How Much Protein Is Too Much?

Wondering How Much Protein Is Too Much?

In the health and fitness world there is a seemingly endless amount of theories regarding which exercises are superior to others. There are endless published and vocalized opinions concerning how many reps and sets need to be performed in order to accomplish a specific goal be it weight loss, or for sport specific training, restorative training, and so on. It should come as no surprise that not only is there great debate concerning which foods will yield the best results, but how much macronutrients, such as protein, should be ingested. Naturally, there’s a threshold for everything and too much is too much. So, how much protein is too much?

Before you can answer the question of how much protein is too much, you need to look at a bevy of variables. Most importantly is whom are we talking about? Is this a 10 year old boy, or an overweight middle aged person looking to lose weight? Is this a young professional athlete or an elderly person? Further considerations have to revolve around the individual’s physical size and metabolic rate. How much protein is too much can only be answered when we know how much of that protein will be used and how much will be excreted. Another thought to ponder, is which kind of protein are we talking about? Caseinate? Whey? Soy? Vegetable? The different proteins are assimilated into the body differently at different rates.

Protein is essential to our bodies as it provides us with amino acids that we can’t generate ourselves. Therefore, if we are to not have muscular atrophy, especially as we age, it’s vital that we include an adequate amount of protein in our daily diet. The Food and Drug Administration recommends we consume 50 grams of protein per day, based upon a 2000 calorie diet. This number is viewed as preposterously low by many, especially those in the health and fitness business. As a long time personal trainer in Austin, I too would disagree with this figure for most people looking to add some muscle to their frame. 50 grams of protein is simply insufficient. What is the proper amount then? It depends on the aforementioned factors, but there have been results proven diets that include as much as 2 grams of protein per body pound. While that is definitely on the high side, and higher than I would advise most people to consume, it can be effective for some while remaining safe for the kidneys.

How Much Protein Is Too Much Varies Person To Person

During an analysis of a protein intake survey done several years ago, it was shown that men averaged 100 grams of protein consumed per day. The fact that young healthy males are consuming more than FDA recommended daily allowance of protein is evidenced by the fact that the protein supplement industry is a 6.6 billion dollar per year industry which has been projected to grow to in excess of 20 billion dollars per year on just a few short years. Does this mean that every guy is ingesting too much protein? Of course not. If we all took in the recommended 56 grams across the board, that wouldn’t be effective nutrition for many, while for some, it may be just fine.

Sweeping statements in the health and fitness industry can benefit a few, but an individualized approach is needed if you truly want to make progress. If you want to know how much protein is too much for you and your fitness goals, you’ll have to do some exploring of some basic body function levels, factor in your activity levels, and so on.

Too much protein can come with serious side effects. For example, it’s over consumption can indeed strain one’s kidneys when we can’t excrete the excess. Considering one third of Americans are at risk for kidney disease due to high blood pressure, it’s an important consideration. Furthermore, there’s absolutely no evidence than a uniform intake of 300 grams versus 115 grams, for example, will help pack on more muscle. It could be detrimental as it will come at the expense of other vital macronutrients the body needs to function.

There was a recent study for elderly women who went on a high protein coupled with a low carbohydrate diet. While the people in the study managed to lose some weight, their insulin sensitivity was unaltered, which still placed them at risk for adult onset diabetes. Other studies have made strong associations from an overly high protein diet with the onset of diabetes over the years. Another concern is one of a carcinogenic nature. While we intake more protein, it promotes a faster rate of cells multiplying. This is a desirable effect when we’re trying to pack on lean muscle mass, but a detrimental one if we’re older and those cells are cancerous ones.

My professional opinion as an Austin personal trainer and gym owner, is to shoot for the middle of the road and make adjustments from there. Obtain a baseline and very importantly, see how you feel. Are you feeling strong and healthy? Are you seeing the results you are working towards? I don’t spend much time buying into trends and generalizations personally, or professionally. I believe everything is individual and needs to be treated as such. How much protein is too much is a question that can’t have a generalized response if we are to truly achieve our goals while preserving our immediate, as well as long term health in the process.

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My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
How Much Protein is Too Much?
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How Much Protein is Too Much?
Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey writes of the necessity of eating quality proteins for building muscles, and also answers the question of how much protein is too much.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270