Bodybuilders often focus on taking extra protein supplements to boost muscle development. In fact, it’s become quite trendy. Many of the latest macros diets also emphasize increasing protein and reducing carbs. Are these healthy options? Everyone needs protein, but just how much protein should you consume daily? Can you get too much? Who is most at risk of too little protein? You need to answer these questions first.
Bodybuilders and athletes may need more protein than most people.
The amount of protein you need is partially based on your activity level. A person with a sedentary lifestyle needs far less than someone who is active. People who are sedentary only need a gram of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight. That amount goes up to 1.3 grams if they have moderate activity and 1.6 grams for every 2.2 pounds of bodyweight for those who are extremely active. For instance, someone who is inactive and weighs 220 pounds, would need 100 grams, but if they entered a vigorous exercise program, the amount would increase to 160 grams. That’s because the increased activity caused more need for protein for muscle repair.
Your age and gender also play a role.
Babies and young children are growing, so they need more. Old people don’t process protein as well, which means they need more in their diet just to process what they need. They also need it to prevent the loss of muscle tissue that often occurs as you age. Men tend to have more muscle mass than women, so they need more protein. If you’re pregnant or lactating, you also require more protein for the baby and to enrich the milk.
Yes, there is such a thing as too much protein.
Getting too much protein from your diet isn’t that easy. Getting too much normally requires taking too many supplements. Eating as much as too grams of protein per 2.2 pounds over an extended period would still keep you safe from overdoing protein requirements. How much is 2 grams per pound? For a 110 pound person, it would mean eating more than 110 grams of protein a day, every day. That would be like eating a pound of steak every day. For a man that weighs 220 pounds, it would mean eating close to 2 pounds of steak a day. That’s hard to do consistently unless you take supplements.
- If you eat too much protein it can cause health issues like digestive problems. Consuming too much over a long period can lead to liver disease, seizures, kidney disease, liver disease, disorders of blood vessels, cardiovascular disease and death.
- While beef and chicken have approximately the same amount of protein, the amount the body can use from chicken protein is higher. It can absorb 74% of the beef protein and 80% of the chicken protein.
- Protein makes you feel fuller longer, since it’s more difficult to digest. It’s one of the reasons it’s good for a weight loss diet.
- If you’re supplementing with protein or eating too much protein, other people will know. It gives you stinky breath that you can’t get rid of with brushing, flossing or gargling with mouth wash.
For more information, contact us today at Rising Fitness Gym