoting muscle tissue growth and repair following exercise; assisting in nutrient transport in the bloodstream; and catalyzing a variety of metabolic reactions. Protein also appears to have a growing role in weight management, promoting satiety better than carbohydrates or fats.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends adults consume 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight daily. The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) translates this number into 46g of protein/day for women and 56g of protein/day for men (ages 19-70+). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10-35% of daily calories should come from protein sources.