Very High Protein Diets Are Dangerous
Some fad diets promote very high protein intakes of between 200 and 400g per day. This is more than five times the amount recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The protein recommendations in the Guidelines provide enough protein to build and repair muscles, even for body builders and athletes. A very high-protein diet can strain the kidneys and liver. It can also prompt excessive loss of the mineral calcium, which can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
Should Women Take A Protein Supplement
Stephanie Hodges, MS in Nutrition and Exercise Science, Edited by Martin Ebner, head Personal trainer and sports nutrition specialist at Ebylife.
Most women know that protein is a crucial part of a healthy diet and is essential for building muscle and maintaining a healthy weight. But when you hear the term “protein supplement,” you may have a preconceived notion that supplements are only for bulky guys trying to build the biggest muscles possible.
So what about the ladies? Or those who aren’t necessarily aiming for huge muscles but looking to get leaner and stronger should they take a protein supplement?
In this blog post, well clear up the confusion, discuss the benefits of protein for women, and look at protein sources from food and supplements. And well weigh in on the question of whether or not women should take a protein supplement!
How To Keep A Balanced And Safe Daily Protein Target
The best way to be sure that your daily protein consumption is healthy is to get in touch with a professional, such as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist . These experts are well-versed in all things nutrition and can help you to determine appropriate calorie, macronutrient, and overall dietary goals and strategies to achieve your health and fitness objectives.
Also think about your daily habits and routine. For some people, it makes more sense to consume more protein in the morning. Others may prefer to have a high-protein meal later in the day after work or school. Creating a meal plan even if it is informal and flexible may help you better track the amount of dietary protein you’re consuming.
Finally, consider using supplements such as protein powder derived from whey and other healthy protein sources. Whey protein powder products make it easy to portion out exact amounts of protein, giving you a higher degree of control over the number of grams you eat each day.
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Changes In Your Menstrual Cycle
If youre trying to get pregnant, going into ketosis for too long could cause your cycles to become irregularor you could stop getting your period entirely. Thats because you can burn through too many fat stores, which can change your metabolism in a way that impacts your hormone levels and fertility. Your body is going into preservation mode. Its a sign your body is under stress, and it isnt good time to bring baby into world because food is scarce, says Brisette. Women need a certain amount of fat for hormone levels for fertility and overall health, and ketosis can cause alarm bells to go off. Any time your period suddenly goes MIA or becomes irregular when it used to run like clockwork, check in with your doctor ASAP.
When Too Much Protein Might Be Harmful
Eating too much protein can lead to harmful side effects if you have existing kidney problems, or a family history of renal disease or kidney stones.
Some symptoms can indicate possible kidney disease or failure, a serious and potentially dangerous health problem, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
See a doctor if you experience some combination of the following symptoms of kidney problems:
- Blood or foam present in your urine
- Trouble sleeping
- Swollen legs or ankles
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Will More Protein Hurt My Kidneys
Many people, including some healthcare professionals, worry that high-protein diets are harmful to kidney health.
While that may be true for those who already have advanced kidney disease, there is no evidence to suggest this is true for those with normal kidney function or mild to moderate kidney disease.
Regarding kidney stones, very-high animal protein diets have been associated with an increased risk of uric acid stones.1
We cover all of this in detail, including the risk for kidney stones, in our guide on low-carb diets and kidney health below we describe some of the relevant studies.
One study reports no harmful effects to bone and kidney health after one year of eating a high-protein diet of 3 grams of protein per kilo of body weight per day.2
The following meta-analysis of nine RCTs and a separate, large observational study report that those who ate higher amounts of protein had a significantly reduced risk of developing kidney disease.3
If you have advanced kidney disease, make sure you check with your physician before increasing your protein intake, as the general recommendation is to reduce protein intake in that setting. Otherwise, there is no credible evidence that high-protein diets hurt kidney function.
Is Eating Too Much Protein Bad For Your Health
Eating too much protein isn’t a problem for most people, but if you do consistently overdo it for long periods of time, it can eventually overload your digestive system, liver, and kidneys leading to problems like:
- Digestive distress
How much protein is too much? If more than 35% of your daily calories are coming from protein, that’s when it’s time to reconsider your diet.
Research suggests that it’s safe to eat as much as 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day in the long term. And certain people can safely consume up to 1.6 grams per pound per day. That’s equal to up to 35% of daily calories from protein, or as much as 219 grams of protein per day on a 2,500 calorie diet.
For most people who are otherwise healthy, too much protein isn’t likely to be an issue.
“Your body will use what it needs for structural maintenance and tissue turnover, and the rest can be burned for energy,” registered dietitian and sports nutritionist Georgie Fear told Insider.
All protein is broken down into amino acids. If you eat more than you can use, your body can’t store the extra, so it’s processed and ultimately excreted in your urine, says Fear. Extra calories from protein, though, can be stored as fat if not used.
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Surprising Side Effects Of Eating Too Much Protein Say Dietitians
Incorporating enough protein into your diet can aid you towards leaner muscles, curbing your hunger, speeding recovery after exercise, and more benefits. However, although it is important to maintain a healthy diet of protein, did you know that too much protein may come with some positive and negative effects?
According to the Mayo Clinic, most research suggests that those who are very active should eat about 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Lean meats, poultry, and seafood are popular examples of foods that contain a good source of protein. However, other non-meat options include eggs, legumes and beans, nuts, and even certain dairy products like cheese.
But how much would be considered too much? We spoke with members of our medical expert board, The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, about the surprising side effects of eating protein. See what they have to say on the matter. Then, for more on protein, read on about The One Major Side Effect of Using Protein Powder, Says Dietitian.
What’s A Protein Lover To Do
If you want to maintain a high protein diet, the details matter:
- Find out from your doctor if you have any health conditions that might make such a diet risky
- Get your protein from healthy sources such as low-fat dairy products, fish, nuts and beans, lean chicken and turkey avoid proteins sources that contain highly process carbohydrates and saturated fat
- Spread your protein consumption across all of your meals throughout the day
- Choose a well-balanced diet that includes lots of vegetables, fruits, and fiber the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet are good starting points.
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Can I Overdo It On A High
You may wonder how much is too much protein or what will happen if you eat too much protein.
Based on calculations of the liver and kidneys ability to safely handle protein, a 176-pound person has a theoretical maximum of 365 grams of protein per day.17 Thats 73% of a 2,000 calorie diet! Its safe to say that most people wont have to worry about overeating protein.
However, if you happen to eat more protein than your body can safely handle, you will start to experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms.18 In other words, you are likely going to notice.
Understanding Daily Protein Intake
As mentioned, protein is necessary for people of all ages and fitness levels. Its comprised of long chains of amino acids that help you feel full, protect your bones as you age, and help you build muscle mass that can improve strength.
The amount of protein that each person consumes per day will differ depending on their age, gender and fitness goals.
Youre A Little Backed Up
Having dependable, reliable digestion cycles will make you feel healthier overall and minimize any potential stomach issues. However, if your protein intake is too high, you might struggle to stay regular. If you replace too much of your diet with protein, you may be lacking fibre from grains and vegetables. Fibre is important for digestion and regularity. Without it, you may experience digestive problems and constipation, McMordie says. Aim for 25 grams of fibre daily from foods like whole grains , vegetables, and fruit. Adding in a daily probioticor eating naturally probiotic-rich foodsmay also help keep your digestion on track.
Further Tests For Nephrotic Syndrome
Sometimes, further tests may be required. These may include:
- ultrasound an examination of the kidneys using sound waves to outline the structure of the organs
- computed tomography scan uses x-rays and digital computer technology to create detailed two- or three-dimensional images of the internal organs and tissues
- magnetic resonance imaging uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to provide clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues.
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How Long Will I Have To Wait For A Transplant If I Need One
The process of getting listed for a kidney transplant often begins after you your evaluation. The average wait time for a kidney from a deceased donor is three to five years. If you have a donor who is willing and able to give you a kidney, you can have your transplant as soon as both you and your donor are ready. Learn more about the kidney transplant waiting list and what you can do while you wait.
You Could Shorten Your Lifespan
According to a study in Cell Metabolism that followed thousands of adults for nearly 20 years, those who eat a diet rich in animal protein are four times as likely to die of cancer than those who follow a low-protein diet. And other findings back the finding: In another study cited by WebMD of thousands of people, researchers found that high-protein dieters had up a 66 percent greater risk of death during the study period than those who ate less protein. Eating more protein than you should is just one of the 20 Worst Eating Habits That Are Shaving Years Off Your Life.
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How To Keep Your Protein Intake Healthy
Now, all of the above shouldn’t necessarily discourage you from eating more protein. But if you’re looking to explore a more extreme high-protein eating plan, here are some things to keep in mind to avoid any negative consequences:
Ultimately, your best bet is usually to have a balanced diet that doesnt cut outor highly emphasizeentire food groups. A lot of research about high-protein diets is short-term. We dont know for sure there arent long-term risks. And I dont want my clients to be guinea pigs, says Brisette.
Protein And Lean Body Mass
Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a huge role in helping to keep clients healthy. Further, it’s essential to building muscle mass. While some clients might be quick to jump on a high protein diet, others might do the opposite due to preferences or belief in myths. Either way, dietary protein consists of amino acids that are responsible for everything. For example, our structure, hormones, enzymes, and immune chemicals all need protein.
Because there’s such an ongoing functional need for amino acids, keeping a consistent pool of them is like keeping a sink full without a drain plug. They’re constantly lost as they’re broken down which means there’s an ongoing need to consume a diet high in protein rich foods. This is especially the case in goals that involve muscle growth and weight loss. Our clients must realize protein supplies the building blocks of muscle and connective tissue . So, in the case of resistance training, the body is intentionally breaking down muscle tissue to force it to adapt and build bigger or stronger lean body mass. Therefore, achieving a specific protein intake each day is essential for health, fitness, and weight loss goals.
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Protein And Body Weight Reduction
Oftentimes, clients looking for weight loss will consider a low-carb, high-protein diet. When successful, people sometimes think it’s the absence of carbs from the daily calories that achieved the results. However, meeting the right protein requirements is beneficial in two ways. The first is that protein consumption reduces client’s appetite. This is because calories from protein take longer to breakdown than most carbs and fats. Consequently, clients will feel fuller longer when eating a diet consisting of high-quality proteins. This result of appetite reduction is commonly called spontaneous reduction in calorie intake. All it means to your client is they’ll be feeling fuller longer and therefore less likely to eat and snack at unnecessary times.
We already mentioned the need for protein to support the maintenance and growth of lean mass. Clients who have more muscle tissue have a higher resting metabolic rate because muscle burns more calories than fat to survive. A higher resting metabolic rate means more calories burned each day. Basic weight loss principles tell us more calories burned means more weight lost. So, this is the second reason why daily protein intake is important for body fat reduction.
You likely already know some of this, but you need to be able to convince your clients and people who ask you for fitness and nutrition advice. Tell them why getting enough high-quality protein is so important:
You Always Have To Pee
If you feel like you always have to pee, it could be due to excess protein consumption. Our kidneys can only process so much protein at once, so the excess starts to build up.
Protein buildup in the kidneys creates a much more acidic environment in the kidneys, causing you to have to pee all the time. Increased acid production can also cause problems in the bones and liver.
Side effects start with mild dehydration but can lead to the development of kidney stones, which are intensely painful. One interesting note-researchers found that plant and dairy proteins had a much lower negative effect on renal function than nondairy animal protein did. Time for some more vegetarian protein options?
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How Much Protein Is Too Much For A Female
As an essential nutrient, protein is an important part of your diet. But how much is too much, and what happens if you eat more protein than you need? For many people, nothing — the body is able to get rid of protein it doesn’t need, and going just a little beyond daily recommendations isn’t likely to be a problem. However, there are more serious risks to consistently and severely overdoing it on protein.
No organization has established an upper limit on what might constitute “too much” protein in a woman’s diet. However, 20 to 40 grams is the most protein people’s bodies are equipped to absorb per meal, and high-protein diets that include more than 200 grams of protein per day can severely strain the liver and even cause death.
So How Much Protein Do You Need
The current U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest getting 10 to 35 percent of your calories from protein. While having that benchmark is great, thats a pretty large range, and may not help much when youre trying to make sense of how much protein your body needs.
So, lets look at protein intake another way. Arguably, the most important message about protein is not to eat more, but rather when you should eat it. There is no storage depot for protein in your body like there is for carbohydrates and fat. That means your body doesnt have it on hand when it runs low, so the breakdown of protein into amino acidsthe muscle-building components of the protein itselfneeds to be adequate throughout the day to continually fuel your body.
Despite this, the typical person eats very little protein in the morning, a bit more in the afternoon, and the majority in the evening. Thats not just out of balance, but it also doesnt give your body what it needs, when it needs it.
To confirm that evenly spreading out your protein intake is a more effective approach than slamming it down all at once, researcher Doug Paddon-Jones, Ph.D. and his team from The University of Texas Medical Branch fed people a typical dose of protein at dinner, or 90 grams, versus what he and others recommend, which is 30 grams per meal.