Surely You Can’t Eat Too Much Protein Right?
Yes, you can eat too much protein, but to eat too much protein you have to try to eat too much protein. That question is really difficult to answer as with most questions the answer will depend on a number of factors, such as genetics, age, fitness level, goals, activy levels etc.
If I had to give you a straight up number though, I would say a great rule of thumb would anything at or over 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight would be too much protein for your body to handle. In saying that for most people even trying to get 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight would be extremely difficult.
To put that into context if you weigh 160 pounds to get 320 grams of protein in your body would be to eat just over 1vkg of chicken breast per day. Or if your a fan of steak in general that would be just under 1.3 kg of steak and an extra 3600 calories to your diet. Or maybe if you are more of a protein powder guy with a regular gold standard protein supplements that would be just over 13 scoops, or just under half the container.
So for 99.9% of the population I would say to eat too much protein is too difficult if you are eating a healthy balanced diet.
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The Importance of Protein in the Diet
Having a good level of protein intake in your diet is important for not only your fitness goals, but also for an overall healthy diet.
As from a fitness perspective, they will help you with muscle recovery, which will in turn increase the speed in which you increase your strength and muscle gain.
But from an overall health perspective eating a healthy amount of protein, it will help you with skin health, hair health, brain health and so much more.
If you want to learn more about this topic you can read this article called Protein: Your Advantage To Health Beyond Fitness Goals
Recommended Daily Intake of Protein
Your recommended daily intake of protein will vary depending on who you are, what your goals are, fitness level, and many other factors, but a great rule of thumb is 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. That is if you want to maximise how the benefits of high protein intake, such as faster muscle recovery, increased energy levels, and a better immune system.
If you want to learn more about how much protein you should eat despite what your goals and circumstances are you should read this article called Optimal Protein Intake for Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts: The Ultimate Guide
But for many people trying to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight can be extremely difficult if you don’t plan out your meals, track your macros or know which food are high in protein.
What Happens When You Eat Too Much Protein?
The first thing to say is that just like any other Marco, whether that be your carbs or your fats, if you eat too much, it will turn into fat, increasing your overall body weight.
Another negative to eating too much protein is that it can put a stain on your kidneys, which to put it simply it will make it difficult to produce waste products.
Another potential negative to eating too much protein is that it can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Though these are some of the effects of eating too much protein it will vary depending on individual factors like age, gender, activity level, and overall health status.
Can Excess Protein Cause Weight Gain?
The answer is again yes, eating too much protein will lead to weight gain just like if you eat too many carbs, or fats. But in saying that in terms of weight gain it is very difficult to eat too much protein.
This is because on average eating meat is way more filling that eat carbs and fat, as for most people not only would eating 100 grams of chicken would be much more filling than eating 100 grams of rice. But if you compare their macros 100 grams of chicken breast is only 165 calories for 31 grams of protein, compared to 100 grams of rice being 130 calories.
Another factor that will further help the argument that protein is the most important food group for weight loss is that your digestive system will naturally burn the excess calories while trying to digest the food you eat. As on average if you eat fats 0%-0.5% of the calories eaten will be burned, and if you eat carbs around 5%-10% of calories eaten will be burned, and for proteins a whopping 20%-30% of calories will be burned.
So If we take the chicken breast and rice example again 100 grams of chicken breast will be reduced from 165 calories down to 115 calories, and 100 grams of rice will be reduced to from 130 to 117 calories.
So not only does 100 grams of chicken breast have less calories than 100 grams of rice, but it is also much more filling. We can do the math all day but the conclusion you will reach is that eating more protein, will be great for weight loss.
Can Excess Protein Cause Kidney Damage?
I touched on this subject in earlier in this article, and the answer is yes eating too much protein could cause kidney damage.
For you to say eating a lot of protein is worth the negatives…no. This is because the kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products from the bloodstream and excreting them in the form of urine. When you consume protein, your body breaks it down into amino acids, which the kidneys filter and excrete.
Eating too much protein will damage the kidneys because your kidney will suffer from an overload of waste products that will overload the kidneys and overtime lead to damage.
Another way that eating too much protein could damage the you kidneys is that it could lead to a higher chance or kidney stones. This is kidney disease is because when you consume excessive amounts of protein, it can lead to an increase in the excretion of calcium and oxalate, which are the main components of kidney stones.
It’s important to note that consuming a high-protein diet does not necessarily lead to kidney damage. However, it is recommended that you consume protein in moderation and spread out your protein intake throughout the day.
In conclusion, while protein is an essential nutrient for optimal health, consuming excessive amounts of protein can lead to kidney damage over time. It is recommended that you consume protein in moderation and spread out your protein intake throughout the day to avoid overloading your kidneys with protein sources excess waste products.
If you want further reading in this topic you can read this article called Nutrition and Early Kidney Disease (Stages 1–4)
The Role of Protein Quality in Health
Nothing is built the same, but like anything else their are different levels of protein in terms of quality, and they can and will affect a healthy diet.
When I say protein quality, what do I mean? It simply means the amount of essential amino acids present in the meat.
To put it simply is that your body does not create these amino acids, but these acids are responsible for healthy body function. So if you want healthy body function you need to get it from other sources.
If you want to learn more about this topic you can read this article here called The Best Guide to Choosing Healthy Meats.
How to Balance Your Protein Intake
Protein is a great tool for you to level up your fitness and overall health, but all should be is one tool in a pile. Though it is great you have high protein diets should have a balanced diet of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats, including drinking enough water, getting enough sunlight, etc.
There are so many different factors that will affect your overall human health and well-being, but more specifically how do you balance your protein intake in your diet. As I said before if you want to maximize the benefits of your protein intake you should eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, or if you work with kg it is 2.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
On the other hand, if you are a more sedentary person on average about half of that would be enough to get a good amount of benefits from protein. But how do you balance your protein intake?
One of the best methods out there is to just plan ahead, whether that be through meal prep or having a go-to meal you can easily get and eat. That could be from your favorite restaurant, a go-to snack, or having leftovers.
While it is technically possible to eat too much protein, it is unlikely for the majority of people to do so without intentionally trying. The amount of protein one needs varies depending on factors such as genetics, age, fitness level, and activity level.
However, a general guideline is to aim for approximately 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Consuming more than this amount may not provide additional health benefits and could potentially lead to negative health outcomes.
Therefore, it is important for to focus on consuming a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods to support overall health and wellness.