If you are a gym junky, then you are probably obsessed with protein. How much protein intake should I take? How can I get more protein in? What are the best foods for protein?
You may have even come to the question of whether you can eat too much protein and if that is bad for you. Well, similar here, it is a fair question to ask. As many people say, “Too much of anything is deadly”. That statement is true, even water can be deadly at a point.
These things are questions we NEED to ask ourselves as athletes and as health enthusiasts. If our goal is to get healthier, get fitter, get bigger, and be stronger, then we also need to pay attention to the science and avoid any injuries and or substances that can harm our goals.
Obviously, protein is a vital component to any athlete, but can too much of it be bad? And at what amount is too much that it can harm us?
In this article, we will go over these questions and help us better understand protein and its importance in our fitness journey.
Is it Bad to Eat Too Much Protein?
Yes, eating or intaking too much protein can and will cause issues. Too much protein will have an increased load on your body’s ability to process it. This leads to kidney, liver, and heart issues that can even lead to cancer.
A study was done by ISRN Nutrition in 2013 explored the results of exceeding your recommended protein intake amount. The study explored the long-term effects of having an extreme protein-focused diet.
This led to findings that showed that those individuals had calcium bone issues and their bodies actually had trouble digesting the protein which caused liver and kidney complications. Not only that but they also had disorders that related to their renal functions.
Do keep in mind that each person’s protein intake is going to be different. If you are a 6’5 ft powerlifter, your protein is going to be much different than a 5’3 lady that likes to just run on the weekends.
However, if you go by the general recommendation of protein intake, you should not exceed that amount by a large increase. Stay in a healthy range and avoid going protein crazy, trust me, it will not make you Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight.
How Much Protein is Too Much Protein?
The recommended number always seems to change, however, it is safe to assume that if you calculate your own protein intake (generally 1g of protein per lb or around there), you should not exceed that amount. It really is as simple as that.
Now, you obviously have some wiggle room and I suppose you could have 10-20 grams more of protein over your recommended amount, but the pros of that do not outweigh the cons.
In the study listed above, some of the test subjects had taken only 15-20 grams above the recommended protein intake and had negative calcium data that affected their health greatly.
Do not assume you are the expectation here, you may be more apt to be harmed by taking in too much protein over someone else. It is best to stick with what your trainer or your physician tells you and do not attempt to exceed that number.
How Much Protein is a Good Amount
Protein intake really does depend on the person and their goal, however, it is safe to say that you should have anywhere from 0.35 – 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you are planning on building muscle, go for the higher number and the lower number if you aren’t looking to build muscle but plan on being healthy and fit.
Always refer to a professional and get their opinion, as protein intake and dietary restrictions are extremely important to pay attention to but if you are going for building muscle, generally anywhere from 0.80 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
The number always changes in the industry so don’t get too caught up in that but just keep a general area goal of how much you want to try to intake a day and you should be fine.