Protein is one of the three macronutrients that supply us with calories. It is beneficial for the growth, maintenance, function, and structure of body tissues.
This macronutrient is a vital part of every bodybuilder’s nutrition since it helps build muscle mass as well as repair our bones and other organs. However, there’s a common misconception out there that the more protein intake, the better. While this is true to some extent, it’s also advantageous that we get our source of nutrients from the other two macronutrients, namely fat and carbohydrates.
The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance ) for protein is around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Some of us don’t meet the daily requirements, while others go overboard. The latter’s case is alarming because too much protein is risky and can pose serious health risks especially if done over a long period of time.
So why is too much protein bad? Keep reading this article to find out.
1. It Increases the risk of stroke and heart disease
When we eat foods that contain saturated fats such as high-fat dairy and red meat, it raises the cholesterol levels in our blood. High cholesterol levels make us prone to stroke and heart attacks later in life if these levels are not managed according to a 2010 study.
Another study in 2018 showed that the levels of a gut-generated chemical called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), increases by consuming red meat for an extended period of time. If these levels keep on rising then cholesterol will accumulate in the artery walls which may lead to complications in the heart.
2. It damages the kidneys
Too much of a good thing is bad including protein. This is true especially for those people with preexisting chronic kidney disease.
Consuming a lot of protein is not very safe for individuals suffering from certain kidney complications as they need to work extra hard just to eliminate and get rid of waste products and excess nitrogen found in the amino acids of proteins.
Keep in mind that just because you don’t have any kidney-related disease at this point, doesn’t mean your kidneys won’t potentially be in jeopardy. It will be best to cut down your protein intake from here on out and not stay beyond the RDA(Recommended Dietary Allowance ) to prevent kidney damage shortly.
3. It can cause calcium loss
Excessive protein intake can also cause calcium loss and we all know that lack of calcium is linked to weakened bones and osteoporosis. This is backed up by a research study in 2013 that found an association between high-protein diets and poor bone health.
Another 7-year study involving 1,035 women ages 65-80 revealed that certain protein sources are safer than others. Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) found that those who get their protein source from meats instead of vegetables are more prone and susceptible to bone loss and hip fractures than their peers who get their protein from both animal and plants.
The thing is animal protein contains acid and when people don’t eat enough acid-neutralizing food then that’s the time where the bones are affected. This is the reason why it’s healthier to get your protein fix from a mixture of lean, healthy cuts of meat and other plant-based proteins and not just from processed red meats in large amounts.
Protein plays a central role in our body’s biological processes and this is why it is one of the most important nutrients that our body needs. However, we need to make sure that we are consuming the right amount every day from the right sources to avoid future complications like the ones we mentioned above.