Protein is the only macronutrient that hasn’t been demonized: carbs and fats have both been blamed for weight gain and various diseases. Protein, on the other hand, is praised for its fat-burning and muscle-building abilities.
Obviously, our bodies need protein. Protein and its amino acids help build and repair cells, build muscles, strengthen bones and keep hormones balanced. But eating too much of it can trigger unpleasant side effects.
According to research, an adult male needs 56 grams of protein per day and females need 46 grams of protein per day. Highly active people (athletes), pregnant women and seniors need 25 percent more protein.
Most people consume double or thrice the amount of protein they need in a day, and this can cause health problems. Here are signs you’re consuming more protein than you need.
1. YOU HAVE KIDNEY PROBLEMS
Research shows that high-protein diets stress the kidneys. The body has a limit on the amount of protein it can metabolize. Therefore, eating too much protein will strain or even damage the kidney.
It’s worth noting that high-protein diets do more damage to people with pre-existing kidney problems.
2. YOU ARE PACKING ON THE POUNDS
Protein is actually one of the best weight loss nutrients. It is relatively low in calories and helps keep hunger at bay. But you might end up gaining weight if you eat too much protein.
In this study, participants who ate high-protein, low-fat diets gained more weight than participants who were on a low-protein, high-fat diet. It’s worth mentioning that those who were on a high-protein diet gained more muscle mass.
This goes to show that you’ll gain weight if you overeat, regardless of the source of calories.
3. FREQUENT DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS
The fact that protein is hard to digest makes it great for weight loss. But this advantage is also a curse. Our stomachs can’t process excess protein, especially from animal sources. As a result, eating too much protein can cause constipation, nausea and indigestion.
High-protein diets also cause excess gas due to loss of water, which brings me to the next point…
4. YOU’RE DEHYDRATED ALL THE TIME
Research shows that eating too much protein can cause dehydration. This is due to nitrogen, a waste product that is created by the kidneys after they filter protein. Kidneys use water to excrete nitrogen from the body.
High-protein diets are mostly associated with low carb intake, and when we eat low-carb the body holds less fluids.
5. YOU HAVE BAD BREATH
Low carb intake causes bad breath due to ketosis. According to WebMD, when we don’t eat enough carbs, the body gets energy from fats and protein and this process causes bad breath.