It is an elementary knowledge that protein is one of the essential nutrients that help us in our growth and development. Our body needs protein on a daily basis in order to function and develop. But, you must also know that there is a limit to the amount of protein that you consume. In this article, we will tell you about dangerous side effects of protein overdose in your diet.
Even a slight increase in the amount for a long period of time can be very harmful to your body. It will begin to show negative effects on your body. Thus, you must be very careful about the protein content that you consume.
Many people consume excess protein on a daily basis without even knowing it. Though they do experience significant negative effects, they may not relate it to the protein.
How much is protein overdose?
Many health specialists feel that a normally active adult will need anywhere from 0.4 to 0.6 gram of protein per pound of his body weight each day. Along with that, several factors also influence the amount of protein that you must consume including sex, age, weight and physical activity levels.
For example, a college-going sportsman will need more protein than a person who stays at home and does no physical work. So, it is really not possible to set one benchmark of protein for everyone.
So, men who worked out at the gym could benefit from eating 20 grams of protein. Their bodies could not effectively use more than that amount of protein after a single meal.
Hence, even if you eat three or four meals a day, your body can only use 20 grams of protein after each meal. Anything more than that is an overdose.
Which food causes protein overdose
Steaks, meat, dairy products, eggs, soybeans, beans and lentils, nuts, quinoa, and seeds – these are the most common food items that contain large amounts of protein.
If you include most of these or all of these in every meal of yours, the chances are that you may be having a protein overdose. The best way to balance your diet is to use them alternatively in your diet.
Side effects of protein overdose in your diet
1. Weight gain
If you are gaining too much of weight that cannot be explained, then you might be having protein issues. If you are not taking in more carbohydrates, if you are away from junk food, or if you are working out regularly, yet still manage to pile on weight, then your protein intake must be high.
Make sure you rule out other reasons like metabolism, hormones, etc., before you come to a conclusion. Because protein too has calories, and when it cannot be burnt, it is stored in the form of body fat.
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Every 100 grams of protein needs at least half a gallon of water. When you are taking in lots of protein, but not water, then your body craves for water. You will experience dehydration. Feeling thirsty every now and then is also a sign of having excess proteins.
3. Intestinal irritation
Constipation, diarrhea, flatulence and stomach bloating are also related to excessive proteins. If you are experiencing intestinal problems though you are eating well, you may want to contact your doctor. Sometimes the digestive disorders are extreme.
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Excessive protein intake can also lead to seizures, especially if the sufficient amount of water is not taken. So, do not forget to drink lots of water to help your proteins be digested.
5. Nutritional deficiency
If you are concentrating only on getting proteins, you will be neglecting the many other important nutrients that you will need. High protein diets do often overlook carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
They are also important for the normal functioning of your body. So, if you are consuming lots of proteins, the chances are you do not have a balanced diet.
So, make a diet plan that includes not just proteins, but also all the other nutrients. Only a balanced diet can help you stay fit and healthy, not just proteins.
6. Increase in liver enzymes
The increase in the number of liver enzymes is also a sign of consumption of high amounts of protein. The liver produces more enzymes to break down the food you eat, and when protein levels are high, high amounts of enzymes are released which will harm your liver and your body. Hence, it is necessary you check the amount of protein you consume.
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7. Heart disease
If you have a healthy and natural high-protein diet, then it is not a problem. But, if you are into artificial protein powder and shakes that promise natural proteins, then your heart may be at risk.
Unhealthy sources of protein are also loaded with unhealthy fats, which are obviously going to affect the heart. Thus, you are at a risk of heart diseases. So, have a balanced diet.
8. Kidney disease
Long-term high protein and low carbohydrate diet can cause kidney diseases. Though this hasn’t been medically proved as such, still there are speculations. Studies are going on to prove this as a cause for kidney problems. It is better to be safe and avoid such diets for long terms.
Know that most of these side effects are only related to very high levels of protein consumption. But still, it is never hard to sit down and discuss your diet with your nutritionists and know what you are eating right and what you are doing wrong. A well-balanced diet is a solution for all problems.
It is always good to take your proteins in moderation. Any nutrient can have ill effects if taken in high amounts. So, make sure that you balance your diet with equal amounts of all the nutrients.
You can bring in a change in your diet and the food that you eat. If you eat soy one day, opt for cheese the next day. Do not eat soy, tofu, and cheese all on a single day.
As long-term high-protein diets will lead to slow, but sure disease risk, you must be very careful about these dangerous side effects of protein overdose in your diet. If you are a healthy person, who exercises regularly, you can have 2 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight every day.