How much protein is too much
How much protein is too much? In this blog, we will discuss how much protein does a person needs. Protein diets are extremely popular; you just need to open a sports magazine to see that. And not without reason! These macronutrients help you build more muscle, lose weight, and eat a healthier overall diet. Every reason to eat a relatively large amount of it, right?
Yet there are some horror stories about proteins that keep many people from a protein diet. It would be bad for your kidneys and your bones, just to name a few. How much of that is true? And can you eat too much protein? We discuss the most frequently mentioned cons in this article!
How much protein is too much
To begin with, we will actually have to formulate the question differently. Many people wonder if eating too much protein is bad for them. And fair is fair, the answer is yes – by the way the question is asked. ‘Too much’ is always bad, no matter what. Water is essential, but too much of it can kill. Too much spinach is unhealthy, and so is too much oily fish, however beneficial they can be in the right portions.
In other words, it is important to define how much protein we are actually talking about. The rest of this article concerns a maximum of 2 grams per kilogram of body weight. We will tell you more about the exact portion size for different people later.
Proteins and your kidneys
Okay, so let’s say you eat 2 grams of protein per body weight – a pretty hefty amount. One of the stories you often hear is that it would be bad for your kidneys. Researchers show that this is not the case. A high-protein diet produces more urea, a substance that must be excreted through the urine. Your kidneys would be overworked processing that urea supply.
However, this only happens when you drink too little! If you are simply hydrated, the urea concentration is so low that you will not be bothered by anything. Only people who already had kidney disease, to begin with experience a high dose of protein. If that does not apply to you, then you do not have to fear for your kidneys.
Proteins and your bones
Then there is the claim that eating too much protein weakens your bones. Those who consume more protein excrete more calcium through the urine. And that means you take in less, doesn’t it? Wrong!
The higher excretion of calcium is a signal that your intestines absorb the mineral considerably better. In fact, low protein consumption actually limits the absorption of calcium. In the elderly, a higher content of proteins also appears to counteract bone weakening. So you don’t have to be afraid of spontaneous bone fractures.
Also, read this: How much vegetables should you eat a day?
Too many proteins harmful?
In short, is it harmful to eat too much protein? There is actually no research to indicate this. Yes, older studies occasionally pointed in that direction – but they have often been corrected by newer studies. This shows that proteins mainly promote general health.
Of course it is important that you keep it reasonable: 80% protein is not a good idea for anyone. But if you just take the amounts that fit your lifestyle and goals? Then you don’t have to worry about failing kidneys and brittle bones!
How much protein do you need approximately?
And what is a good amount of protein to include in your diet? As mentioned, it depends on your lifestyle, and especially your activity level. If you don’t exercise at all, your body doesn’t need to make much new tissue. 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is an excellent daily guideline. When you exercise more, it quickly becomes more. Endurance athletes can maintain 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight.
Strength athletes, who naturally put their muscles under the strongest pressure, need about 1.6 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. As you can see, this is all still well below the amount of about 2 grams, with which most studies are conducted. So you are still easily in the guaranteed safe margin!