Healthy Nutrition at Shape Up Fitness & Wellness Consulting

How much protein is too much?

Current Protein Intake Recommendations

The general recommendation for a sedentary person is 0.8g of protein/kg body mass.

Athletes take anywhere from 1.2-2g protein/kg body weight. Endurance athletes rank anywhere between 1.25-1.75g/kg while powerlifters and bodybuilders take in about 1.75g-2.8g/kg body weight.

What does research say?

Recommendations for athletes vary from 1.28g/kg body weight to 2.8g/kg body weight (divide your weight ┬álbs by 2.204). A short study lasting only 7 days did not find any significant changes in urinary creatinine, albumine and urea. The “Nurse Study” a survey, supports those findings but indicates that this might not hold true in people with renal failure.

In healthy people a steady high protein diet does not seem to have negative effects on the liver but might have damaging properties with a high protein refeeding when the person fasted for longer than 48 hours.

Some people argue that amino acids are acids after all that the acidity might become a problem. Looking at the research though it seems that it is not potent enough to cause harm to most individuals. It only becomes a potential risk if the calcium intake was below 400 mg/1000kcal consumed and even then the relationship seems relatively weak.

Kidneys seem to work fine unless there is a problem with the sodium-bicarbonate buffering system which balances out the acid:base ratio.

What have rats to do with it?

Well, rats that were exposed to resistance training were able to decrease the impact of a dramatic protein intake increase.

Take Away

It is pretty simple. If you are healthy a steady high protein diet won’t have a negative impact on you. Should you have liver or kidney concerns it is strongly recommended to consult with your physician first before dramatically increasing your protein intake. A higher protein intake has shown to improve weight loss, performance, & recovery.

We recommend our weight loss clients to take in about 1g of protein/lbs of weight and have a lot of success in weight loss, lowering BP, etc.

Adjustments need to be individually made. One size does not fit all but the research clearly shows that a higher protein intake is connected to more positives than negatives as long as the person is healthy.

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