Can You Have Too Much Protein

I hear clients in Richmond Hill, GA, tell me about all the diets they’ve used, including high protein and Keto diets. Some swear by the quick weight loss benefits, others say they lost weight and regained it quickly. The big question is not how much you can lose, but whether it’s healthy or not. You can lose weight on almost any diet, including ones that have you drink only “magical elixirs” made of maple sugar and lemon. You can’t live on that, however, so it’s a short term weight loss. Protein is good for you, but can you get too much of a good thing? Can you eat too much protein?

The amount of protein you need is based on age, physical activity, gender and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

The more active you are, the more protein you need. You need a gram of protein for every 2.2 pounds you weigh if you live a sedentary lifestyle. That amount increases to 1.3 grams with moderate activity and 1.6 grams if you’re participating in intense activity levels. That means a person weighing 110 pounds would require 50 grams per day if they’re inactive, 65 if moderately active and 80 if you’re doing strenuous activity regularly. Aging people don’t process protein as well and require more to prevent muscle loss. Those who breastfeed or are pregnant require the extra protein for the baby’s needs.

Adequate protein is important for good health, but too much leads to health issues, too.

Most studies show that upping the amount of protein to 2 grams for every 2.2 pounds for a long time won’t hurt. That’s double the recommended amount for a sedentary person. Once that amount is surpassed, over time, it can create health issues. It may start with intestinal problems or indigestion. It can cause exhaustion, dehydration, nausea, diarrhea, headache and irritability. The effects of long term over consumption can include disorders of the blood vessels, seizures, kidney disease, liver disease, cardiovascular disease and even death. There are also links to cancer, osteopenia and osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.

If you ate a pound of steak a day, and no other protein, you’d still be safe.

Anyone that weighed 110 pounds or was moderately active at that weight, still wouldn’t be over their protein allotment if they ate a pound of steak and no other protein that day. They’d have 112 grams of protein, still under the 2.2 grams that keeps it on the safe side. That’s probably not a problem for most people.

  • The danger of excess protein comes, not from what you eat, but protein supplements. More is not always better. A healthy diet is the best way to ensure you have adequate protein.
  • Adequate protein is important. It’s the building blocks for skin, bones, muscles, cartilage and blood. It also makes you feel full, so you don’t overeat, making weight loss easier.
  • Even though protein may be good for weight loss, it still has calories. When you eat too much and don’t burn it for energy, it’s stored as fat.
  • One immediate result of eating larger amounts of protein is bad breath that doesn’t disappear with rigorous brushing and flossing.

For more information, contact us today at Studio Fit Richmond Hill


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