Protein (along with carbohydrates and fats) is one of the three macronutrients your body needs to function properly. It has many health benefits which include helping your body build and repair cells, helping your body produce antibodies, enzymes and hormones and helping your cuts heal. However, you can get too much of a good thing and protein is no exception. In this article I am going to be outlining four of the drawbacks of eating too much protein.
1) IT CAN HAVE A DEHYDRATING EFFECT:- In a four week study that looked at five endurance athletes who consumed low, medium and high levels of protein it was found that increased protein consumption lead to lower levels of hydration. Dehydration can cause a number of serious problems including extreme fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, muscle spasms, difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness.
2) IT PROMOTES FAT STORAGE:- Many people believe that you can eat protein to your hearts content and not get fat. However, if you eat too many calories (whether they come from carbohydrates, fat or protein) they ultimately get stored as body fat. Eating more of this macronutrient whilst eating the same amount of calories can stimulate fat burning in your body but eating too many protein calories will lead to fat storage.
3) IT CAN LEAD TO KIDNEY STONES:- When protein is broken down this creates acids such as uric acid which increases the acidity levels in your blood. To combat this your body releases the alkaline substance calcium phosphate from your bones into the bloodstream. Overall, this increases urine levels of uric acid and calcium which can then both form into kidney stones.
4) IT CAN LEAD TO OSTEPOROSIS:- As discussed above eating high levels of protein can lead to calcium phosphate being released from the bones. Low levels of calcium in the bones can cause osteoporosis to develop. Osteoporosis reduces your bone density and can lead to your bones bending, breaking and fracturing much more easily than normal, healthy bones.
As you can see protein is not a super nutrient. Whilst it has many valuable functions when consumed properly, eating too much can lead to the problems discussed above. Increasing your protein intake moderately can help you build muscle and burn fat. Therefore, if you decide to eat more protein make sure that you do not consume it excessively.