It’s true that most Americans get plenty of protein: 1.2 to 1.3 g/kg/day, according to UTMB’s Douglas Paddon-Jones, a professor in the department of nutrition and metabolism. However, providing the body with optimal protein goes beyond consuming a set amount per day. The body can use only a certain amount of protein at a time and can’t stockpile it for later use. “We need to get protein through a meal-driven approach,” he says.