Protein Overload?

By on 31/07/2014

proteins_innerNo matter what your needs and requirements are, whether you are a professional athlete or a leisure weight lifter, protein is an essential part of everyone’s life. In fact, protein is the building mass from which all existence forms survive and is necessary in favorable amounts to guarantee effective functioning of the human body. Is there such a thing as Protein Overload? Read on…

So what is the optimal protein requirement for the human body? To answer this, a  number of different variable need to be considered for each individual. Each person has his own special needs. One key variable to reflect on when considering most favorable protein requirements is the activity intensity of the person.

When you think about maximizing muscle, you consider protein. Those undertaking standard exercise and in particular strength or weight training, will require larger quantities of protein daily as compared to their inactive counterparts. This is because protein is required for the quick recovery and tissue repair process as well as promoting new muscular mass.

Thus, higher the protein consumption, better it is for a physically active person. With this kept in mind, can there really be anything like too much protein? Just like everything in life, too much of anything (even good) can result in a negative impact on the body. Read on to find out signs and symptoms of excessive protein consumption.

Protein Consumption Guidelines
Researchers have debated and considered the optimal protein intake for years now and it seems like the debate will surely prolong into the future. As per Lemon (1995) is his research paper, ‘Do Athletes Need More Dietary Protein And Amino Acids?’, concluded that inactive persons need roughly 0.8g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day while endurance athletes require a protein diet of 1.2-1.4grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. For strength athletes, the range is 1.2-1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day.
Symptoms of Too Much Protein Consumption
By excessive protein is meant getting more than 35% of total daily calories from protein. Experts state that excessive protein can lead to life threatening conditions such as excessive amino acids (hyper aminoacidemia), excessive ammonia (hyper ammonemia), excessive insulin (hyper insulinemia), diarrhea and nausea. Some other symptoms of protein overload are:

Lower Back Pain: Proteins contain amino acids and when consumed in extreme amounts the body splits them down into a product called ammonia. This ammonia automatically converts into a waste product known as urea. In soaring amounts, urea can have a negative impact upon the kidney and can be painful, which can be localized to the lower back region.

Extreme Sweating And/Or Urination: The more protein you consume, the more water is lost either by urinating, sweating or both. This is because the process of getting rid of urea requires water. Thus, enhanced protein intake must be balanced with enhanced water intake to prevent dehydration.

Reduced Appetite: The consumption of high protein often results in low carbohydrate consumption and results in reduced desire for food, illness or a mixture of both. When carbohydrates are low, the body turns to fat stores as a fuel source and this can result in damaging effects on the liver, while also upsetting appetite levels.

If you are currently experiencing one or more of the side effects, you might want to evaluate your protein consumption levels and in general eating habits. If symptoms continue, contact with your local medical practitioner. Please not that this is not a definitive list as there could be many more symptoms that might include dizziness, bone calcium deficiencies, kidney issues, weight gain, heart palpitations and intestinal irritations.

Irrespective of whether you are a sedentary individual or a recreational weight lifter or a professional athlete, protein consumptions make a lot of difference to the overall health and fitness of the body. Remember too much emphasis on protein intake might just make you forget other healthy nutrients and overlook other fare such a fruits, veggies and whole grains that contain more carbs and are loaded with disease preventing anti-oxidants as well as tummy flattening fiber. Thus, it is important to have a mix of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains along with lean meat, dairy products, poultry and fish on the plate.

UpTown Times has made no medical claims or assumptions. It is your responsibility to make sure that you take care of any abnormal symptoms you might be experiencing. This article was written out of interest only.