If you’ve been keeping up with the articles in the nutrition section of the FizzUp blog, you might have already read about animal or plant-based protein. But the FizzUp trainer wants to enlighten you one step further by taking you through the potential dangers of eating too much protein.
Protein is one of the three macronutrients (along with fat and carbohydrates) that are vital for your body’s healthy function. A protein molecule is made up of amino acids that take on several roles such as transporting and storing nutrients. Some amino acids are called essential amino acids, meaning that they can’t be produced by the human body. Eating protein provides your body with the steady supply of the amino acids it needs. The protein intake of the average person should be 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
For years, the world of body building has perpetuated the idea that eating lots of protein will help you build more muscle in less time. We’re sure you’ve heard that you need to eat at least 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day to increase your muscle mass, but the problem is that many studies have shown that you shouldn’t eat that much. 1.5 to 1.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight is enough to boost your muscle growth. When you eat any more than 1.8 g of protein, your body lets the excess go to waste, doing nothing more to promote muscle protein synthesis.
If you think you need to be eating more protein because you’re high-level athlete, think again! When you do a strength training workout, you cause microlesions in your muscles that break down muscle protein. To compensate, your body creates new protein from amino acids. Your muscle mass depends on your genetic makeup. When your muscles reach their “genetic limit,” they have trouble breaking down as much protein during your workout or synthesize as much new protein after your workout. That’s why you need to eat less protein.
The takeaway: A high-level athlete with well-developed muscles CAN eat less protein and expect to see as many results as a beginner who should be eating more.
Now you know that protein makes it possible for your body to generate muscle fibers, which leads to muscle growth. We know you might still be tempted to eat as much protein as you can to get faster results, but like we said before, this won’t do you any good at all.
Protein that your body doesn’t use is filtered through your kidneys, creating uric acid that then leaves your body in your urine. In order to eat over 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, you’d have to supplement your diet with whey protein powder, unless you’re the Hulk and gulp down massive amounts of protein with your diet alone.
The takeaway: Eating too much protein can be extremely bad for your health if you already suffer from kidney problems. If that’s the case, you definitely need to talk to your doctor. Otherwise, eating too much protein overloads your kidneys, tiring them out faster than usual. But remember, kidney problems due to protein only arise when you eat significantly large amounts of it!
Now you’re in the know when it comes to eating too much protein thanks to the FizzUp trainer. Eating between 1.5 and 1.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day is all you need if you want to gain muscle mass. So be kind to your kidneys and spare them the protein supplements. Who needs to be throwing money down the toilet, anyway?