When protein intake is excessive, the body may have difficulty processing and eliminating the excess nitrogen produced during protein metabolism. This can lead to a buildup of waste products in the blood, which can put pressure on the kidneys and liver. Additionally, a high-protein diet may also increase the risk of certain health problems, such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, and certain types of cancer. It is important to balance protein intake with other important nutrients such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
How much protein is too much?
Depending on variables such as age, gender and level of physical activity, different daily protein intakes are recommended. However, a general guideline is to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This translates to approximately 56 grams per day for the average adult male and 46 grams per day for the average adult female. However, athletes, pregnant women and the elderly may need more.
Consuming more than the recommended daily allowance of protein is considered excessive. The upper limit for protein intake is set at 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. Consuming more than this amount can put a strain on the kidneys and liver and increase the risk of certain health problems such as osteoporosis and kidney stones.
What happens when you have too much protein?
When you consume more protein than your body needs, the excess protein is broken down and eliminated by the liver and kidneys. However, this process can put a strain on these organs, especially if you consume excessive amounts of protein over an extended period of time.
Excess protein can also lead to the production of waste products such as urea, which can make the blood more acidic. This can lead to several health issues, including:
- Osteoporosis: High protein intake can increase calcium loss from bones, which can lead to osteoporosis.
- Kidney stones: A high protein intake can increase the risk of developing kidney stones because it can lead to increased excretion of certain substances in the urine, such as oxalate, which can form stones.
- Cancer: A high protein intake, especially of animal origin, has been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer.
- Dehydration: A high protein intake can increase the amount of water that needs to be excreted by the kidneys, which can lead to dehydration.
Signs that appear if you eat too much protein
Eating too much protein can cause a number of signs and symptoms, some of which include:
1. Weight Gain
Consuming excess protein can lead to weight gain, especially if the protein comes from high-fat sources such as red meat.
A high protein intake can lead to dehydration. So the next time you feel dehydrated, it could be because you’re eating too much protein.
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3. Kidney problems
Consuming too much protein can put a strain on the kidneys, which can lead to kidney damage or kidney stones.
4. Bad breath
Diets high in protein can produce a strong odor in the breath. It is caused by the breakdown of amino acids in the body.
A diet high in protein and low in fiber can cause constipation.
Fatigue: Consuming too much protein can cause fatigue as the body may have difficulty processing and eliminating the excess nitrogen produced during protein metabolism.
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6. Stomach discomfort
Consuming too much protein can cause stomach discomfort, bloating and gas.
Diets high in protein can increase the risk of gout, a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints.
Keep in mind that some of these symptoms may be caused by other factors. So it is always best to consult a medical professional to rule out any underlying health issues.