From concerned mothers to brand new lifters, we get this question pretty regularly. With all the protein supplements out there, people are concerned that they may accidentally have ‘too much protein’. That somehow all these supplements will cause their health to suffer.
Knowledge is Power
While we think it’s nice that people are worried about staying healthy, one thing we don’t tolerate on this site is misinformation. So, let’s take a look at the science. First off, there have been no studies that show any harmful effects from having protein past the point where your body needs it.
That’s right; not one. Taking a look at the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (also known as the amount of something you can have before it starts messing with you), you’ll realize that there is no level set for protein.
But why? Why on earth wouldn’t they try to label it? Well, they didn’t give protein a level because there was no proof that high protein intake can harm you. At all. Not one study.
But then the question becomes: why do nutritionists always seem to worry about excessive protein consumption? I’m afraid the answer is simple: you’re not their audience.
Think about it. Chances are pretty high that you don’t need a nutritionist. You (hopefully) train pretty consistently, eat well, get a good night’s sleep and generally live a healthy life. Nutritionists aren’t interested in you; they’re interested in the average joe.
After all, most people spend all day sitting at work, then sitting in their car and finally sitting in front of their TV at the end of the night. These are not the habits of a healthy person.
Don’t Shoot the Messenger
Basically, nutritionists are worried that the average person will consume all the calories associated with most high protein foods (meat and milk being among the most commonly consumed) without burning any of the calories. It’s an issue of weight, not the kidney failure or whatever the latest blog is saying about having ‘too much protein’. So, their concern isn’t ‘can you have too much protein?’. It’s ‘can you have too many calories?’.
Now, when it comes to how much protein you should be having, it really depends on your goals. If you’re bodybuilding, you’re going to want to have around 1-1.5 grams per pound you weigh. So, if you’re 180 pounds, get 180-270 grams per day. If you’re dieting, you’ll be looking at .5-1 grams per pound. It’s all about what kind of body you’re trying to build. The only time someone can say that you’re having ‘too much protein’ is if you’re trying to diet, but eating 2 grams of protein per pound.
So to finally answer the question of “can you have too much protein?” …yes, you can have too much protein…based off of your goals. Can having ‘too much protein’ negatively impact your health? Nope. Eat as much as you need to stay healthy, stay active and train hard!
Need to figure out a way to get some more protein in your diet? We’ve got the most popular protein supplements reviewed and ready for you. Check out this link to find some high-quality protein!