9 Harmful Side Effects Of Too Much Protein


We all know that this culture is obsessed with eating protein, almost every diet speaks about protein, either packing it into your daily menu or trying to reduce it as much as possible. It can be found in the cartloads at grocery stores, from the dairy aisle to the dry foods aisle, yogurt to pancake mix, they are all pumped with this nutrient. Muscle growth is dependent on protein, it also helps with weight loss and has been proven to ward off hunger, by all accounts protein is a good thing. However, if we consume too much of this nutrient there can be some serious consequences to your health. What is considered too much protein, well the normal rule of thumb for inactive individuals is that you should only consume approximately 0.45 grams for each pound for males and 0.35 grams per pound for females.

Feeling Thirsty

Too much protein can wreak havoc on your kidneys, not only that but it can leave you feeling very parched as well. The reason for this is that in high amount nitrogen is very toxic, so the body flushes it with water and fluids to maintain its balance, this is what leaves you feeling thirsty, according to Cassie Bjork, a registered dietitian.

Extremely Bad Breath

When cutting back on carbohydrates, most people overload on protein, this results in the body storing fat as energy due to the reduced intake of carbohydrates. Although your stomach and abdominals would appreciate this diet in the short term, it would be a different song for your mouth, specifically your breath. According to Isabel Smith MS, RD, who is a dietitian, when you do not consume enough carbohydrates, the fuel for your body comes from the burning of proteins and fats, using a process called ketosis. Regrettably, this is where the awful smell comes from, the ketones in this process, and it cannot be concealed by simply brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing. Increasing your water intake by one hundred percent and reducing your protein but increasing your carbohydrates would remedy this ketosis situation.

Weight Gain

In the initial period, your weight might fly off by the use of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet, however, this can eventually lead to weight gain, this is according to a study conducting in Spain. During this study, the participants over six years were studied and it revealed that those that had a high protein diet had the greatest chance of gaining weight.

Kidneys May Become Overwhelmed

Whenever you eat meat, that is any kind of meat, from steak to chicken breast, you are actually taking in nitrogen, which is a natural occurrence of the amino acids that make up the nutrient, protein. A normal amount of protein is no problem for the body to breakdown and discard the nitrogen, bit when you are consistently gulping down huge quantities of meat or other sources of the muscle-building protein, this sends your kidneys into overdrive as they attempt to excrete the extra nitrogen produced by the ton of protein in your system. In the short term, something like this might not be a big issue, however, if prolonged this can result in the increased risk of developing kidney damage.

Additional Belly Fat

Just gaining weight is not the only issue, where the weight will go is also a problem. The majority of the weight will be flab that settled around the midsection. Covering all the hard work that was put in to develop those six-pack abs. Those extra proteins will be stored as fat as the body will not be able to remove them as fast as they are coming in, but the amino acids will be excreted. The normal intake of protein should not exceed 30 grams per meal.

Shortening Of Your Lifespan

Persons who are a diet that was high in animal protein were four times more likely to develop cancer and die from it than those that diet was much lower in protein, according to a study in Cell Metabolism, which followed adults for nearly twenty years. According to the website WebMD, citing another study that backed the finding of the one on Cell Metabolism, people that consumed diets rich in protein were sixty-six percent more likely to be at risk of early mortality than those who ate much less.

Feeling Nauseated

Your digestive enzymes are unable to keep up with the ingesting of the proteins, when you down too many proteins shakes, eggs, and chicken breasts. Resulting in nausea and also indigestion. Once you reduce your protein intake, it should be reflected in your stomach feeling much better, as stated by Cassie Bjork, a registered dietitian.

Mood Swings

Lack of energy in our bodies activates signals in our brains that send out distress pulses, resulting in mood swings. This is because carbohydrates broken down into glucose produces the energy needed to fuel the body and brain, but now all it is receiving is protein from our food intake and not enough carbohydrates. This also can result in feeling hangry, because the body is craving food, which means usually that it is craving proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, minerals, and vitamins, however all it is receiving is protein, so the craving is actually not being fulfilled.

Always Feeling The Need To Pee

Excess protein consumption could be the cause of you always having that nagging feeling to pee. The kidneys can only do so much, so when an excess of protein has to be processed the kidneys will do what it can but the excess will eventually build up. This buildup will create an acidic environment in your kidneys, so the body will try to flush it out, giving that peeing sensation all the time. This acid buildup can also be a serious issue for your liver and your bones. A side effect of this acidic buildup can be kidney stones, which is extremely painful, so this should definitely be monitored before it gets to this stage.