How Much Protein You Need To Eat When Injured!


I wont go into tremendous detail here to keep it easy to digest. We have four types of tissues in our body: epithelial (skin), connective, muscle, and nerve. Injuries can vary in terms of which tissues are involved and if any surgery is necessary to help them recover. When we are injured, our bodies require extra nutrients, including protein, to support the healing process. Protein is an essential macronutrient that is in demand during tissue repair and regeneration.

The amount of extra protein needed when injured can vary depending on the severity and type of injury, as well as an individual’s body weight, age, and other factors. However, research suggests that increasing protein intake by 10-20% can be beneficial for the healing process. You should also consider that with an increased amount of protein intake, you should expect to consume more water to help digest and process your nutrition. One simple strategy is to include a fraction of your daily protein needs with each meal. For example, if your total needs are 100g in a single day, you could split it up to about 33g with breakfast lunch and dinner.



For most healthy adults, the recommended daily intake of protein is around 1.0-2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. So, for example, a 150-pound (68 kg) person would need about 68-150 grams of protein per day. However, when injured, the body’s protein requirements can increase beyond the minimum recommendations and even higher for severe injuries. If you’re older, this is even more critical as any loss in lean muscle mass can be very concerning. An increase in protein intake while balancing out carbohydrates and fats can help stave off a phenomenon known as sarcopenia.

Getting enough protein is important, but it’s also vital to balance the other nutrients to support the healing process. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats can help ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need. The emphasis should be including more whole foods and freshly prepared meals, however you should always aim for the you can do in your situation. If you’re unsure about how much protein you need or how to get enough from your diet, it’s a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized recommendations based on your individual needs.



Dr. Steven Williams out of Boise, ID has a great resource on his website that details much of what’s discussed here with added insight into what foods and how much could support your needs.

My Fitness Pal – this is a great service that I recommend to my clients who are trying to keep track of their nutrient intake. It can help you manage with both calories and macronutrients depending on which you are tracking. I really like it for the useful barcode scanner that comes with a subscription.

Registered Dieticians are also a great first-line resource if there are more medical complexities to be mindful of including diabetes, food sensitivities, anorexia/bulimia, or other past history of eating behaviors that could compromise your healing. A local resource in Arizona valley is Anderson’s Nutrition.



About the author: Dr. James Babana is the owner of Push Through Performance which is a physical therapy and recovery clinic located in Troon North of Scottsdale, Arizona. If you would like to schedule an appointment with him, you can visit the home page and click “Schedule Now.”

For any questions on this post or inquiries about our services, email or call (480) 945-0088.



  1. Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle2022;13: 795–810Published online 20 February 2022 in Wiley Online Library (

Dr. James Babana

PT, DPT, Owner & Founder

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