How to Calculate RDA

Written by tammy dahlvang
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How to Calculate RDA
You can calculate your daily essential vitamin and mineral requirements. (Vitamin C image by Mykola Velychko from

The RDA, or "Recommended Daily Allowance," is the daily amount of nutrients sufficient to maintain health for 97 per cent of the population. Originally compiled in the 1940s by a committee established by the United States National Academy of Sciences, the RDA was replaced in 1997 by the DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. RDA is a general standard for population subgroups, and is not individually calculated. DRI is calculated based on an individual's height, weight and gender.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's online DRI calculator, located at>

  2. 2

    Enter your gender, age, height, weight and activity level into the DRI calculator.

  3. 3

    Scroll down the page and click on the nutrients whose essential daily consumption levels you're seeking to calculate. You can find the DRI for macronutrients, vitamins and minerals.

  4. 4

    Submit your information to receive your personal daily recommended intake of vitamins and minerals. You will also be shown your tolerable upper level intake, or UL.

Tips and warnings

  • Never exceed your tolerable upper level intake (UL) of a nutrient without your doctor's permission.

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