Is Eating Too Much Protein Bad or Good?

Advantages and disadvantages of protein

Your body needs proteins because they are the building blocks of everything inside you- your bones and tissues. They also help repair worn out tissues and muscles as well as produce vital enzymes and hormones. It is advisable to consume 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your weight. But there are many of us who do not keep track of just how much protein we eat. Eventually, we end up consuming much more than our bodies need. People who frequent the gym and live on a high-protein diet are at greater risk of eating too much protein. But what happens when you “overdose” on this nutrient?

What happens if you eat too much protein?

Overconsumption of any nutrient no matter how vital can be a bad thing.  Here are a few unsavoury outcomes you may expect if you are eating too much protein.

You will gain weight

Protein-rich diets are ideal for weight loss because they keep you full for a long time and discourage you from eating frequently. But if there are too many proteins in the body then they get converted into fats and stored in your body. So replacing all your carbohydrates with proteins will not help. Besides, unless you can strike a balance between proteins and carbohydrates, your energy levels will start depleting and no matter how much protein you consume.

You may have digestive issues

A large percentage of people who habitually consume inordinate amounts of proteins suffer from constipation. It could be because their diet lacks fibre. You are just as likely to get diarrhoea if you binge on proteins. Your body can be overwhelmed by the vast amounts of proteins, leading to many trips to the toilet!

Eating too much protein can lead to dehydration

Scientists believe that consuming too many proteins can make your body flush out liquids. You will not even feel thirsty and that is why you could get dehydrated.

Your kidneys could be damaged

Amino acids are a component of protein and it is the kidney’s job to get rid of the excess protein. But when there is too much of amino acids, your kidney has to work overtime and gradually, your stressed-out kidney will lose its ability to carry out its functions resulting in kidney failure.

You may become prone to cancer

If your source of protein is red meat and you consume it frequently then your likelihood of contracting certain cancers such as colorectal, prostate and breast cancers shoots up.

There is an increased risk of heart disorders

When you consume too much red meat and dairy products, which are loaded with proteins, it can lead to heart ailments. Excess protein can cause a build-up of bad cholesterol (LDL), which increases the risk of heart disease.

Your bones could lose calcium

A high amount of protein in the body is linked to a slow but steady loss of calcium and poor calcium absorption. The result is weakened bones and teeth as well as an increased likelihood of osteoporosis. A few other risks associated with overconsumption of proteins are-

  • Disorders of the blood vessels
  • Damage of the liver
  • Seizures
  • Chronic exhaustion

Eating too much protein has also been linked to type 2 diabetes.

Are high-protein diets always bad?

Some people need more proteins than the rest of us. Athletes, pregnant women and people who are engaged in extensive manual labour have to specifically consume a higher than normal quantity of protein. Protein is a very important nutrient. But all good things must be consumed in moderation. A balanced diet is key in order to maintain good health!