Can You Consume Too Much Protein

Q: So Exactly How Much Is Too Much What Are The Guidelines For Protein

Can TOO MUCH Protein Make You FAT?

A: There are a lot of ways to determine how much protein the average person should eat to remain healthy. It can get really complicated, so well spare you the details and just tell you that, according to the FNB, the Recommended Dietary Allowance of protein is 0.8 gram per kilogram of bodyweight per day. That translates to roughly 0.4 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight for men and women ages 1970. Sounds awfully low, doesnt it?

It gets worse. Youll sometimes see the RDA for protein listed as 56 grams per day for men. This number was derived based on a bodyweight of 154 pounds for the average male. Anyone see a problem with that?

Are There Dangers To Eating Too Much Protein

Protein one of the three macronutrients along with carbs and fat is essential for human health.

Many types of protein exist in the body. Theyre involved in critical bodily processes, including oxygen transport, immune function, the transmission of nerve impulses, and growth .

High protein diets have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improvements in body composition and reduced blood sugar levels.

However, you may wonder whether you can get too much of a good thing.

This article reviews the science behind protein in the diet and whether you should be concerned about eating too much of it.

What Happens If I Eat Too Much Protein

Someone who is having too much protein each day is likely eating a diet that puts them in a caloric surplus, when the amount of daily calories they consume is higher than what they burn. This could lead to unintentional weight gain. While there are safe ways to gain weight, if that is your primary goal, putting it on too quickly could lead to unhealthy body fat levels. Even if you consume protein from low-fat sources, having excessive amounts each day could cause your body to keep it in fat stores for energy.

Some studies have connected high-protein diets with a higher risk of gaining weight. However, a lot of the risk is dependent on the sources of protein you eat and the rest of your diet and fitness routine. Your daily activity levels also play a role in whether or not you gain weight.

Weight gain is only one potential problem associated with consuming too much protein each day. There are several other serious health risks to consider.

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Whey Protein And Liver Health

Contrary to popular belief, whey protein won’t damage your liver. You’ve probably heard of elite athletes who developed liver disease or died from cirrhosis. However, that’s likely due to their use of anabolic steroids, which causes hepatotoxicity.

Too much whey protein, though, can worsen existing liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy. Dietary protein increases ammonia concentrations, which in turn, may affect hepatic function in people with liver problems. According to a 2014 study in Hepatology International, excess protein may worsen hepatic encephalopathy symptoms in up to 35 percent of cirrhotics. Furthermore, one-third of those who suffer from this disease are protein intolerant.

If you have liver problems, consult your doctor before taking whey or other protein supplements. She is the only one who can determine whether these products are safe for you.


Unless directed otherwise by a doctor or dietitian, a high-protein diet is not recommended for people with existing liver or kidney problems as it may worsen their symptoms.

Your Breath Will Get Extremely Stinky

Can You Eat Too Much Protein?  SpringKlean Products

Many people who scarf a lot of protein do so because they’re cutting back on carbs. And when you’re on a low-carb diet, the body turns to stored fat for energy. Although this may be a good thing for your abs , it’s not so great for your breath. “When you don’t eat enough carbs, the body burns fat and protein for fuel. It does so by a process called ketosis. Unfortunately, ketones have an awful smell that cannot be masked by brushing or flossing,” says registered dietitian Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN. Cutting back on your daily dose of protein and upping your carbs can remedy the issue, as can doubling your water intake.

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Can Whey Protein Reduce Food Cravings

We will get to hunger itself in a moment, but first, let’s look at food cravings. Whether it’s a late-night snack or your favorite treat, chocolate, for example, our body and our brains often crave them. By eating more protein, we can significantly reduce our cravings for unhealthy foods.

One study carried out on overweight men found that increasing protein intake reduced food cravings by 60 percent . Furthermore, the same study found a similar result in the reduction of late-night cravings.

One of the benefits of choosing protein over a carbohydrate or fat macro is that the energy required to break down and store the protein is far greater than the energy exerted to digest the other macros. A great example of this is choosing to eat twenty grams of protein. Five grams of those twenty are exhausted, breaking down the remaining protein grams. Below are the typical taxes the body charges for breaking down your macros.

  • Protein – 25%
  • Carbohydrates – 7.5%
  • Fats – 1.5%

As you can see, the body barely burns any energy by eating fats thus, if the goal is to avoid unintentional weight gain, the best midnight snacks seem to be protein.

Effects Of Overconsuming Protein Powder

Relying too heavily on protein powder as your main source of the macronutrient has some adverse side effects, including digestive issues. But, the biggest issue with protein powder overconsumption is that you are also likely creating nutrient holes in your diet. This means that youre relying too heavily on protein as your main source of sustenance without incorporating other vital nutrients. Remember the rule about keeping protein consumption to about 10 to 35 percent of your total calorie intake. This guideline will help you to incorporate different foods such as legumes, grains, high-fiber items, as well as fruits and veggies, to give you a well-rounded diet.

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Getting Amino Acids Into The Intestines

Transportation into the intestines

Dietary protein that lay around in the gut will be absorbed into the intestines, and later into the body, by amino acid transporters.

There are many different transporters that take up amino acids. The most common are sodium dependent transporters that can take up neutral or charged amino acids and then there are some chloride dependent transports as well. The general idea is that some transports are assisted by ions and are catered to different amino acids. Some transporters also exist for small di- or tri-peptides, which are groups of amino acids, usually by a transport known as PEPT-1. Collectively, the assortment of transporters in the intestines determines the bulk amount of amino acids that can be transported into the intestines and is the rate-limiting step.

The overall amount of absorption can be determined by measuring fecal amino acids . The oro-ileal digestibility tends to be around 91-95% depending on source and assuming a reasonable acute dose , with animal sources a bit higher than plant.

The rate of uptake on an hourly basis fluctuates between 5-10g per hour, depending on source.

Can I eat too much at once?

Signs That You’re Eating Too Much Protein

Gluconeogenesis (Can You Eat Too Much Protein On Keto?)

Most people don’t have to worry about serious health risks from eating too much protein, but you may experience minor side effects:

Bad breath: Excess protein can sometimes cause bad breath, due to bacteria breaking down the protein and emitting odors that can smell like cabbage or rotten eggs.

GI issues: Eating too many protein-rich foods may also mean you’re missing out on other essential nutrients like fiber, since protein-rich animal products don’t contain fiber. A low-fiber diet can cause digestive issues ranging from constipation, diarrhea, mild nausea, or fatigue after meals. It can also change your microbiome, the colony of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that live in your gut.

Loss of appetite: Eating a lot of protein can also decrease appetite, says Fear, since it keeps you feeling full for longer. That can make it useful for weight-loss goals.

Weight gain: However, eating too much of anything can still lead to weight gain, so if you’re consuming too many calories in the form of protein, those excess calories will be stored as fat and lead to weight gain.

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Protein Helps With Fat Loss

Most people on keto will limit their protein to 30-40 grams, restrict their net carbs to 10-20 grams, then eat an excessive amount of fat. This is a common mistake.

If your goal is to lose fat, increased protein consumption is a great way to approach your keto diet plan. Heres why:

  • Protein is more satiating than fat
  • Protein is very nutrient-dense
  • People tend to overeat when protein is low

Additionally, the most effective way to start losing weight on keto is to burn your stored body fat for energy, not the new dietary fat youre eating.

If you eat too much fat, your body will burn that new fat coming in and wont get the chance to burn your stored fat reserves.

You can overcome weight loss plateaus by increasing protein and lowering your fat consumption.

How Much Protein Does Your Body Need

We all need some protein in our diet. Protein is a vital macronutrient that is made up of substances called amino acids. And there are nine amino acids that are particularly essential for us to regularly eat.

The US Dietary Guidelines recommends daily protein intake to make up 10% to 35% of the calories you eat each day.

The exact grams of protein this means for you depends on how many calories you need to eat each day but whatever that number is, it creates a really wide range of protein recommendations! For example, if youre eating 2000 calories daily, guidelines support you eating between 50 and 175 grams of protein per day.

Another approach to estimating your daily dietary protein intake is to eat at least 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, although this is often on the lower side of the recommended daily intake . This also equals out to at least 50 grams of protein per day for a 150 pound person.

Quickly estimate your daily protein requirements with this free protein calculator.

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Is It Bad If You Eat Too Much Protein

As with everything, too much is a bad thing and it’s best to have everything in moderation. Consuming too much protein really isn’t an issue many people need to worry about, however if you do think you’re consuming too much, there are negative implications. The main negative effect of consuming too much protein is weight gain, however there are other side effects such as dehydration and kidney problems.

The health implications of not eating enough protein are actually worse than consuming too much. If you don’t think you’re eating enough protein, here are 3 easy ways anyone can get more protein into their diet.

Is Too Much Protein Bad For You

You Asked: Can You Really Eat Too Much Protein ...

Just like everything else in the world, too much of a good thing might not be so good when it comes to eating protein.

“On a health level, high protein diets may be high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium which is especially problematic if the diet also shuns foods known to be beneficial to health, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains,” Massey says.

However, its important to remember that not all proteins are created equal. A high-protein diet heavy in red meat and high-fat dairy may lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol, but a high protein diet rich in plant-based proteins may not.

Some health conditions that may linked to high protein diets include:

  • High cholesterol and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Kidney disease and kidney stones
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation or diarrhea

“Protein isnt the only nutrient needed to have a healthy, strong body,” says Massey. “For optimal nutrition, the best diet should include a variety of foods from each food group.”

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What’re The Signs You’re Eating Too Much Protein

Weight gain

As mentioned above, any excess protein you consume will be tuned into fat and stored in the body. If you are eating too much protein you are probably eating too many calories, which will always result in weight gain.


The body has to use more water to flush out the excess protein from your body, so if you consume too much protein you will end up dehydrated. If you feel dehydrated despite drinking plenty of water, it could be a sign of consuming too much protein. Always make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, especially if you train a lot. Up to 3 litres a day is optimal.

Kidney problems

Your kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products from your body. By consuming too much protein on a regular basis, you could damage your kidneys by over-exerting them. You would have to eat far too much protein for a very long time to do any real damage to your kidneys, though, so it’s not something many people need to worry about.

Are We All Consuming Too Much Protein

Protein has become the sexiest, most ubiquitous and most lucrative nutrient around, but is it worth the hype?

The change happened quietly, albeit suddenly. Once the chalky preserve of sweatbox changing rooms and elite sportsmens kitbags, protein has become the sexiest, most ubiquitous and most lucrative nutrient around.

Between 2010 and 2015, the number of new food products claiming to be high-protein rose almost 500 per cent, according to market research group Mintel. And with one in four Britons already consuming sports supplements regularly recently rising to an alleged 42 per cent of men aged 16 to 24 its clear we just cant get enough of it.

Protein supplements are no longer the preserve of overmuscled bench-pressers

Of course, we expect to find whey in our post-gym shakes and bars. Youve doubtless used them yourself, whether looking to build and sustain muscle or simply recover faster from your workouts. But this relatively niche market has breached its banks. Its appeal is blowing up. Yoghurt brands such as Arla heavily market their protein content. Weetabix On The Go calls itself a protein breakfast drink. Even Marks & Spencers Balanced For You ready meals promote their high levels of the muscle macro.

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What Happens If I Dont Get Enough Protein

Not enough protein intake can cause the body to work less efficiently, especially if the composition of those proteins does not meet your basic physical needs with the necessary amount of amino acids. Though they may be high in protein, nibbling on handfuls of walnuts all day, may make you deficient in the other amino acids it lacks. By doing this, you may find yourself experiencing such negative effects as:

  • Sluggishness
  • Changes in blood sugar with a danger of developing diabetes
  • Difficulty losing weight or gaining muscle mass.

How Many Grams Of Protein A Day Is Too Much

Can You Get Fat on Too Much Protein?

Guidelines state that an adult man should take in a minimum of 10% of his daily calories from protein. This equates to 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, so a 12 stone man would need roughly 60g of protein per day.

However, for athletes and people who are very active, this can rise to up to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight so if this 12 stone man was an active bodybuilder or triathlete, he may need up to 168g of protein per day to meet the needs of his muscles.

If you live a sedentary lifestyle whereby you work an office job and only do a limited amount of exercise, you won’t need that much protein in your diet. Eating healthy, lean protein sources each day like chicken, turkey, eggs, and nuts and seeds part of a balanced diet will be all you need to achieve your protein needs. Unless you train a lot, you shouldn’t need to add protein shakes into your daily diet. For more information on dietary supplements, read our article on the top 5 supplements for beginners. If you think that drinking protein shakes can help you lose weight, read our article which answers the question of should I use protein shakes to lose weight.

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Other Sources Of Protein

Relying too heavily on protein powder will throw your diet off balance and may lead to adverse health conditions. Try to remember that everything is better in moderation. Determine your ideal daily protein intake and then begin to incorporate one or two protein powder shakes into your diet, usually during the time that you exercise. Outside of this time, you should be designing a diet for yourself that also includes some of these protein sources for a more balanced diet.

Are You Eating Too Much Protein Some Sources Aren’t As Healthy As You Think

For years weve been fed the line that a diet of red meat, supplements and protein shakes can have real health benefits. If only it were that simple

For the past two decades, the benefits of high-protein nutritional regimes have been relentlessly marketed to the general public, largely through the booming diet, fitness and protein supplement industries. However, while this has lined corporate pockets the whey protein supplement industry alone was worth $9.2bn in 2015 scientific research has suggested time and again that it may be harming our health.

Adding to the mound of evidence, a recently published study by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, who tracked 2,400 middle-aged men over the course of 22 years, reported that a high-protein diet resulted in a 49% greater risk of heart failure. Many large, long-term population studies have also found that people who consume large amounts of protein, especially in the form of red and processed meat, are more likely to be obese or develop type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

A lot of this work was supported by the food animal industry in the US, which was all for getting people to eat more meat, Sanders says. But then it was shown that, by eating a variety of plant-based foods, you can get all the amino acids you need, and the theory was debunked by 1972. More recently, it has been revived by the health food industry, the diet industry and some of the farming lobbies.

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